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Thread: Fixing those cheap Harbor Freight Bar Clamps

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    astroracer's Avatar
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    Fixing those cheap Harbor Freight Bar Clamps

    How many of you use these cheap bar clamps from HF? I have a bunch of them, even though they are light duty I use them a lot for woodworking projects as they have a decent clamping force but not strong enough to do any damage like a C-clamp or heavier bar clamps.

    After a few years of use the clamps start "popping" the molded hinge pins for the trigger. This renders them useless.
    I just broke two of them while working on my bed project this past weekend. This is what you'll have when you pull out the trigger.

    After pulling one of them apart. The popped hinge pin.

    I had fixed one a while ago that did this and fixed these two in about ten minutes.
    The trigger has a molded hole that just fits a #10 machine screw.

    See following post

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    Doc (12-05-2013), gunsgt1863 (10-21-2017), Hotz (11-08-2014), kbalch (12-04-2013)

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    astroracer's Avatar
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    Drill through both sides with a 3/16th's drill. Use the molded hinge pins as locators for the drilled hole.

    Re-assemble the clamp with the screw in place of the broken hinge pin and it will be ready to go to work.


    See next post

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    astroracer's Avatar
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    Both clamps fixed in 10 minutes...

    I may go through and do this to all of them just to save the headache of breaking one during a job... Only takes a minute.
    Mark

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    drivermark (10-18-2017), gunsgt1863 (03-26-2018), Komo (04-01-2018), Moby Duck (03-26-2018), oldcaptainrusty (10-18-2017), olderdan (10-17-2017), Paul Jones (12-13-2014), Tiny (10-17-2017), Ultimaest (03-27-2018), will52100 (03-26-2018)

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    Great idea! Yet another item for my to-do list...

    Ken

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    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
    Both clamps fixed in 10 minutes...
    I may go through and do this to all of them just to save the headache of breaking one during a job... Only takes a minute.
    Mark
    I was thinking exactly that as I was going through you post. Thanks for the tip!

  8. #6
    Captainleeward's Avatar
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    Hello astroracer,now that you have modified those clamps, their not so cheep any more! Good for you and anyone else who likes to mod tools that gets better results. :O)
    Fixing those cheap Harbor Freight Bar Clamps-023.jpg

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    Content Editor Altair's Avatar
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    Great job in saving the clamp from the trash bin astroracer. The quality of import tools nowadays is abysmal.

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    This thread has been moved to the Must Read subforum. Congrats (and thanks) to astroracer for making such a valuable contribution!

  11. #9
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    Good idea. Perhaps a small piece of steel (maybe brake line) or copper tubing could over the screw and to keep the threads from chewing up the trigger hole over time. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hemmjo View Post
    Good idea. Perhaps a small piece of steel (maybe brake line) or copper tubing could over the screw and to keep the threads from chewing up the trigger hole over time. Just a thought.
    My thought also.

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