i got some 48" aluminum Bar clamps today, $12.99 - Router Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Default i got some 48" aluminum Bar clamps today, $12.99

they have cast iron heads and tails.. perfect for what i need to do. i got 6.

I'm building a computer table out of a 36" door, edged with hard wood, and a 4'x8' piece of that white 1/8" hard board with a frame, from the desk top up on the wall.. with black 10" shelves attached on white board, thru to the studs. soon to have room for my 3 computers and some work space.. my present computer table is maybe, 26"x40". it is so small i had to make a different case to put the computer in.. the Antek 900 only left enough space in front of it for 2/3 of the mouse pad. i will put a link to a picture of it.

Aluminum Bar Clamps - Harbor Freight Tools
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 07:49 PM
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That's a great price for something of that size. Isn't Free Trade wonderful?
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 08:02 PM
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They are worth the price, but a caution: do not overexert the clamp. The bar will be just fine but you run the risk of breaking the clamp head.

I unfortunately found out the hard way. Oh well, only $10 wasted.

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 09:23 PM
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Nice computer, but please, I really wanna see pictures of your clamps!

Jack


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 12:30 AM
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local supplier (Carba-Tec) had them on special recently , so I bought 6 x 48"

From memory, mine were also $12.

They are ok for my case work, but I agree with Cocheseuga, don't overclamp them...

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 02:42 AM
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If you guys have an Ollie's around. I've found their aluminum U shaped clamps, in sizes from roughly 24 to 48" work very well for light duty work. I think their Steelton grip clamps beat HF's any day. I did notice HF had started carrying some like them though.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 01:58 PM
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Lets face it they are junk for the most part. I refuse to buy from Harbor Freight Tools. You get what you pay for there that is for sure. Everything I have bought there is junk.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCclee View Post
Lets face it they are junk for the most part. I refuse to buy from Harbor Freight Tools. You get what you pay for there that is for sure. Everything I have bought there is junk.
I buy stuff from HF all the time and most of it works fine.

I have their Al bar clamps and the work great. I do stay away from most of their other clamps - they are kind of junky.

Also, their locking pliers (aka vice-grips) are hit and miss. I'll go thru a dozen before picking 2 that I'm satisfied with (they don't always work).

Their hand tools (sockets, rachets, wrenches, etc) are good enough too.

Their sanding belts suck - they lap the joint and it creates a bump - but i have a belt sander from HF that works great with Norton belts.

My 8 gallon air compressor is from HF. Does what it's supposed to do. I have a few air tools from them as well - they work fine.

Also, you can't beat beat HF for air lines and fittings.

I also buy plastic beads for media blasting from HF. Also, their air gun nails work as good as any.

The arc welding rods I buy from HF are just as good as the ones from the welding supply house but at half the price. I'm not welding anything critical anyway.

I buy casters from them all the time at 1/2 to 1/4 th what Home Depot charges.

I have a 1 lb dead blow hammer that works great too.

I have some HSS spiral router bits that work good for rough stuff. I don't use them often - I use my carbide spirals for good stuff.

I stay away from their wood chisels and wood planes but I buy drill bits from them all the time. Sometimes the smaller bits (i.e. 3/32 and lower) are not straight but I can usually find one that is in another box.

I also have a 4-1/2 grinder from HF. Their grinding discs are also a deal compared to others (HF/Lowes/OSH).

Anyway, it's not fair to say all HF stuff is junk. Some of it is quite nice (wrenches and such) and some of it is good enough.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 07:37 PM
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Those clamps are fine for most jobs. I read years ago that the most common cause of joint failure is glue starvation from over clamping. Also, clamps were never made for straightening out crooked parts. That's what jointers are for.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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i don't clamp things tight, i just snug it up. i needed something to just hold the board on edge of the door to pre-drill to put screws in when i glue it.. when the glue is dry i remove the screw and put in a dowel. i only have one hand, i have to use a lot of clamps around the shop. i want to make some chests and furniture when i get things more organized and get familiar with the new tools.

one thing you do not want to do with HF tools is leave them plugged in.. i had a sander nearly catch on fire the motor got so hot. it toasted the saw dust on the motor.

i pick and choose what i get there.
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