Author Topic: Screw clamps wish  (Read 4980 times)

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Offline rsum

  • Posts: 8
Screw clamps wish
« on: March 21, 2021, 01:05 AM »
Add grip to the handles. Hard to get a solid grip on the narrow smooth handles. Or better yet just discontinue them all together and provide kits with the ratchet clamp instead. I would never buy the screw clamps on their own.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 01:09 AM by rsum »

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Offline Svar

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2021, 03:54 AM »
I actually prefer screw clamps and only reach for the ratchet type when I run out of the former. Reasons being better feel of the pressure applied (no backlash), greater range of motion when bringing parts togeather, and slick profile that requires no clearence for lever when used in confined space.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 04:03 AM by Svar »

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2021, 05:29 AM »
I have both style clamps and find myself reaching for the screw clamps more than the ratchet clamps.

I put hockey grip tape on the handles of a couple of my clamps to improve grip. It's working out well so I will probably do the rest of my clamps. I find the handles on many of my Bessey and Pony CabinetMaster clamps to be slippery.
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2021, 07:23 AM »
Bob beat me to it. I have hockey grip tape on every "F" clamp in my shop...and quite a few other tools. There are several YouTube videos that show how to create a spiral rib in the tape to greatly improve grip over just a smooth wrap.

Once you have a roll or two in your shop, you'll find yourself reaching for it in lots of situations.

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 486
Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2021, 07:33 AM »
Somehow I hesitate to stick tape to the handles of my clamps. The tape tends to get dirty and that doesn't mesh with my OCD for cleanliness.  [embarassed] Instead I wear gloves with rubber on them when I use screw clamps and need additional grip for heavier clamping.

Offline mrB

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2021, 08:06 AM »
I agree that the screws clamps are better than the ratchet. I can get more reliable clamping pressure with them. The limited tightening scope of the ratchet mechanism means that sometimes all you do is squeeze the air out of the setup and there’s no more leeway to actually get things real tight.

This problem can be worked around but it involves more fiddling and becomes longer not quicker in process than using the screw clamps.

The ratchet clamps are lovely design, but I sold mine in the end.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2021, 10:22 AM »
I’m in the screw clamp camp. Ten of the Festool and 6 of the Axminster knock-offs. I like the Axminster better because of the grittier texture on the bar, the head doesn’t slip. A couple of the Festool’s do creep on the smoother bar.

The smooth painted wood handle is fine with me but I usually wear nitrile gloves and they provide plenty of grip. When used with the guide rail little pressure is needed. Also, with the very narrow bar when used without the rail my concern is avoiding leaving an impression of the bar in the work.

I did finally buy a pair of the Bessey ratchet clamps when I found some at a good discount but due to the extra cost, extra clearance required, bulk (storage space needed), weight, and moving parts I won’t buy any more.

Offline dashboardpws

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2021, 12:37 PM »
I got a pair of those from Powertech and am very impressed. Grippy handles and arguably better casting than Festool. They feel more substantial.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 508
Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2021, 01:04 PM »
Amazon sells a heat shrinkable tubing for this purpose.  It comes in a few different diameters and has a textured outside surface for improved grip.  It takes a good bit of heat to shrink it, I used an 1100 watt heat gun and it took about a minute to get a full shrink.  I used it on all of my parallel clamps and screw clamps and it really helps with these old arthritic hands.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 04:35 PM by kevinculle »

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2021, 04:57 PM »
Over the years, I've tried many ways of trying to increase purchase on clamp handles such as:

- Plasti dip (the yellow one in the image)
- Heat shrink tubes (red & black)
- Hockey tape (first saw it on Rob Cosman's fret saw).

The first two added only some grip, unlike the tape. The heat shrink tube is not as good as the bike inner tube, but I found a good solution: anti-slip spray. The heat shrink tubes (with 3 coats of the spray) are preferred to tape...because you can find a color that matches the original handle's.

