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Knockoff Herdim clamps


JacksonMaberry
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Hey folks,

I just received some counterfeit Herdim style clamps from a Chinese ebayer. The fit and finish is a little rough on the plastic parts, but the threads all seem well done as none of the nuts seem to have travel issues. I'm not in a great spot financially and I know some others may also need to pinch pennies, so I thought I'd let you know. The seller has another auction up, a full set of 32 (4 yellow, 8 red, 20 blue) for an opening bid of $98, free shipping. I was lucky enough to be be only bidder when they did the last one, if y'all take turns you can probably do the same.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/LUTHIER-TOOL-32-PCS-violin-top-and-back-clamps-/361458200784?nav=SEARCH

Best always,

Jackson

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Hi Jackson,,

I don't mean to be a party pooper but,,

these clamps are little better than garbage.

 

But,, I also bought a set and can tell you how to make them almost as good as the herdims,,,,

I have those also.

 

First this is how they should fit on the plate edge,,,,

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The design of the chinese knockoffs are next to impossible to place on the plate edge,

after they are modified you can do it blindfolded.

 

This is what you do,,,or somthing similar,,,

post-48078-0-46477900-1451520040_thumb.jpg

 

and this is what they should look like after you are finished with them,,,

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Notice the 1/4" locknut, it is drilled out with a 1/4" bit so it will now act like a spacer to facilitate easy reaching to twist the nut.

It does make a difference.

Also notice the brass nut has been ground round and knurled(I have a lathe)

the other has been ground and the edge filed by hand.

You could also take an old rasp, or a cheap chinise one from the hardware store or such,, and place it on the flats of the nut and hammer some knurling on the nut,,

they are way too slippery for comfortable use as is, and don't hit a file with a steel hammer,

use brass or a block of wood.

 

also while I am at it,,,, this is what I do to all of my wooden clamps to reduce friction,,

I turn them in my wood lathe and leave a nipple,

I wax the end of the wood, and get rid of those wing nuts and get brass.

It does make a big difference,,

you can easily put them on one handed without knocking them off.

post-48078-0-28172100-1451520132_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-21261800-1451520147_thumb.jpg

 

Sorry if I'm getting crumpy old and lazy,,,,

I just want the easy life.

 

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The Chinese variety with the knurled nuts are shaped better and get better reviews. Have only used Herdim, but have been considering buying these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/LUTHIER-TOOL-32-PCS-violin-viola-top-and-back-clamps-/252030821854?hash=item3aae3525de:g:zh4AAOSwjVVVqkr3

 

 

Your seller has a 14 day guarantee.  Might be worth considering.

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The Chinese variety with the knurled nuts are shaped better and get better reviews. Have only used Herdim, but have been considering buying these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/LUTHIER-TOOL-32-PCS-violin-viola-top-and-back-clamps-/252030821854?hash=item3aae3525de:g:zh4AAOSwjVVVqkr3

 

 

Your seller has a 14 day guarantee.  Might be worth considering.

Michael,,

Those are the very clamps that I ordered,,the others are what I received,

same price,,only free shipping.

 

So I Punted,,,.

 

I just fixed them up and they are really ok now.

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One advantage of the Chinese ones with the hex locking nut is that you can use an appropriate wrench to torque 'em down nice and tight. You'd have to use Vise-Grips with the Herdim's to get that same advantage. ;)

On a more serious note, Evan, your idea seems like a good way to save these Chinese clamps. I have a set of them with that problem myself. But I find your drill press setup to be kind of scary, like an accident waiting to happen. If you do that, be sure to hold the clamp jaws in some device that will keep your hands at a safe distance.

post-77143-0-58700900-1451524519_thumb.jpeg

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Intentional Violin has the Herdim set on sale for $395 until January 5th (I think).  They are currently out of stock, but I was there today and was able to buy a set at the sale price.  They will ship me the clamps when their next shipment comes in.  They guessed in about 2 weeks, which is fine for me.  I saved for this set.  Buying knock offs just rubs me the wrong way.  It's an expensive attitude.   :)   Especially when my rational side recognizes that there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying knock offs.  Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes more, sometimes less.

 

-Jim

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One advantage of the Chinese ones with the hex locking nut is that you can use an appropriate wrench to torque 'em down nice and tight. You'd have to use Vise-Grips with the Herdim's to get that same advantage. ;)

 

Clearsky,,

It's becoming increasing obvious that you're just a rank beginner,,

I mean you've got the right idea,,

 

but a cresent wrench?

 

You could easily mar the finish.

 

Do it RIGHT man!

post-48078-0-64268800-1451527583_thumb.jpg

 

just sayin

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On a more serious note, Evan, your idea seems like a good way to save these Chinese clamps. I have a set of them with that problem myself. But I find your drill press setup to be kind of scary, like an accident waiting to happen. If you do that, be sure to hold the clamp jaws in some device that will keep your hands at a safe distance.

