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Spring Clamps

Spring clamps are at the opposite end of the squeeze spectrum from c-clamps, but they are very convenient for light holding (such as holding the work pieces in place until you can put a more serious clamp to work). The fact that they take only one hand to put in place can be very important, and they have so many uses that they truly are the workshop counterpart to the office paper clip. They are made in either metal or nylon plastic, and either tends to work just fine. A mid range size is the most functional, but for any given size different manufactures use springs with different strengths, so be sure to pick clamps that have plenty of holding power but are not too hard for you to squeeze open with just one hand.

Clamps with any major amount squeezing force are likely to mar the project surfaces when they are tightened. The most significant factor is the size of the clamp pads, with larger pads spreading the crushing force over a wider surface area. Almost invariably

you will need to use scraps of wood between the work piece and the clamp to distribute the clamping force, so donít overestimate the significant of whether the clamp you are buying comes with rubber or nylon pad covers.
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