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  • Clamps and Fixtures

    This might be a bit off topic but I,m looking for some advice on quality angle clamps or fixtures used when tacking a project together. It might be overkill but I like test fit or check for square and level before I commit to a final design (usually working out of my head). Iv'e looked at the name brands...Bessey, Wilton, and what I can find on e-bay but I wanted to see what others are doing so I don't miss the boat on something I overlooked! Right now I'm finishing a step for my aluminum car trailer, building a rack to hold three inverter sized machines and a feeder, and a framework for trailer cabinets all out of AL so fit is pretty important. Any info on clamp brand or type and good places to buy from would be great! As always...Thanks, JEFF
    200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot

  • #2
    Jeff:
    I found these when I wanted a true 90 degree angle, hope this will help http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...2495&langId=-1

    They are a bit expensive but are good hardware.

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    • #3
      This is the beauty about being a welder, you make your own. I almost always use Vise Grip finger clamps and make good 90*,s from metal. A flat welding table lets you jig up also. You just tack pieces of angle to it and knock them off when done and grind table smooth for next time. I use the corner of the table to get a 90* also. Because of heat and distortion you must double check your assemblies anyway.

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      • #4
        You did say "Quality", so I am going to reccomend Bessey. They have a great product, and stand behind it. I have a lot of customers that have tried "Brand X" clamps of various styles, and have gone back to Bessey. They are a little pricey for the hobbyist, but are a good investment for the full-timer who will use them way more than enough to justify their cost.

        Bessey Clamps

        They have an outstanding variety of clamps for just about all your needs.

        An item that we sell an awful lot of, and that is really easy on the pocket book, besides being extremely handy is the magnetic squares. Here is a link to the James Morton brand, but there are lots on the market.....

        Magnetic Squares

        It shouldn't be hard to find a distributor who handles the Bessey/James Morton line of products, but don't expect big discounts from list price, they are a little stingy on the discounts that they give us distributors.

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        • #5
          A caution about magnets

          I bought a couple of the magentic clamps from Harbor Freight, and they were out of square. Also, if the workpiece is slightly off, the magnet will hold it missaligned, although it might be closer to square.

          I always double check after clamping or putting the magnets on. I'm also not a professional, so I have more time and less experience.

          Karl
          At a certain point in every project, it comes time to shoot the engineers and build the d*** thing.

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          • #6
            I had a couple of angles milled out of 3/4" plate with about 6" legs. Milled because it guaranteed 90 deg. Ground the outside corner off so it can be used on inside angles with a radius. I then clamp this to whatever I'm welding using anything at hand. C-clamps, vise grips, or pipe clamps. This acts like a form for tacking. As mentioned before, you have to take it off and check before final welding. Just another idea.
            Moki

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            • #7
              magnets ??

              i think some of us got off track here magnets wont help him on alum.
              i however love them and apreciate any new sorces to aquire them from.
              thanks for the help
              ......or..........
              hope i helped
              sigpic
              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
              JAMES

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              • #8
                Thanks for the good ideas. Paul, I have a clamp like the one shown and I think I'm going to buy a few more on Friday; I really would like the Bessey angle clamps but the tool budget is in the red after the last month or so. I have some "C" and "F" Besseys and they are great. The table would be my first choice but I don't have a large enough space to dedicate to the cause. I do use the mag set-ups and they work very well. Now I'm off to seek more help on a new battle I started a couple of hours ago! Thanks for taking the time to read and write back, JEFF
                200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jeffscarstrucks
                  this may sound dumb but if you are working in aluminum my suggestion would be to look at good quality carpenter/woodworker and cabinetmaker tools... use them all of the time.. higher precision than most "welding" stuff and reasonably priced...
                  just food for thought
                  Heiti
                  .

                  *******************************************
                  The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                  “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                  Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                  My Blue Stuff:
                  Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                  Dynasty 200DX
                  Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                  Millermatic 200

                  TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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                  • #10
                    The woodworking tools are a good idea; I should not have discounted them during my countless trips through the giant hardware marts. They should hold up through most fit-up and tack use as long as some of the plastic ones aren't too close. I went to Harbour Freight today and picked up 2 of the clamps that Paul suggested and 3 that matched the one craftsman I had. I hate to be a nickle shooter on some of this but you have to make the tool budget go as far as it can. I really appreciate the the advice I get here, but more importantly I find the quality of knowledge shared here priceless. My wife says "Checking your welding stuff" everytime I sit at the computer. Of course I say "yep" (I'd never check it at work ). Thanks again, JEFF
                    200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      carpentry tools

                      i was a carpenter for the last 20 yr's and now that ive retired and started playing with welding for fun and art maby make a few $ on the side . i am almost exclusevly using woodworking clamps.several are plastic ended and as long as you just put a good tack ive run a 1/4 inch bead with clamp only 1 inch away on 1/8 inch steel. just dont leave clamp on too long after you're done.pad gets a little soft but will cool off and be ok if you get it off b4 it cools and sticks to the metal.you have time. they have served me well, sometimes i think the softer gripper is easyer to work with than the hard steel clamps made for welding.
                      hopes this helps
                      James
                      thanks for the help
                      ......or..........
                      hope i helped
                      sigpic
                      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                      JAMES

                      Comment

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