Clamps are a popular tool used by many hardware experts and novices alike. Their basic function is to hold or secure objects together to prevent movement. Whether you are working on a home repair project involving wood, metal or another material, you may often need to use a clamp. However, choosing the proper clamp is very important. Here is a short guide to clamps for your next hardware project.
Bar clamps. Bar clamps, which are sometimes also known as “F-clamps”, are usually used in woodworking projects where a permanent attachment is being made. They also are used for metalworking projects including welding or bolting. They have a wider opening capacity compared to other clamps, which comes in handy for certain projects. The jaw is mounted on a flat bar and the large screw on the bottom lets you tighten and release the clamp to your pleasing.
Toggle Clamps. Toggle clamps are different than the basic clamps in that they operate with a pivot and a lever, handle or another push/pull mechanism. The handle controls the device and the holding bar grips the work piece. These clamps are very secure since once the toggle clamp is locked on the pivot points, it will not release until the lever is moved. Toggle clamps are very common in the areas of woodworking, carpentry, construction and even metalworking. They are popular for welding, milling and drilling.
Pipe Clamps. Pipe clamps are commonly used in piping, cabinet or other woodworking projects. You will often see them used for gluing edges of wood together or assembling boxes or cabinets. They are made from clamp heads that are mounted on a common pipe. One clamp head is fixed (which features the screw for tightening), while the other slides on the opposite end of the pipe. Pipe clamps are similar to the bar clamps mentioned above. They actually are usually less expensive and seem to be a bit more versatile in terms of the length of the pipe.
Spring Clamps. Spring clamps are ideal for small work and light pressure projects. They typically are used to hold two or more objects together, such as corners or oddly-shaped objects. If you are gluing two pieces of wood together, for example, a spring clamp would be the ideal tool to use to apply pressure and hold them in place as they adhere to one another. Spring clamps are often used for woodworking, so if that's what you are planning to use them for, try to find spring clamps that are specifically made for working with wood (you don't want the clamp to crush the wood and ruin your project).