Clamps and glue presses for any job

Clamps occasionally come in handy in almost every workshop and in most trades. However, different types exist for different jobs, or universal clamps are used in various ways. They are most commonly used by joiners, carpenters and locksmiths. They also come in handy when repairing cars, shoes, and various jobs in assembly, DIY and modelmaking.

Clamps are invaluable assistants

Clamps have a place in every workshop

...sometimes they move into the house

Gripping depth of a C clamp

Glue presses with various jaw length

They have numerous nice properties. Unlike a partner you need for an installation, they can stand in for him. They do not grouse, slander, they use no petrol or electricity, and will not smoke your cigarettes. They just serve and hold on. The better quality clamps you buy, the longer they will serve you. With perhaps a little exaggeration (but it may actually be true with clamps), you will bequeath some of them to your sons, some even to your grandsons. Larger clamps may be really heavy and robust: you require strength in them, and strength cannot be assured in any other way. Robustness is thus a good indicator. To make even large clamps and glue presses lighter and easier to handle, they are mostly no longer fully made of iron as they used to be. Various alloys are used for both the guide bar and the jaws. The casting is lighter and its body design can make it just as strong or even more resistant than solid steel.

Hold on and do not slip

Their primary purpose is to hold fast and never slip. That is one of the criteria for choosing them. They must not slip when firmly tightened, because that is irritating and such clamps are best rid of. Whether a clamp slips is influenced by both the overall clamp and guide bar design and the guide bar profile and toothing, on both the front and back side or in the sliding jaw. Some clamps are made of smooth oval or round metal, others of profiled bars. Another point is whether you use them correctly or ask your clamps to do what they cannot do.

Quick adjustment and tightening

F-shaped joiners clamp

A strong metal clamp with plastic jaw guards preventing damage to the material

Carpenters glue press ‒ the I-bar

Also called a tenon tightener

Quick motion with locking is an advantage of some clamps. The clamp is quickly ready in the desired open position, which is adjusted with a small leeway by unlocking the sliding lock. Then just tightening it by rotating or using the quick-acting gun grip. This increases working comfort and the jaw will not slide and squeeze your finger as is sometimes the case. The length of the clamp reach - the depth of its jaw - is critical for your job. Another indicator is how far from each other your clamps jaw will move, thus how large the material to be tightened inside the jaws can be.

One-handed clamps - Power Grip

One-handed quick-acting clamps are very popular. Their advantage is that they slide when the handle is depressed by a single hand. They have a large pressing surface and what makes them unique especially in assembly jobs is that they are one-handed, which is their main definition. Most other clamps require two hands to operate, which is not quite possible if you stand on a double ladder with a cabinet hoisted over your head in one hand. The use of a one-handed clamp is salvation then. The pressing jaws of these clamps do not rotate as they do in screw-type ones. This country is not lagging behind too much in the area of one-handed clamps; the legendary Power Grip one-handed clamps have been made in the Czech Republic for over 15 years. They are affordable, available in several lengths and no longer in their infancy. Power Grip have been made by uni-max for over ten years. Where their force is not enough, which is not very often, you can use clamps with a conventional screw mechanism. One-handed clamps are excellent not only for gluing but also for fastening material being cut or worked, or in installation jobs. Lever-operated clamps are very powerful too.

Clamp and expander in one

The clamps can be used the other way round - for expanding things. This is invaluable when trying to push apart unscrewed furniture. On the Power Grip clamps, simply loosen the end screw to turn the jaws around and use their force in the opposite direction. Once you have disassembled the furniture or item being mended, clean the joints, fix them, apply glue and tighten them again using the same clamp.

Edge clamps

The slat clamp 3 - C 50 has three tightening handles

It is excellent, e.g., for gluing edges on doors

Slat, or edge clamps are somewhat special among other clamps. They are used primarily for gluing straight edges and moulded slats on board-based materials. They may be U-shaped with threads facing one another and a pressing thread perpendicular to the edge, or self-locking. The advantage of the former is that they can be centred or set outside the centre of the edge, if it is composed of multiple slats or thicker.
 

Self-locking slat clamp

...self-locking clamp at work

The other system of edge slat clamps is self-locking and will help you set the centre of the glued slat. The eccentric claws with a rubber-coated surface rotate eccentrically as they tighten against the edge, thus fastening firmly to the board surface. It is fast and efficient. Thanks to the rubber coating, the claws adhere firmly and do not damage the board surface. In another version with a shifted grip and holder, this system is used as a carrier for transporting large boards and flat materials, such as laminated particleboard or construction boards, weighing 30-60 kg. That by itself is proof of the full functionality of this interesting system.

Tilting grip for increased tightening force

Two-way clamp with plastic jaw guards

Tilting grip for easier handling when tightening

To increase the tightening force or improve handling, some clamps have an additional extender for the grip or tilting grips. That considerably increases the leverage for tightening in confined or hard-to-reach areas, where you cannot complete the turn when tightening. Here, tilt the grip every half turn and operate it like you would a ratchet bar. Thanks to the shape of the clamp body and jaws, it can be stood up or laid down. This means easier operation and material fastening. The double lever locking system of this clamp makes it possible to combine quick travel with strong tightening by screwing with a tilting grip. If you need to equip or complete your workshop with clamps and glue presses, do look through our offer here, you are sure to make your choice. For more information about clamps and related issues, see the article Tighten, glue, repair, and save money. Recommended!