5 essential clamps

You can never have too many clamps in your workshop

By Susan Peters

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3. Bar clamps are another workhorse of the shop designed for a range of applications (Craftsman 24″ Speed Clamp, red, $22). For edge-gluing and other large projects, choose a pipe clamp, which can be as long as the length of pipe you select (Pony Original 3/4″ Pipe Clamp, orange, $17). In recent years, quick-action clamps have become popular, prized for their convenience. As with this Irwin Quick-Grip 12″ One-Handed Bar Clamp/Spreader, many can be adjusted with one hand (blue, $29).

4. Special tasks require special clamps. A mitre clamp is ideal for corners on projects such as picture frames (Irwin Light-Duty Corner Clamp, blue, $29). An edge clamp applies even pressure to attach edge banding to a workpiece (Lee Valley Edging Clamp, silver, $14). A band or strap clamp is required when gluing odd-shaped pieces such as chairs (Lee Valley 16′ Web Clamp and Web Clamp Corners, orange, $13).

5. Spring clamps or ratcheting clamps are perfect when you need light pressure to hold together small parts (2″ Wilton Multi-Grip Ratcheting Clamp, blue, $4; Pony 2″ Spring Clamp, orange, $3; Craftsman Mini Spring Clamp, black).

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