Rick the first thing to keep in mind is that over clamping is the most common cause of joint failure. That fact should always factor into decisions. In some cases common masking tape is enough to hold a joint together. But I have a lot of clamps and of different kinds so here are my observations.
The blue ones from C T are pretty good and often go on sale at really good prices. I think they are available to 48" but they get pretty heavy at that length. The swivel handle allows for a lot of pressure if you need it. Just check to make sure the screw was drilled straight. Some aren't.
Besseys are really nice but very expensive. I find Jorgensens to be the best compromise between value and function.
I consider a few pipe clamps a necessity. Pipe clamps exert pretty good pressure and can be made any length. In fact you can add pipe together with pipe couplings if needed. I've gone 11-12 feet before.
I have a couple of welding clamps that come in handy at times as the reach they have is longer. I have a couple of either 30 or 36" ones. They are quite heavy though.
There are clamps with aluminum box beams that are really good in longer lengths. They are very light, can be handled with one hand, and are way cheaper in long lengths than other clamps. They will apply adequate pressure in almost all cases.
The most used clamps I have are some 4" ones I got from Lee Valley years ago. I bought a box of ten. I wish I had gotten 20. I don't see them in the catalog any more.
Even the plastic or metal spring clamps can be handy at times and they are cheap if you watch for a sale.
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.
Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 05-31-2015 at 03:14 PM.