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Thread: Adjust C-Clamps in Seconds

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    Supporting Member projectswithrich's Avatar
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    Adjust C-Clamps in Seconds

    Anytime I really need something clamped tight I reach for a C-clamp. They are so much stronger and more heat resistant than quick grip clamps but they are very slow to adjust, especially the larger ones. F clamps are also a great option but since I already have a collection of standard C-clamps, I made a tool to quickly get them closer to the size I need.


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  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to projectswithrich For This Useful Post:

    asterix (Feb 6, 2022), Jon (Feb 10, 2022), Moby Duck (Feb 8, 2022), nova_robotics (Feb 8, 2022), Ralphxyz (Feb 5, 2022), Sleykin (Feb 4, 2022), Toolmaker51 (Feb 4, 2022)

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    Normally, I work alone. Sorry, needing two hands [hold clamp and drill motor] isn't my idea of effective. One is usually already occupied, keeping something in place. Agreed "F" clamps are quickest, but the extended arm often a limitation.

    C-clamps are still king.
    It's best to preset clamps, but not always possible. Your driver IS beneficial there.

    Here is my approach. a] I keep them clean and silicone dry-lubed.....most are old with aggressive thread pitches that move quickly. They also advance more smoothly than the now more common V-profile with all-thread grade finish.

    I've watched [impatiently] while other folks patiently twist C-clamp by half turns, usually while I'm holding up a heavy so and so. On the next part we trade.
    a] I start off just as they were; Ooooooh the look you'll get, as it sinks in.

    Then I shift to b] grasping the screw and cross handle in one hand; spinning the clamp as would cowboy twirling a rope. Finalizing the opening might take a spin or two CW or CCW, enough to hold position while drawing up pressure. Their expression changes.

    Now, it's not so easy with structural clamps; little ones are 7 or 8 pounds and a little square head. I just might cannibalize a socket and your tip for those!
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Toolmaker51 For This Useful Post:

    Frank S (Feb 4, 2022), NortonDommi (Feb 5, 2022)

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolmaker51 View Post
    Normally, I work alone. Sorry, needing two hands [hold clamp and drill motor] isn't my idea of effective. One is usually already occupied, keeping something in place. Agreed "F" clamps are quickest, but the extended arm often a limitation.

    C-clamps are still king.
    It's best to preset clamps, but not always possible. Your driver IS beneficial there.

    Here is my approach. a] I keep them clean and silicone dry-lubed.....most are old with aggressive thread pitches that move quickly. They also advance more smoothly than the now more common V-profile with all-thread grade finish.

    I've watched [impatiently] while other folks patiently twist C-clamp by half turns, usually while I'm holding up a heavy so and so. On the next part we trade.
    a] I start off just as they were; Ooooooh the look you'll get, as it sinks in.

    Then I shift to b] grasping the screw and cross handle in one hand; spinning the clamp as would cowboy twirling a rope. Finalizing the opening might take a spin or two CW or CCW, enough to hold position while drawing up pressure. Their expression changes.

    Now, it's not so easy with structural clamps; little ones are 7 or 8 pounds and a little square head. I just might cannibalize a socket and your tip for those!
    There is no substitute for older heavy duty C clamps when fabricating with steel. Most will have a clamping force of up to 40,000lbs, any time I find an old Hargrove, Atlas, Armstrong or Williams C clamp for sale it is coming home with me. They are often called boiler makers clamps. Want to use them as a fabricators clamp get a Colbalt drill bit and cross drill the head of the screw get a hold of some stress prof rod the diameter suitable to make the bail pass it through the head heat the ends and mushroom them. Now your 25 lb 8" clamp that is the "C" clamp from hell, and you can still wrench on it
    Last edited by Frank S; Feb 4, 2022 at 05:26 PM.
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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    There is no substitute for older heavy duty C clamps .......snip.....often called boiler makers clamps. Want to use them as a fabricators clamp get a Colbalt drill bit and cross drill the head of the screw get a hold of some stress prof rod the diameter suitable to make the bail pass it through the head heat the ends and mushroom them. Now your 25 lb 8" clamp that is the "C" clamp from hell, and you can still wrench on it
    Uhh, no.
    Years [decades] had an order to drill square head set screws for safety wire, both sides. Jogged the holes to not cause interrupted cut but it was still surprisingly difficult, just .078 or so. Not only case-hardened but D-EEEEP. A split point cobalt could only do a few holes. It got better peck drilling with the quill stop, coolant not very noticeable, but good cutting fluid improved it once more.
    If I had to repeat, there'd be a box jig with drill bushings.
    The look of heavy pattern clamps says they are the same screws.
    A wrench will do.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Thanks projectswithrich! We've added your C-Clamp Quick Adjuster to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: projectswithrich's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Did the same to screw buterfly nut !



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