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Ideal body closing clamps


wm_crash

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Hi,

I'm looking to stir the pot  . . . . I mean I'd like to get some input on what people consider ideal body closing clamps. Plain spool, spool type with cutouts, plastic ones from Herdim, plastic Herdim clones from the land of cheap, etc.? If it makes a difference, I'm looking to build a set for double bass. No idea if I will ever use them, but somehow this item found its way on my list of things to make.

thanks in advance,
Cosmin

 

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Do you intend to do just making with them or repair/restoration work?  
 

If it’s just making, the very nice ones which Davide made are pretty close to ideal.  If you’ll do repair work on anything old and of value, I would highly encourage making ones that have the same style clamping elements as the Herdim clamps.  It’s pretty important to apply pressure inside the high point of the edge so as to not stress the area weakened by the addition of purfling.

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The "ideal" ones are the Herdims, but they are very pricy! I'm not even sure that you can buy "Herdim clones" for bass.

I made a set using 3/4" thick white vinyl trim board. I used a hole saw to cut out the "spools". I used a 1 1/4" hole saw for my violin set. I glued rubber on the clamping surface to provide a little extra grip, and glue won't stick to it. The screw is a carriage bolt and wing nut. I put a piece of tubing over the thread for protection. You may have trouble finding carriage bolts long enough for bass clamps, but you could cut all-thread rod to correct size pieces.

 

violin clamp.jpg

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I use the Herdim ones and the clones, but make sure that the clones are constructed so that they only press on the purfling, skipping over the edge by a groove in the surface of the clamp face. Many of the Chinese ones don't have this groove and are no better than spool clamps. This type of clamp won't crush the crest of the edge as the spool type sometimes will (perhaps more important in restoration than making...)

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10 hours ago, wm_crash said:

what people consider ideal body closing clamps.

 

Body closing clamps” makes me think of last year when I had an intestinal obstruction. I couldn’t eat drink or crap, only vomit. I went down to the local clinic, where they stuffed a plastic tube down my nose (I was astonished that that fitted) and rushed me to hospital, where they slit me open and cut some intestines out. I was surprised that they don’t have any “Body Closing Cramps”, but just stapled me back together. A week later I went to my doctor to have the staples taken out, but he couldn’t find his pliers, so I had to go to a different one who could find hers

Re (violin) closing cramps. I have used the Herdim one for some 30 years, but the plastic is now starting to crumble, so I’m glad I didn’t chuck my old spindle cramps away

narbe.jpg

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Many moons ago I made a few sets of spool type clamps for cellos that could also be used for bass if the long plastic nuts were reversed.  I used aluminum for the screws, which along with the plastic (Delrin) nuts, significantly reduced the weight of the set.

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33 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

 

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, it might appear that you have "cramp" and "clamp" bassackwards. ;)
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/cramp

In the various places I have worked, some people speak of closing cramps, others of closing clamps. It never bothered me at all, I thought it more a question of dialect, rather like the Germans speak of Schrauben and the Austrians of Schraufen

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IMG_0988.thumb.jpeg.055e8c017dfdc591a554c0cd679d8ea2.jpegthis is one of mine, nothing special, with a cutout to step over the edge (of the spruce). I imagine you’ll have to get a bigger dowel and longer carriage bolt for a bass. The dowels are 1-1/8” dia. and leather padding glued on, on these. 

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2 hours ago, Shunyata said:

Home made work for me.

Poplar 1” dowel

plumbers cork

4” machine screws with wing nuts and washers.

plastic tubing to cover the threads

image.jpg

I made the exact same thing but haven't used them yet... I didn't think of the plastic though, I may have to steal that tip...it's a good idea!

The cutouts for the spruce make a lot of sense too... so many things I didn't consider.

clamps.jpg

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A kludge I’ve used when I have too many things to glue and my Herdim clamps are all busy, is to bend pieces of about 3mm diameter wire to follow the line of the purfling and use my spool clamps in order to keep clamping pressure off the high point of the edge.

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1 hour ago, Mark Norfleet said:

A kludge I’ve used when I have too many things to glue and my Herdim clamps are all busy, is to bend pieces of about 3mm diameter wire to follow the line of the purfling and use my spool clamps in order to keep clamping pressure off the high point of the edge.

That's a nice simple idea! You can get fishtank airhose in sizes the will slip over soft fencing wire which would make it even better. I use that for safe prodding and probing as necessary.

I have a large assortment of spool clamps in all sizes from guitar down to fiddle made from utilitarian combinations of cork faced ply, dowel, carriage bolts, threaded rod, leather washers etc. I prefer to use wing nuts because they are delicate of adjustment and you can spin them up and down the thread quickly for differently sized instruments. That takes forever with nuts, knurled or otherwise.

 I really admire those clamps that Davide Sora pictured with the short cylinder extension below the clamp face which would space the metal part away from the edges being clamped. 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, LCF said:

That's a nice simple idea! You can get fishtank airhose in sizes the will slip over soft fencing wire which would make it even better. I use that for safe prodding and probing as necessary.

I have a large assortment of spool clamps in all sizes from guitar down to fiddle made from utilitarian combinations of cork faced ply, dowel, carriage bolts, threaded rod, leather washers etc. I prefer to use wing nuts because they are delicate of adjustment and you can spin them up and down the thread quickly for differently sized instruments. That takes forever with nuts, knurled or otherwise.

 I really admire those clamps that Davide Sora pictured with the short cylinder extension below the clamp face which would space the metal part away from the edges being clamped. 

 

 

 

The wire I’ve used is sold in the US as “building wire” and comes with the little plastic hose pre-installed.:)

Wing nuts are indeed nice for speed, but on the cello clamps I made I was going for versatility and lightness.  Much, if not all, of the threads are covered, reducing the chance of the threads denting edges if I fumble one “in the heat of battle” as Bill Monical was fond of saying.

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This is how I made mine with cutouts in the cork to put the pressure over the rib. I don't know if they are ideal, but they work for me. They were made from an old beech shelf so the cutouts for the cork - and in the cork - was made on the table saw on a larger piece which was subsequently cut into the individual pieces. I found the round knurled nuts faster to tighten than wing nuts.

20240525_204920.jpg

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Its only irritating, if you work somewhere, where some pillock insists that everyone says “closing clamp” and not “closing cramp” ( or vice versa)

Doesn't matter if it's irritating. Some things just need to be done! Because that's how it is. So there. And that's that. Period. End of story! B)

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Its only irritating, if you work somewhere, where some pillock insists that everyone says “closing clamp” and not “closing cramp” ( or vice versa)

It's like trying to agree or disagree about the proper spelling of colour.

I remember reading old woodworking books, English ones mostly and at least one violin making book where the term used throughout was cramp. I thought it was the quaint older way of describing them. That dictionary probably didn't consolidate enough sources. What does the OED say? . 

There is a row of zipper marks like yours in the lower back over my tailbone. It would be impolite to publish a selfie.

I get clamps in my legs sometimes :ph34r:

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