Tools have been around almost as long as humans have. Some of the most reliable tools today aren’t that different from the tools used thousands of years ago. A perfect example of such a tool that does its job as well as it did from the time it was “invented” is the c-clamp. A c-clamp is used to help keep materials together, especially in woodworking and welding. A c-clamp is one of the most popular types of clamps since it is simple, yet versatile. Some would say c-clamps are as valuable as multitools or power tools since they do a variety of simple tasks very well. One big advantage that c type clamps have is that they also come in different variations made to suit specific needs. That being said, in order for a c clamp to do its job properly, you need to figure out what type of c clamp you need to get based on your application.
Types of C-Clamps
Different from what you’re used to seeing, a quick-release welding c clamp is one that comes with a special quick-release mechanism, as its name implies. This type of mechanism isn’t found on standard c clamps and it allows you to adjust the clamp easily and quickly.
The standard c clamp is what you’ll see used almost everywhere. It has the simplest design and functionality but it’s considered the most reliable as well.
A locking c-clamp is made for one-hand use since it comes with a classic trigger release that allows for maximum locking force. This type of c-clamp can be easy to lock but it is not as easy to adjust.
Also known as long-reach c clamps, deep reach c-clamps feature an extended throat design that lets you apply pressure further back towards the centre of a piece.
With a double-anvil c type clamp, you’re able to apply pressure on a workpiece evenly. This is thanks to the twin pressure points that help distribute pressure from the clamp. As a result, it reduces the chances of a workpiece getting damaged.
Referred to as spatter resistant c-clamps, copper-coated c-clamps are made with copper plated screws and pads. This helps make the tool spatter resistant which is possible thanks to the clamps being hot-forged. Hot-forging makes them hard and adds strength.
How to Use C Clamp
1. To use a welding c clamp you need to hold the pieces of metal you want close together. Put a piece of scrap wood between the mouth of the clamp and the metal piece. This is done to prevent any marking or damage to the workpiece.
2. Then, just open the mouth of a c-clamp using a screwdriver until the clamp can accommodate both the metal pieces and scrap wood. After that, start turning the screw on the clamp to close the mouth around both pieces and do so until you have them firmly held in place.
3. Make sure you’re careful when doing this in order to avoid pinching your skin or getting any fingers caught in the mouth of the clamp. Also, remember not to overtighten the clamp. Apply only moderate pressure when the fit seems proper, as the tool is not made to apply a lot of force.
Before you use a c-clap, make sure the swivel at the end of the screw is able to spin freely. Don’t use the tool if it has a bent spindle or frame. Also, avoid using a c-clamp together with pliers, wrenches, hammers, or pipes in order to tighten it. If you need a c-clamp with a larger throat, don’t go with a large c-clamp instead go with one that has a longer throat design.
How Are C Clamps Measured?
To measure the size of a c type clamp you need to determine its jaw capacity. This how large of an object a c-clamp can hold with the screw on the end of it when fully extended. The depth of the throat is important as well, which is measured starting from the centre line of the screw to the inside edge of the clamp’s frame.
Clamps are the perfect example that we still rely on simplistic hand tools without losing on anything, including safety. C-clamps are the ultimate clamping tools since a lot of tradies still rely on them to keep things in place. This is even despite there being powered versions of a c-clamp. This is a testament to how reliable and functional a c-clamp is. So before you think you can replace it as easily as your other hand tools, think twice, as a c-clamp can last you a lot longer than you think without running into issues or having to get a new one because of a faulty motor inside. All you’ll ever need to keep a c-clamp in good condition is some water dispersant such as WD-40.