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Spring clamps instead of spool clamps?

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Happy new year folks! I am planning to get these cheap spring clamps and use them to close the body in the future. I used already the medium size clamps succesfully for the linings, so I could buy the bigger ones where the jaw open to 60-70mm. I would protect the tips with pieces from vinyl or rubber gloves, wrap them with insulation tape, create slight ridges to keep them aligned. Have a look, and tell me what you think:

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item5d31d51127

there are the metal ones, open to 70mm, with about 25LBS of pressure, are these clamps too strong?

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item33775bddbe

and finally the ratchet bar clamps

http://www.ebay.co.u...484a5b25b5#shId

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The ratchet bar clamps would work fine but you cannot control the spring clamp. Sometimes you want more force and sometimes less, you can do that with the bar clamps but not the spring.

Oded

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The plastic spring clamps look identical to these: http://www.harborfre...lamp-69289.html

I have a few of them, and I really wouldn't think of closing a body with them. Perhaps it's my arthritic wrists, but I need two hands to get them open with any amount of control... seems like too much force. I'm still using the spool clamps, and a few small bar clamps until I get around to using something better. The spring clamps ain't it. (FYI I dropped one on the floor, and it broke).

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You won't be able to use any of these to close the body. they can be useful for other things, but not for that.

you think 25LBS of pressure is too much and crack the plate?

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The ratchet bar clamps would work fine but you cannot control the spring clamp. Sometimes you want more force and sometimes less, you can do that with the bar clamps but not the spring.

Oded

the plastic have a flexible tip staying always flat on the surface, the metal ones are stronger but no flexible tip. Still distaster unavoidable?

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Well I have never measured the pressure required to close the body, but I have many of the spring clamps (the bigger ones as well as the smallest ones) they are handy for many other things, but the biggest ones for example (that would have a large enough mouth to accomodate the rib height and the thickness of a plate) has a really strong spring (It's difficult to open them ) and could indeed apply too much pressure. the bar clamps could be used but it's quite overkill to use 30 of these cumbersome tools to close a body (again they can be used for other purposes, like gluing the ribs etc...)

You only require small pressure to close a violin and home made clamps with a thread and 2 piece of broomstick work fine (and it's cheap)

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the biggest ones for example (that would have a large enough mouth to accomodate the rib height and the thickness of a plate) has a really strong spring (It's difficult to open them ) and could indeed apply too much pressure.

What if I wrap some cotton on the tips? If they are overkill maybe I would just need to use 12 instead of 30...

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I'd rather have more clamps with light pressure than less of them with more pressure. I am not the one to give you advices but you can even buy clamps made for violin work like the herdim closing clamps. And again, with a broomstick handle, 30 pieces of 10-12cm threads, a driller and some cork you can make quickly enough clamps to close a violin.

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I also have several of the 4" racheting bar clamps, which look identical to the eBay ones. I do use them for closing the body, but only at the endblocks (to get the pressure over the block), and only after putting cork on the jaw faces. The plastic jaw caps are too hard, and will dent wood. They are handy for many things, but there is a high rate of attrition, as it is very easy to overload these little clamps, breaking the trigger lever. Can't be fixed, unless you feel like fabricating new parts out of metal. But mostly I still use the spool clamps.

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those bar clamps are pretty crappy if they are like the ones that harbor freight sells also. BUt as stated they have some uses, the spool clamps are not hard to make and you would have less money in them I think and they will be what you want and last forever. good luck

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The only ratchet bar clamps I recommend are Irwin. For some jobs I use Bessey or Jorgenson screw adjustable clamps. No one clamp does all jobs. You just accumulate them over time.

Some day I should count all I have. But now I don't have the time. ^_^

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I tried these smal spring clamps once to close a body years ago. Didn't work well. What I discovered is that since the spring clamps force pressure both down and slightly outward from the pivot point (the little pin holding the clamp together) rather then straight down from tip to tip ike a spool, it can have a tendacy to force the plates around if not prefectly applied. It's suttle, but it can happen. I preferred not to deal with it. If the glue is properly mixed and the right strength, and the room is warm enough, you'll have plenty of time to apply spools. And you really only need enough pressure to snugly close the gaps. Also, you can make a dozen spool clamps a lot cheaper then buying the spring type. My experience anyway.

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I was just trying the medium clamps (jaw opens to 33 mm) on a spare rib (1mm thick), after 2 hours they were still peacefully in place without bending the rib shape, and they didn't leave a single mark. Same thing with a thin piece of spruce, no marks at all, and I didn't protect the tips with any pads. I am going to buy the bigger ones, and I will try the same experiment, if goes well I will use them for closing the violin (it's going to take months anyway...). I am confident everything will be fine, especially if I tape the tips, I like the fact that they are quick to use. I can't resist the temptation now...

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I was just trying the medium clamps (jaw opens to 33 mm) on a spare rib (1mm thick), after 2 hours they were still peacefully in place without bending the rib shape, and they didn't leave a single mark. Same thing with a thin piece of spruce, no marks at all, and I didn't protect the tips with any pads. I am going to buy the bigger ones, and I will try the same experiment, if goes well I will use them for closing the violin (it's going to take months anyway...). I am confident everything will be fine, especially if I tape the tips, I like the fact that they are quick to use. I can't resist the temptation now...

Don't forget that a plate of about 4mm thick plus a rib of about 30mm is the maximum the medium clamp can open. So that you would need the bigger one maybe for the first plate but surely for the second one.

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Don't forget that a plate of about 4mm thick plus a rib of about 30mm is the maximum the medium clamp can open. So that you would need the bigger one maybe for the first plate but surely for the second one.

Sure Robert, that's why I will get the large ones, you can find the 165mm long (jaw 50mm), and the 210mm long (jaw 60mm).

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