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Thread: Long clamps

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Long clamps

    Long clamps-c631dd3b-b532-4204-86db-e70c5f9b8596.jpeg

    I made 8 of these clamps about 30 years ago. They have had a fair bit of use, but now I intend to cut them down to make clamp heads, which can be attached to wooden bars. I had to struggle a bit to get them down from overhead racks.
    These were made from library upstands, originally T-shaped. I cut off one piece, to make them L-shaped. The box section steel is too thin to sustain repeated use of threaded studding. Not having any welding equipment then, I inserted greased dowels through the holes drilled for 3/8” BSW studding, then poured in molten lead. This has actually stood up well, far better than the tommy bars. But have you ever attempted to tap lead? It’s not easy! I learned subsequently that I should have used tallow as a cutting agent.
    The clamps’ feet were made from the brackets for the library shelves, which each had 3 prongs to insert into the slotted uprights, inserted into a saw cut in maple, then a pair of screws through holes in the steel.
    Hope to post the clamp heads in due course

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    Last edited by Philip Davies; Jun 24, 2022 at 01:54 AM. Reason: Correct factual inaccuracy

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    bruce.desertrat (Jun 25, 2022)

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    Thanks Philip Davies! We've added your Long Clamps to our Clamps category,
    as well as to your builder page: Philip Davies's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Supporting Member bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    Using those shelf standards is brilliant, and opens up a huge range of possibilities, since they're readily and cheaply available (if not free)

    Embedded into a workbench this gives you near-infinite 'dog holes'. Embedding two or more means you have a built-in panel clamping fixture on an assembly bench.

    Custom heads could be made to suit different needs, etc.

    Lots of possiblities once some smart person like yourself points out the blindingly obvious!

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    Philip Davies (Jun 25, 2022)

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce.desertrat View Post
    ...Lots of possiblities once some smart person like yourself points out the blindingly obvious!
    I've found a workable, at least for me, way to stimulate the "blindingly obvious" breakthroughs in my designs.

    After I've designed the device in my head, I consider each part separately, asking "what is the essence of this part". For example, the essence of the clamp body is "a long thing with regularly spaced holes". Once the essence is established I try to think of available objects that already satisfy that essence. If something occurs to me I consider if it could replace the object in my mental design that stimulated the search. Many times this leads to alterations in the design but that's all right as long as the final design is simpler or cheaper.

    I was led to this approach the first time I saw a old steam engine with a completely skeletonized connecting rod between the eccentric and the valve. It was probably designed so for weight reduction but looking so unconventional led me to speculate if such a complex thing would work in that application. Then it occurred to me that the connecting rod was just a structure to hold two holes a fixed distance apart. Any old piece of metal would work.

    I realized then that if I thought of the connecting rod as a hole separator then I would be free to use almost anything in any shape for its design. Generalizing that insight led me to the design approach I mentioned above.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    bruce.desertrat (Jun 25, 2022)

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    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce.desertrat View Post
    Using those shelf standards is brilliant, and opens up a huge range of possibilities, since they're readily and cheaply available (if not free)

    Embedded into a workbench this gives you near-infinite 'dog holes'. Embedding two or more means you have a built-in panel clamping fixture on an assembly bench.

    Custom heads could be made to suit different needs, etc.

    Lots of possiblities once some smart person like yourself points out the blindingly obvious!
    Thank you kindly, Bruce.

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    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Long clamps-aed7ae5e-42bd-4e0a-9df6-db6be6eddd25.jpeg
    Here are the components for the clamp heads

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    bruce.desertrat (Jun 28, 2022)

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    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Long clamps-b052d1b4-f0b6-4e69-8d93-faac6755fa49.jpegLong clamps-4e6087ae-7969-4d0b-a96a-441edcec4ccd.jpeg
    Here are the completed clamp heads, 3 pairs, 3 + 1/2 days’ work. I hope that this hasn’t been an exercise in futility: TFSR sent an appeal for clamp sets, but these are hardly as compact as those commercially available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    I've found a workable, at least for me, way to stimulate the "blindingly obvious" breakthroughs in my designs.

    After I've designed the device in my head, I consider each part separately, asking "what is the essence of this part". For example, the essence of the clamp body is "a long thing with regularly spaced holes". Once the essence is established I try to think of available objects that already satisfy that essence. If something occurs to me I consider if it could replace the object in my mental design that stimulated the search. Many times this leads to alterations in the design but that's all right as long as the final design is simpler or cheaper.
    This reminds me of the brainswarming concept that Tony McCaffrey discusses in Overcome Any Obstacle to Creativity. At the end of chapter fourteen, there is a table of fifty "viewing lenses", with an example of each one applied to a plastic chair. There are basics like material, shape, size, and color, mass, etc. He also specifies characteristics like "spatial relations among parts" (for a chair, it's "The bottoms of all four legs form a plane"), superordinate/subordinate (for a chair, the superordinate is furniture and the subordinate could be a rocking chair or bench), and "equipmental partners" (for a chair, it's table or desk).

    The purpose is to force your mind to perceive objects by their characteristics, rather than the role that we've assigned to them due to functional fixedness, which limits our perception of an object to its standard use. The fixedness probably evolved out of necessity (so that each time we pick up a hammer we don't think "hmmm...what is this for?"), but it limits creativity.

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    Thanks for that, it sounds like a fascinating book.

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    Thanks Philip Davies! We've added your Assorted Clamp Heads to our Clamps category,
    as well as to your builder page: Philip Davies's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:






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