To engage the holding power of a Cleco, place the Cleco in the grips of the pliers. Then apply pressure and the internal spring will collapse, which will push the holding pin from the body of the Cleco. Once the tension is off the pliers and the Cleco is inserted in the work piece, the pin will expand and hold the sheetmetal in place.

Check out this hood blister being held in place with Clecos. As you can see, Clecos are a tool that can be used in diverse situations, which is a major benefit to the user.

2-Axis Clamp
When it comes to welding two pieces of metal together at a 90 degree angle, there are numerous ways to hold the work material in place. Whether it is cinder blocks, weights or an extra set of hands, the possibilities are endless. Yet none of the options above are a secure, bulletproof hold that won't bend or twist and cause an 85-degree or 95-degree angle. When using a 2-axis clamp, you'll get a 90-degree angle every time. Hobart's 2-axis clamp is a jig clamp designed around a 90 degree fixture with a floating head, and a rotating spindle screw that adjusts to align and hold work pieces for a perfect 90 degree fit-up. Hobart's 2-axis clamp is ideal for welding square tube, round tube, angle and channel iron.

360 Degree Swivel Magnet
Like Hobart's On/Off Magnet, their 360 Degree Swivel Magnet is another small tool that will help out in a jam. Hobart's swivel magnet adjusts to almost any angle to hold metal objects in place while welding. Unlike a jig magnet that has fixed angles, the swivel magnet has countless angle possibilities. Both 3-inch magnets of the tool swivel 360 degrees, giving one the option for accurate placement. Although the 3-inch magnets may not sound like much in terms of holding power, these little suckers pull with 50 pounds of strength.

Locking Pliers
Just as plastic body fillers are usually referred to as Bondo, even though Bondo is a brand name of plastic filler, locking pliers usually fall under the general term of Vise Grips. However, like Bondo, Vise Grip is a brand name of locking pliers. Regardless of what wording one uses to refer to this dexterous tool as, the fact of the matter is no shop is complete without an assortment of locking pliers. When it comes to fabrication, having an assortment of C-clamp locking pliers is key.

Feeling the pressure from customers near and far, Hobart has released various lengths of C-clamp locking pliers. They feature a heavy-duty gnarled head, and nickel-chrome plated handles, which are rubberized in black and orange to increase comfort. To help out in a number of situations, they have offered the tools in four sizes: 4-inch, 6-inch, 11-inch, and a long-neck version. It's also a good idea to have an assortment of other locking pliers on hand. Here are a few other styles available, which can be picked up at just about any local parts, welding or hardware store.

Another sheetmetal fabrication tool to come from The Eastwood Company is Intergrips. Like Clecos, these little clamps are specialized tools driven towards sheetmetal fabrication. Intergrips are small clamps designed for precision butt welds on either flat or curved panels. What makes Intergrips unique is the fact the clamps secure two pieces of sheetmetal together, edge-to-edge and surface-to-surface, with no overlapping or holes to be filled. The best part is the intergrips clamp two pieces of sheetmetal together with a minimal .040-inch gap, leaving just enough room for adequate weld penetration, yet still leaving a small, clean weld for easy grinding. Once the metal is tacked in place, the clamps have served their purpose and should be pulled out.

The basic set of Eastwood Intergrips comes in a set of four. Note how the clamps grip the metal. By using a .040-inch separator with a cross bar and tensioning wing nut screw, the clamp provides adequate force to clamp sheetmetal together.

Eastwood Company
(800) 345-1178
(800) 332-3281