This type of cutter is not super sharp and you would have to really jam yourself into it, an abrasive burn could occur,,,

some things are difficult to hold,,on things like this you have both hands firmly pushed against the table with the the rest of your palms rolled down over the edge,

so your fingers are not long enough to reach the actual cutting area, and don't put your fingers on the feed side.

I never have my hands in midair around power tools,,plant them on the table and keep them solid.

 

Like on a jointer a good fence runs the length and has a nice rail down the back,,and your hand will slide along the top of it firmly with one finger and thumb hanging over on the blade side to push and hold the wood,

there is no way they are long enough to reach the blade,,

you would have to pick up your hand and put it on the blade side for your fingers to reach it.

 

But lots of uneducated folks just hold the wood with unstabilized free hands and push,

I have worn out numerous push sticks, if you slip with a push stick you can still jam your hand into the blade.

Push blocks can create overconfidence,,,,,,all ways be careful.

 

Thinking about safety is very important.

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May I suggest an alternative, and unequivocally safe method for trimming these Chinese clamp jaws. I rigged this up in my vise. You can see that there's a piece of wood clamped to the front jaw of the vise that causes each plastic jaw to be inserted to the same depth. Then I clamp the plastic jaw in the vise and let the back of my bullnose shoulder plane ride on the back vise jaw to steady it, and trim till the plane reaches the that vise jaw. The result is quick, accurate, and as I said, safe. Of course you'll need a shoulder plane, but they're awfully nice to have anyway.

Update: I used this method and completed my Chinese set in about two hours. The outcome was pretty much perfect, and now I have no regrets about not buying the Herdim clamps (and saving over $300.00!). I learned a few things along the way. First, you could speed up the job by using a chisel for the initial cuts. In fact you could probably do the whole job with a chisel, clamp jaws held in the vise the same way, though I personally wouldn't have achieved as perfect of an outcome that way. I didn't use a chisel at all, doing the whole job with a plane. Second, you could use an ordinary shoulder plane for the blue and yellow jaws, but the red ones, with their tight convex curve, required a bullnose shoulder plane to reach in and follow that convexity conveniently. I used a bullnose plane for the whole job, and I'm certain that it was a better tool.

post-77143-0-86961300-1451529706_thumb.jpeg

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Clearsky,

 

You are unequivocally a genius.

 

I think that I may have cut the back piece so it would be more of a curve and fit closer to the side,

and I rounded the inside edge that contacts the top of the plate (with a scraper) so it would contact closer to the purfling.(maybe not on the pic shown,, but I don't use them all.)

 

make sense?

 

nice fiddle by the way :)

 

I've got a wild child that lives in Bolinas,,

next time I'm out we should have a cup of tea.

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Nice nipples Evan, Burgess' sheep will be jealous. 

I also prefer the round clamps because anyway you put em on, they're the same. 
The shaped plastic brass nuts ones look pretty but you can't get em 'over a corner'
unless you buy the corner ones but even then I think the old round ones are much easier. 

Easier is good when the glue is hot and dripping. 
Also, if you take the arching at the edge of a worn old del gesu, just the fiddle you 
have knocking about....well it's not shaped like a Hargrave drawing, it's flat.
For a flat non scoopy edge, the padded round ones are fine where the plasicky ones
have no channel to hold onto. 

:-) 

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Fixing poor designs up is what we have to do all the time, isn't it?   I bought a cheap set of Chinese finger planes on Ebay.  Reworked the profiles extensively in all directions.  Bought and shaped new laminated steel blades from Japan Woodworker.  Filed and filed them to get the blades to fit properly.  Now they work great either bevel down while roughing, or bevel up as scrapers on gnarly stuff.  Many times people who make and design things have no idea whatsoever what they are doing.  That isn't an incriminating statement, is it?

Ken

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Clearsky,

 

You are unequivocally a genius.

 

I think that I may have cut the back piece so it would be more of a curve and fit closer to the side,

and I rounded the inside edge that contacts the top of the plate (with a scraper) so it would contact closer to the purfling.(maybe not on the pic shown,, but I don't use them all.)

 

make sense?

 

nice fiddle by the way :)

 

I've got a wild child that lives in Bolinas,,

next time I'm out we should have a cup of tea.

Thanks for the compliments, Evan. I have to decline the genius designation. Though I admit that I have a talent for creating solutions for mechanical problems. When I worked at the cabinet shop, anything everyone else didn't know how to do was always given to me.

And the compliment about the nice violin, I wish I could claim that I made it. In fact, it's a Ming Jiang Zhu S909A, and I have to agree that it is nice. Me, I made a couple of violins in my youth, poorly I might add. My teacher was a nice guy, but looking back, he really didn't know what he was doing. Still, my experience with him opened up a world of craft that still enriches my life. Presently, I have a stock of seasoned wood, drawings, tools, and an intent to make more violins. Hanging out here at Maestronet has been enlightening and encouraging towards that goal. (Thank you, everyone.)

