When I bought my first bar clamps, about thirty years ago, I got aluminum bar clamps, made in USA by the Dubuque Clamp Works. Since they were made of aluminum, the clamps were lightweight and could be lifted, held over, and aligned on a glue-up by a single person working alone - something that would scarcely be possible with heavy steel clamps. I have a few old, long Record clamps, and a few pipe clamps too, but the weight of those clamps means two people are needed or there is risk of dinging the work. At the shop where I used to do work, folks would always borrow my clamps because then they could work by themselves.
So it came as no surprise to me a few years ago when Fine Woodworking
gave these clamps the nod as their favorites. Here are some great reasons why:
- They're made of extruded and injection-molded aluminum alloys for strength with light weight.
- Their screws have 1/2" Acme thread for durability and long life.
- The screws have butterfly handles for easy one-hand operation.
- They won't stain wood, since wood glues won't react with aluminum.
- The moveable pad has a spring action that can lock in any of the punched slots that run the length of the bar.
- The clamp will sit upright, so that work can be placed on the clamp.
- The clamps are still made in the USA, and the current models are even stronger than what I bought many years ago.
- The listed size is the maximum length of the clamped items. The overall size of the clamps are slightly larger.
We stock the full range of clamps, and you save when you purchase a lot of them. Since the clamps are lightweight, shipping costs aren't outrageous. We mostly recommend getting a few 36" long clamps for typical work, and a few really long longs for carcasses and such. But you will have a better idea of what kind of work you do and your requirements. In general, the shorter clamps are easier to manipulate, and the longer ones are the only things that work for wide glue-ups.
We also stock the miter attachment which is used for clamping miters - it's shown attached to the 24" clamp in the foreground.
Made in USA.
If you purchase three or more pairs of bar clamps (any mix of sizes) you get 5% off. Six or more pairs gets you 10% off. For larger quantities of single sizes please contact customer service for discount information.