Incidentally, the best handles in terms of purchase are the rubber ones on the Harbor Freight's F-clamps. The worst? Bessey's wooden handles...eels fare even better. [tongue]

I have these clamps that I have to be careful with so not to overclamp!

I have a pair of Festool ratchet clamps; sometimes I use them in a holdfast fashion on my workbench.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 06:14 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Sam Murdoch

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 06:10 PM »
There are nylon and neoprene tapes that stick to themselves and provide excellent handle grippage.

The best thing about these over adhesive tapes is that they aren't adhesives tape. You can put on and off without residue or other damage to your handles. Lots of color options too - though a bit pricey. Can be used to repair vac hoses and reinforce other cord type items too.

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2021, 06:47 PM »
Here are 2 videos of Rob Cosman showing how he tapes his handles:

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Offline FestitaMakool

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2021, 07:05 PM »
Sanding the paint off of the handles can also do wonders for grip. Untreated wood handles are never out of fashion, my favourite.
I’m too a screw clamp fan, its the feeling of what you actually do when screwing a clamp manually. I’ve yet to get annoyed by slipping the painted handles. But then again, working in a warm environment makes for more moist hands. We rarely get that kind of heat here though  [big grin].
The occasions that I do experience moist hands, getting into trouble with grip, I have thin tight fitting leather gloves (Alá montage gloves with great through-sensitivity) that gives excellent grip.
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Offline AnthonyE

  • Posts: 22
Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2021, 10:31 AM »
I also much prefer the screw type clamps.  I honestly don't care for the ratchet style at all and only use them when I run out of screw handle clamps.  The ratchet style tends to move the piece being clamped ever so slightly and there just isn't enough tactile feedback on how tight/loose the pressure is.

If you could find some tire inner tube that fits the diameter of the handles tightly then this is the best way to get a good grip if hockey tape is not your preference.  Hockey tape is def a really easy and effective method though and is what I use on my wooden handled clamps.  Once the tape gets dirty I just remove and apply more.  Hockey tape is very cheap.

Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2021, 12:25 PM »
In the end, I'm glad I have both the ratchet and the screw style. I like the fast action of the ratchet when using it as a hold down. But, I find it fiddly when it is under something, for example a track saw guide rail. Every time I try to use the ratchet clamps on a guide rail the handle is running into something...saw horses, workbench legs, support foam...something. I also can't just reach under and tighten or release like I can with the screw clamps.

Re: Hockey tape and dirt. Trying to keep things sort of the same color (did I really just admit that in public???) I used white hockey tape on my Festool screw clamps...the white being pretty close to the factory gray. The first project I worked on after wrapping  the handles was a set of paduak coffee tables. So, now I have sort of pastel orange handles on two of my clamps and dirty white on the others. I have since switched to black hockey tape for everything.

Offline hdv

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2021, 02:14 PM »

Offline demographic

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2021, 04:44 PM »
Just making the bar a lot grippier would do me. They slip and aren't upto scratch.

Its reaally not rocket science and the cheapest clamps I own don't slip so wby should the Festool ones?


Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2319
Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2021, 05:19 PM »
I like the ratchet ones, but there are many times where they just won't fit because of the lever. I do prefer the screw type on the guide rails though. They just feel better, it doesn't take much pressure to keep the track in place anyway. I really only clamp it when routing. I usually use the pistol grip clamp on the track, if I can, but I don't trust it with joined tracks. I try not to join tracks and getting the longer ones has put an end to that.
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Offline Oldwood

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2021, 05:26 PM »
I built a bunch of wooden clamps and made the handles hex shape. They are easy to make and the flat makes it easy to get good torque on them.

I replaced my steel fast clamp handles with the hex style because I found them too slippery. I just mill them square and then run them through a router with a 45 degree cutter to get the hex shape.

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Offline kevinculle

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Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2021, 09:21 PM »
@hdv that product looks exactly like what I bought for tool handles but the ad was different.  It has held up very well for me and you get a much neater result that with tape.

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 486
Re: Screw clamps wish
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2021, 04:57 AM »
Thanks. I think I'll order some to try it out.