Tea would be nice, if you're ever out here!

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Thanks guys, I've  been meaning to modify mine for awhile, and that looks like a great "assembly line" production way of doing it.  One thing I'll add to the Herdim/Chinese difference, is that the Herdim (especially the old  ones) seem softer, closer to the feel of hard rubber, than plastic.  jeff

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How difficult would it be to make a set of Herdim style clamps using wood ? 
You could work out the radius needed, draw it all out on a wide board then 
pillar drill your holes, use a router for the channel and chop them out on the bandsaw, 
trim off the edge difference, add some nice brass knobs and washers to some quality threaded bar, 
Pin the bar and wooded faces, done. 

 

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How difficult would it be to make a set of Herdim style clamps using wood ? 

You could work out the radius needed, draw it all out on a wide board then 

pillar drill your holes, use a router for the channel and chop them out on the bandsaw, 

trim off the edge difference, add some nice brass knobs and washers to some quality threaded bar, 

Pin the bar and wooded faces, done.

This is exactly what we had at Francais. As I recall almost all of them were wrapped with bow rehair thread because they split very easily.

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How about making them from laminates with the curves achieved by adding 

pieces of bent wood ? 

That way there would be no fibres to break, only glue joints.

That's a cool idea. Another thing that occurred to me that might be useful would be to make a plastic "vise grip" style locking clamp whose jaws are essentially Herdim clamps, in the three available radiuses.

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This is funny Ben,,,

I've made these clamps in my head many times, :)

 

I've though about making the one piece type that covers the entire bout,

then routeing the ledge, adding cork,,,,then separating them.

But if they are not thick enough they can bind on the threaded shaft,

so solid shaft threaded on the ends?

 

I have a set I started making  out of dowels,, but I wasn't impressed enough to finish.

 

Putting nipples on the spools and adding knurled brass is quite impressive,,

they are now my favorites,,

you can buy the brass thumb screws on DE Bay,, 100 at a time cheap.

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That's a cool idea. Another thing that occurred to me that might be useful would be to make a plastic "vise grip" style locking clamp whose jaws are essentially Herdim clamps, in the three available radiuses.

I have always over thought everything and in the end I go back to the simplest and most straightforward,,,,,

anything that I have tried like this was a great learning ,,,,,,,waste of time.

 

Certainly don't want to discourage originality,,

I now use a powered sanding jig for my posts and I love It,

after many years of using a knife, and I am quite capable,,

I wouldn't be as successful with the power with out the basics first.

But you really have to be careful with this type of stuff.

 

It is always best to see how everyone else does it first before reinventing any wheels.

 

Clamping plates is a touchy feelie zen type of thing, you have to be aware of whats going down to do a good job.

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I've seen the both the Herdims, and the Chinese copies. For now I'll just stick with my spool clamps. I have, however, converted all of my homemade spool clamps to a new and improved version. I've made them out of cellular PVC trim board, 3/4 inch thick. I make the "spools" using a hole saw. The 1/4" pilot drill for the saw makes the hole for the carriage bolt. Most if mine are 1 1/8" diameter, but I did make a couple 1 1/2" diameter for things like the lower block area. I've lined the faces of the PVC with 1/16" rubber (with contact cement) to act as a cushion, and to prevent slippage. They work pretty well for me.

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Here's a neat clamp given to me by an old friend,,

post-48078-0-58470400-1451697117_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-56078200-1451697160_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-93768900-1451697179_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-40953800-1451697779_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-84180300-1451697798_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-40664200-1451697838_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-19391200-1451697818_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-48531800-1451697913_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-17169300-1451697940_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-89200100-1451697881_thumb.jpg

The shaft is alumunim, this is super light, I would put a nipple on the knob, or the top of the clamp for less friction.

It has a rather large diameter,,way too large in some situations. On a steep arch, it hits the arch. I would like to make a set of these.

 

This is my first,,,had never seen one, was just trying to fix up some junk,,really didn't think of making violins at that time.

The screw is soldered on the washer.

post-48078-0-26163700-1451697995_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-05928700-1451698012_thumb.jpg

 

When I caught the fever this is my next home made set,, I already had the plexi,,,

still had not seen a real set,,

post-48078-0-32603100-1451697962_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-03428800-1451697979_thumb.jpg

 

The next set was given to me by an old fiddler,,they are nice , my first real set.

I have since added nipples and brass.

post-48078-0-38213700-1451698028_thumb.jpgpost-48078-0-32682100-1451698047_thumb.jpg

 

I know someone that had springs under the nut to apply constant pressure, nah,,

 

I'll bet I'm not the only one that knows when  things are dry,,, because the clamps fall off.

 

 

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