Author Topic: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture  (Read 2971 times)

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Offline Slartibartfass

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I know you can never have enough clamps but how many do you think you need to comfortably work and what kind of different length if you want to build furniture including dining table, cabinets, shelving?

Curious what the experts think....?

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Offline irishman

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2015, 04:08 PM »
I probably have 6 of every size cabinet clamp from 24" to 60".  Sometimes I wish I had more, but it just means I can't glue everything up the same day.  It all depends on what you're building.

I also have a large assortment of smaller clamps 6"-36" (F-style), and the larger sizes of the "quik-clamps" dewalt and irwin sell.

I bought clamps as project needs required.  I will certainly buy more.

My best advice would be to stay with one brand for each style.  They typically stack or hang better if you have all the same brand.  Buy the best you can justify...err...afford...


Offline Billedis

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 04:20 PM »
I have 8 24" and 8 50" bessey's, 16 1/2" pipe clamps from 4' to 9' as I make a lot of 8' high cabinets to slide into closets.  Then I have numerous "f type clamps from 8" to 24" and find I still don't have enough at times.  I agree with Irishman, try to stay with one manufacturer as it helps in storage. 

I find for dovetailed drawers the Woodpecker corner jig is the best for keeping the drawers square.

You will never have enough, so just start purchasing for the job you are doing. 

Bill

Online SRSemenza

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 04:29 PM »
   My 24" , 40"  get the most use. 50" and 60" next. Though it is tempting to get 60" to cover a larger range, consider your handling space. Sometimes that extra 20 plus inches sticking out can really get in the way on a bench.  I would be thinking of an assortment something along these lines....... 8 x 24",  4 x 40", 4 x 50" or 60".   If thinking Bessey  check out the clamp extender. That can help with the need for longer clamps when you don't have a lot of clamps.

Seth

Offline Slartibartfass

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 05:12 PM »
[thanks] so far for the comments. I was thinking about Bessey K Body clamps in the following configuration:

16x 31"

16x 60"

8x 98"

Already got a variety of shorter stuff as well.

Online SRSemenza

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 05:51 PM »
[thanks] so far for the comments. I was thinking about Bessey K Body clamps in the following configuration:

16x 31"

16x 60"

8x 98"

Already got a variety of shorter stuff as well.


Those 98" are nice to have once in a while. I have four, not sure I have ever needed  more than four.  You might consider dropping the 98" in favor of more in the 40" - 60" size and going with the extender for the (probably) rare occasion to use the 98".  31" are a good replacement for the 24"  , a little extra length without getting too long.  Personally I'd split the 60s into 8x 40" and 8x 60". I just find that when clamping something  in the 36 - 40" range that the 60" extra length gets in the way. But going with all 60" does provide greater range.  A lot depends on what sort of things you will be building.

http://www.amazon.com/Bessey-KBX20-Body-Clamp-Extender/dp/B0014A44Y8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427406575&sr=8-1&keywords=bessey+extender


Seth

Offline thedude306

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 06:32 PM »
subscribed.

I just started adding to my own collection of clamps.  I find it's a hard thing to "plan" for as you start building a project without just buying a boat load of clamps!!  (maybe not a bad idea)  I got the Bessey BTB30 Tradesman Clamp Kit and they have been great.  I paired them with 16 of the K body revo clamps in 4x24", 8x31" and 4x40" and find it's working well for me.  I would like to add a set of the 60" and more of the 31"

As others of said, it just takes longer to glue up items with less clamps.  I haven't found that I need more clamps on any one piece so far. 



I am doing bedroom furniture and kitchen items mostly.  The 31" have been really nice.   I like those extension pieces and plan on getting those for the really long stuff.



Brad T.

Offline myfinishingtouch

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 05:30 PM »
n + 1

Offline thedude306

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 05:35 PM »
n + 1

thanks for my afternoon chuckle!!

Brad T.

Offline Gerald_D

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2015, 05:42 PM »
I have about a dozen of the Bessey 24" and 4 of the Irwin 24"- they are my most used clamps.  I then have 4 of the 31" Besseys and a couple of the 40".  I just recently purchased 4 of the Jet clamps that were on sale (I think they are 60") but haven't used them yet.

Other clamps include about a dozen 3/4 Pony pipe clamps and a large array of Irwin quick clamps.

There have been times I wished I had some 96" ones but have compromised by using 2 pipe clamps in unison.

I think you could have an entire wall of clamps and still not have enough!   [big grin]

Happy Gluing!
Gerald
Gerald
I have Festools- Big and Small and a few other tools

Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2015, 08:56 PM »
Parallel clamps have a purpose.  And a few are good to have.  However, they can also be throw out of parallel clamps if trying to make a box and pipe clamps are more useful because of the limited reach in such applications.

I would by a set of 4 parallel clamps but I recommend starting out with pipe clamps.  You can buy several times as many for the price and the flexibility is awesome.  They also clamp good and hard and are easier to get real tight.

Since the reach is about the correct depth for plywood boxes, they are also really easy to get everything square and cinched up tight.

My recommendation is to buy a Ridgid Pipe cutter a 3/4" pipe threader off of Ebay, then buy 10 ft lengths of pipe and cut them into 1/3rds.  Then you have some nice big clamps that will fit most purposes.

Offline jacko9

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Re: Question: Optimal #of parallel clamps to build furniture
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2015, 09:10 PM »
Bessey K-Body Revo are my go to clamps and my older pipe clamps sit in the corner waiting for the day I throw them away.  I have 2ea 60" which I find very handy for desks, tables, and case work.  My work horses are the 24" Bessey's and I have 10ea of them.  I also have 6 ea. 40", 2 ea. 18" and 2 ea. 12".

I would probably have more if I had the shop space to have multiple assemblies going on at the same time.

Jack