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Who makes good C Clamps?

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Lanse
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey everyone!! So...

I decided that sometime here soon I want to get some nice "C" Clamps. I have a handful of cheapies that are the 3" size, and I want to find some bigger/better ones.

I looked at all the offerings from Lowes and Home Depot, none of which really impressed me. Lowe's "BESSEY" clamps look "acceptable* to me, even tho they market them as "light duty" and they're from China. Home Depot's "HUSKY" clamps are nearly identical to the bessey's, just with a lower quality messy looking finish and the threaded rod parts were not square with the clamp in the ones I checked out last night. I suspect they're Bessey's that didnt pass quality control, but honestly, IDK.

Anyway...

I want to buy some nice 8" clamps, and maybe some 6" ones. I don't even know where to look. My school used "WILTON" clamps, but the only ones I've found sell for $50-$125 online and I think they're nice, but not nearly *that* nice.

I'd really like to find some good USA made ones. What brands/names should I be looking at? I havent found a lot. If you were looking for some nice "C" clamps, what would you look at?

Unfortunately I don't really have time to go garage saleing, I know thats usually the best option here lol. Thanks in advance...
 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Proto, and Armstrong both make good C-clamps. Who knows if they are still made in the USA!
 
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Sean Feeney
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Yard sale Flee market E bay the older ones are the best
Bessey Wilton Jorgenson williams etc
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I don't know a brand name but my Dad was a welder back in the 1960's and I was part time & my son is full time and all 3 of us used these clamps. Body is steel, about 1/2" thick and the important part that has made these last so very long is that the screw is brass, to which the splatter does NOT stick. I would look for heavy body & brass screw. They were no doubt, not cheap, they look quality all over.
 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

So far I don't have any complaints with my Strong Hand clamps upper left hand corner of picture. But if I'm really going to put the hurt on something I use my bridge clamps lower right of picture.
The blue one in the center I've used a 24-inch crescent wrench on it to align flanges on beams before welding them up.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/6110697022237843266?hl=en&q=strong%20hand%20clamps&oq=Strong+hand+clamps&gs_l=products-cc.1.0.0.3676.8007.0.10359.18.8.0.10.10.0.112.718.6j2.8.0...0.0...1ac.1.bsKNmecg4Nw&sa=X&ei=6dKOUIPKJ7DmiwKa8YDYCQ&ved=0CIoBEPMCMAc
 
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Handyman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

don't buy C clamps, you want to get what are called "F" clamps like the two gold colored ones in Puddles pic they cost a little more than C clamps but you will never want to buy another C clamp again once you use them. I have several of them myself and threw out the C clamps that always seemed to be bent . the frames and screws seem a lot stronger on the "F" clamps and they dont slip like the C clamps tend to do
 
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36 Coupe
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I made some nice clamps from some mule shoes I got at a yard sale.
 
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Butch(OH)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

good, cheap and quick,,, wouldn"t we all? LOL.
Since you dont have time to go the best way, yard sales auctions etc, you have to choose from China or quality and my advise is use both. The advise about brass or brass plated screws is good too. I have 6 Wilton clamps that I use when the job warrants their use and a big pile of HF clamps I use for half clamps and jobs where I know the screw is going to get splatterd or torched.
 
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Ken Macfarlane
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've got a bunch of record clamps from when they were made in England, have to keep the threads down so they don't get splatter on them. Nice fine thread and heavy beam. Have some cheap ones with coarse acme threads but you can't get the same clamping power.
 
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rustyfarmall
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I've got a few cheapies that probably were in a box of miscellenious items at an auction. Those are the ones that get used when I really don't care what happens to them, but when it matters, I use the clamps I picked at another auction. I think they are the Wilton brand. Probably gave $40 for the pair, but they definitely will hold the work in place. A guy I used to work with had a pair just like them, and he used his for clamping onto large chunks of iron and then he could pick that iron up with a cherry picker.
 
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Zachary Hoyt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I get all of mine at auctions and such. I have 50 or more from 1" up to 6 or 7 foot long pipe clamps and use them a lot for wood, not so often for metal as I don't have those skills. When I am gluing together layers of wood to make a banjo neck I may use 15 clamps to make sure I get maximum pressure over the whole area. I have some good clamps and some not so good, but often they can be had in box lots pretty cheap. I also would check with scrap yards, at least around here they get a lot of tools and some will sell them back. Pawn shops are also a possibility. I bought 6 assorted clamps off Craigslist yesterday, they were only about 7 miles away. I also have a couple of Vise-Grip clamps that I have used when taking things to be welded, they are handy and have a large clearance around the jaw.
Zach
 
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bob15
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Williams, Armstrong, Wright, Kant Twist, Proto
 
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Ultradog MN
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What you want Lanse is forged steel clamps.
The cheap C clamps you buy at the box stores or harbor fright is gonna be cast or malleable iron.
Puddles shows a beautiful collection of clamps below. Of course I know he has many more of them then that.
Vice Grip makes some good specialty clamps for welding. Here's one that you would use a lot.



The sliding type clamp that Puddles shows is my all time favorite clamp. I think I used Wilton clamps like these years ago.
I always wanted a set of these and finally bought 3 of them at a machine shop auction a couple of years ago. Two 12" and one 16".
These are Bessey - from Germany.
Dunno the brand but they are good.
Remember: Drop forged steel or cast steel VS cast iron or maleable iron? Iron aint even close to the strength of steel.


 
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60 acre hillside
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Search Wholesale Tool Company. I have bought good clamps there at reasonable prices, They were good and strong but did not have a high quality finish, I think most were without any finish but were strong and reasonably priced, I also bought drill bits from them,always good quality but many were surplus items,
 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Who makes good C Clamps? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Get F clamps. Bessey was the first company to make them and they are very good clamps but super pricey. The Strong hand ones like Puddles showed are are a lot cheaper and come with the extra attachment. They save a lot of time when tightening and loosening. For smaller stuff get vice grip C clamps. They're super handy as well.
 
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