For those of you with younger brothers, you know what it was like having an extra set of hands around as a kid. When the two that were issued to you weren't enough, all that was needed was a quick scream to the other room in order to morph into a four-armed working machine. Now that we're older, we often find ourselves out working in the garage alone, with just two hands by our side. As many of you know, many jobs require the use of at least a third hand. For that reason, we surround ourselves with various clamps that help us out in a bind. Here's a closer look at a few clamps that will offer their services when you need an extra hand.
When it comes to clamps, there may not be any other clamp more recognizable than a C-clamp; they're everywhere, and for good reason too. C-clamps are simple, efficient, and easy to use. Best of all, they can be used to hold up darn near anything-just like duct tape. On the downside, C-clamps can be quite a pain to use, seeing as how at times it feels as if you're winding up a rubber band airplane. To avoid the wind up of a C-clamp, Hobart Welding Products has begun manufacturing their drop-forged, heat-treated, nickel/chrome plated F-clamps (sliding-arm clamps), driven towards metal work. Hobart has taken all of the benefits of a conventional C-clamp, and expanded on them to form their F-clamp. Like a C-clamp, the F-clamp holds work material in a similar fashion between a fixed end and a tensioning screw. However, a big advantage of the F-clamp is the tensioning screw is on a sliding arm, which eliminates all the screw turning involved with C-clamps. Another advantage is the throat depth between an F-clamp and C-clamp is similar, however the height of the clamp on an F-clamp is adjustable, a big plus over a C-clamp. In simple terms, one F-clamp can do the job that three different sized C-clamps can.
To secure work material with an F-clamp, all it takes is to slide the arm up to the work material, and then begin tightening the screw. The pressure between the work material and the F-clamp will lock the sliding arm in place, securing the work with an iron grip. And iron grip is exactly the phrase, because Hobart's 8-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch clamps provide between 500 lbs to 1,250 lbs of clamping force, depending on which level of capacity clamp one orders. Being that Hobart is a welding company, they have catered to the everyday metal worker by copper-coating the screw, which will protect against weld spatter-a perfect fit for any fabricator.