A thought on clamps

When I first started buying “real” woodworking clamps a few years ago (like my Bessey clamps),  I went with the theory that since I was spending so much money on clamps, I should buy the longest ones that I could.  After all, you can clamp a small object with a 40″ clamp, but you can’t clamp a 36″ piece with a small clamp.  Seemed to make sense.

So, I bought mostly long 40″ Bessey clamps for a couple of years. 

The thing is, those clamps are REALLY long (and heavy).   Clamping a small object with a big clamp in a workshop with a low ceiling tends to be quite an effort.   After I poke the ceiling, knock stuff of the bench and drop everything on the floor, the long clamp works very well…

I now find that my small number of 24″ and 30″ clamps are my favorites. 

Another lesson learned.  Good clamps are expensive, but if you are like me, you will end up wanting both long and short clamps.

As a wise man once said, “you can never have enough clamps.”   I will change that quote slightly.  You can never have enough GOOD clamps.

About mattsanf

Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania). Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics. Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.

Posted on April 14, 2008, in Tools and Shop. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Curious. I just came across your scanner=light table. Where did you find the bulb kit you used for it?
    Thank You =)

  2. It was from Home Depot. Nothing more than a cord with a normal light socket on it sold for use in a garage or shop as a hanging light. I then used a compact florescent bulb to keep the heat down.

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