Not gonna lie, I love clamps. I can still remember the first time I used a quick release squeeze clamp at my grandparents. They are just so cool. That and every time you take an unruly project and clamp it into position you get a preview of your end project. Removing the clamps after the glue drys is like turning over a rebuilt engine. You weren’t completely certain that it was gonna work at all. I break clamps down into four categories but I am sure you could argue there are tons more.
My most used types of clamps are:
- Quick-release Squeeze Clamps
- Pipe Clamps
- Wooden Hand Screw Clamps
Quick-release Squeeze Clamps
For me, these are my most used clamp. Being able to tighten with one hand while I hold something in place is an awesome feature. The way that these are set up, you can tighten and release the clamp all with one hand. Honestly, most of you have probably seen the Irwin Quick-Grip clamps pictured above. They are the gold standard and can be found anywhere. Here is a link to them. That is a good variety pack that will get you two each of three different sizes.
I like the variety pack so that you won’t be limited to using something way too big/small for a given clamping job.
Pipe clamps are one of the most versatile of its breed. The idea behind them is that they screw onto any threaded pipe of the correct diameter. That way you can get two or three clamps and half a dozen different sized pipes and cover a huge variety of clamping jobs. These Pony pipe clamps are the same version my dad bought 30 years ago. They still work great.
Wooden Hand Screw Clamps
Wooden Hand screw clamps are designed so that you can pinch work completely flat. Other styles of clamps will deflect and can squeeze work out of position. This is especially true when gluing flat surfaces together. The glue acts like a lubricant and material will slip all over the place. Like the quick-grip version, I suggest the Bessey version found here. They are the classic version. For a reason. They are great quality. I also own the Irwin version. Between the two, I have a full set of sizes in my shop.
My last clamp is the classic C(or G) clamp. These can come in all different sizes but I mostly use them for small jobs. I have a wall full of them and will break out three or four to hold all sides of a glue job. I would suggest just starting with a few smaller clamps and then adding on as needed. These are the same version I have at home, but to be fair I think most would do the job admirably.