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Question to all.  Has anyone closely compared the aluminum bar clamps sold thru Woodcraft to those sold at HF?  I'm not a big HF fan, but I'll be darned if I can see any difference in these clamps.  For a 36" one, HF is $11.99 while WC is $16.40.  Appreciate any insight someone may have.  Thanks so much and apologies if this has been covered already.

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HF acme thread doesn't take stress well and the bare must be softer AL for it flexes...

and there is no such thing for light duty only...

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Paul Sellers bought the HF and said they had a lot of flex in them.   He did stiffening by cutting a piece of wood to fit inside from end to end and then he said they worked better.

 

Edited by kmealy

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I have a couple of the HF and never use them now that I have so many Bessys. I think this must not be hardened aircraft aluminum as I think some of the notches deformed while in use.

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you can buy junk twice, or buy quality once.

 

my Bessey's work just fine.  and for very long things, i have a few 3/4" pipe clamps and matching lengths of pipe.

 

if you have to "fix it" right after you buy it, then maybe that's a hint to not buy it in the first place.

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Moved to Tools Forum

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On 8/2/2018 at 9:16 AM, kmealy said:

He did stiffening by cutting a piece of wood to fit inside from end to end and then he said they worked better.

why rework/repair/improve something w/ your time, energy and additional monies...

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I have never had any deflection problems,or the screw failing in the years I have used HF clamps. I use mostly the 12"-36" aluminum tube bar clamps,and after hundreds of uses the only problem I had was the little pot metal trigger in the slider end would wear out and I would have to grind a new sharp end on it.

I found that most new woodworkers try to use too much pressure and reef down on the clamps trying to put 12k lbs. pressure on the board. When they take the clamp off there is an indent on the edge of the board. This is not necessary, just enough pressure to squeeze out little beads of glue is all that is needed.

They are not designed for gluing up large timbers either,I would say nothing thicker than 2" thick. I have the big honking Besses and Jets that weigh a ton, but never use them, it was a waste of a lot of money for me. I have 2 pair of US made aluminum clamps that are very nice, but got them on a year end sale.

 

So for me the HF do what I want and don't cost me a bundle.

I don't have any pipe clamps anymore, used them for on site work for years, but for smaller work like I do now they are overkill.

Herb

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1 hour ago, Dadio said:

I have never had any deflection problems,or the screw failing in the years I have used HF clamps

try the new editions..

they're junkier...

and the teeth won't hold and they wear out very easily..

Edited by Stick486

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29 minutes ago, Dadio said:

How do you know, you don't use them?

Herb

VOE..

used my buddy's...

broke all of his quick clamps too...

I posted the outcome here and to you...

 

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yup...

warrantied them..

broke the replacements too...

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5 hours ago, Dadio said:

Never learn,the first time,sigh.;)

Herb

not my junk....

but seriously...

plastic pivot pins???

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Mine are all metal pins, at $12-$16. each they do just as good as the $30.-$50. big Brand ones for me. Mine are 5 years old, can't vouch for the latest ones.

GO Harbor Freight!!!

Herb

Edited by Dadio

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22 minutes ago, Gene Howe said:

This topic has been an eye opener for me. I've been longing for something to augment my C clamps. ;)

Here you go Gene, there are only 5 left.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/60-in-Aluminum-F-Style-Bar-Clamp-Garage-Home-Auto-Shop-Construction-Job-Tools/253511114927?hash=item3b0670a0af:g:pSUAAOSwft9asxfV

 

Herb

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1 hour ago, Dadio said:

Mine are all metal pins

not anymore...

they figured out how to make cheap.. cheaper...

and the pads refuse to stay on but they will split...

Edited by Stick486

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