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Old Jan 14, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Best type of building clamps and where to get?

Hello, I am going to start my second balsa kit build but i want this one to be perfect. Last build I didn't really use clamps except a few of those black metal office paper clamps only when i really needed them (however they tended to get glued to the wood and splintered it when removed). I have seen pictures of people using many types of clamps on their builds. What are the best kind to use and where can I find them? I will also be using pins to hold everything in place..

Sorry if this has already been asked I did a search and found nothing. Thank you for any input!

P.S. I am going to build a Clancy Lazy Bee 40" and I am sure I will have a multitude of questions to ask during the build so bear with me. I found the thread all about bees and that has been a great help already.

-Greg
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Clamps and clamping

Greg,
I suspect your question has no simple answer - I have been modelling for over 50 years and am still acquiring new types of clamps that look as if they might help in particular applications. Some examples:
clothes pegs (some plastic, some wooden, some reassembled in reverse to give more gentle clamping); sticks of balsa with rubber bands to provide the clamping force; cheap trigger clamps from the two-dollar shops; conventional 'G' clamps; two mini vices from hobby suppliers; a set of old Kraft plastic clamps powered by rubber bands; the paper clamps you describe; masking tape and ordinary sticky tape; ziplock bags full of fine lead shot; VCR cassettes to set things up square; lengths of bungee strap; telephone books and modelling magazines (to apply curved sheeting); three sizes of 'T' pins (Dubro, I think) stuck in a foam block; fingers; tiny tacks of superglue to hold things in place while real glue dries; etc ad infinitum!
And I have no doubt forgotten some real rippers that other respondents are about to point out.
And don't get me started on glues!
Cheers, and enjoy your building,
Pete
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Haha sounds like you are a real MacGyver. So basically just use whatever looks like it will work best for the specific joint/connection? I am at college so I don't exactly have a workshop full of random tools like my dad has. I guess I was asking for any specific type that works well for most joints or connections that I could order or buy at a craft store (and is reasonably cheap). But All of those suggestions are good I will try some of them out for sure thank you.

-Greg
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Haha sounds like you are a real MacGyver. So basically just use whatever looks like it will work best for the specific joint/connection? I am at college so I don't exactly have a workshop full of random tools like my dad has. I guess I was asking for any specific type that works well for most joints or connections that I could order or buy at a craft store (and is reasonably cheap). But All of those suggestions are good I will try some of them out for sure thank you.

-Greg
Petem gave you the straight dope, for sure. Improvising is the key.
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Petem gave you the straight dope, for sure. Improvising is the key.
Yes sir for sure IMPROVISE!!!
I have a friend who is an expert builder-flier!
I have seen him use ketchup bottles, cans of soup, unopened mayonnaise jars, books etc for weights
Long lengths of contest rubber to wrap balsa around curved surfaces

I am serious!
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Yes sir for sure IMPROVISE!!!
I have a friend who is an expert builder-flier!
I have seen him use ketchup bottles, cans of soup, unopened mayonnaise jars, books etc for weights
Long lengths of contest rubber to wrap balsa around curved surfaces

I am serious!
I know you're serious!

I use ace bandages to wrap wetted balsa around PVC plumbing pipes while they dry.
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 07:02 PM
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Greg,

clothes pegs (some plastic, some wooden, some reassembled in reverse to give more gentle clamping);
Pete
Clothes pins.
This is what they look like reassembled in reverse. Very useful and very cheap. Put a layer of tape on the clamping portion of the jaws and they never stick to the work.
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Clothes pins.
This is what they look like reassembled in reverse. Very useful and very cheap. Put a layer of tape on the clamping portion of the jaws and they never stick to the work.
I have to admit, the first time I ever heard of this trick, it was not accompanied by a picture, like yours. I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to 'reverse' a clothespin until I finally hit upon the correct method.

Your pics will go a LONG way toward helping newcomers!
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 07:20 PM
If it flies - I want one!
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And another thing ...

Bugga! Forgot the elastic bandage.
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 07:46 PM
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Haha ok well I have been known to be pretty crafty so I'll put some of those tips to use for sure. I'm sure I have enough random objects lying around to take care of the job. Thanks everyone.

-Greg
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 07:52 AM
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Here are some mods I made to cloths pins to make them more useful.jdf
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Here are some mods I made to cloths pins to make them more useful.jdf
Now those are some neat ideas!
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Just for kicks, I searched for clothe pins on Amazon.com. $4.36 for 72. That's about 6 cents each. You won't find any type of clamp that cheap.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:48 AM
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I go to my local dollar store and they have 6 in bar clamps and every time I go I buy a few and I get some spring clamps as well the bar clamps are the auto squeeze type
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 12:05 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Okay, this isn't technically a clamp - but it's the one jigging tool I use on about every model I build.

http://www.slecuk.com/catalogue/Building-Aids.html

Scroll down that page to look for:

Building Jig Ref: SL054-S

I've had mine for over 20 years - that's what I call a good value for money tool. It's caused a goodly amount of interest every time it shows up in US magazines, to where I contacted SLEC to see if they'd ship to the US. The answer was a firm yes, but shipping charges are an unknown, as they don't normally do it.

The photo shows the plastic jig pieces pinned down onto a balsa building board, but the tool comes with a printed sticky backed grid pattern that you stick onto the likes of a plastic covered shelf. You stick the pattern down, drill through the marked holes, put 'T' nuts into the back of the board and thus be able to bolt the 'L' jig pieces down into place.

D
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