KILLER DEAL on Woodcraft's WoodRiver 4-Piece Parallel Bar Clamp Set
That was a very odd request, seeing that we didn't deliver, set-up, or align tools for anyone! It turned-out that this was heading to the home of WGBH's Russell Moreash to be used on the set of a new show called The New Yankee Workshop.
I've written about what happened next elsewhere on this blog, but what I've never written about was the one tool in Norm's shop that left me completely amazed. Norm had a stack of the then-new Bessey K-Body parallel bar clamps! These things were AMAZING! I asked if it was OK to play with them a bit, and Russ said "Sure, Mark". My name is Scott BTW, but this time it didn't bother me because there were new tools to be discovered.
There were a couple lose but jointed boards laying on the bench near the clamps and for the next few minutes I stumbled and fumbled with the clamps until I realized that they wood was able to rest on the bars and would be clamped with even, square pressure no matter where they were against the tall jaws. Cool! Under pressure the thick steel I-Beam bars showed very little sign of bowing, and to my pleasure I learned from Russ that they could be used to clamp wood on any side of the jaws. That means they can be laid flat on a board with the jaws running along the edge of the board and clamp with the full 6" or so of their jaw's face. Double Cool!
Over the yeas since this encounter with the Bessey K-Body I've amassed an impressive collection of a couple of these clamps. I mean, come-on, have you priced them? And the new version doesn't impress me at all. The removable/replaceable jaw covers are always slipping! No, for me I'll take the original style parallel bar clamp.
Fortunately several other companies have introduced their own versions of the originalK-Body design, and some of them are very nice. I've used the Jorgensen and liked them very much. The Jet is also very nice, and except for the fact that they aren't sold at many places they may be worth taking a look at. The Irwin was being used at our local SkillsUS contest where I was a judge, and they had a bit of a bending problem that showed itself by allowing the jaws do deflect way out of parallel.
I just noticed that WoodCraft is having a sale on their parallel clamps that's a really good deal. The regular price for this set is $169, but they have them on sale for $99.99! When I saw the flier I though to myself "Yeah, I'll be the set has four 20" clamps, or some such rarely-used size", but boy was I wrong. The kit has four clamps, Two (2) of the 24" and two (2) of the 40"s. This is exactly the sizes I use when assembling kitchen cabinets! The other thing that the set includes is a set of corner blocks that I'd bet a bunch of folks will never use. Big mistake! These four blocks allow you to create a four-sided clamping jig for assembling boxes and cabinets. I use my Bessey corner blocks almost every time I reach for the clamps, andI hate to think what I paid for my set. OK, I'll think about it; I paid at least $25 for my set!
This Four-piece Clamp Set is only $99 throughout Aug 27th, as are some of the individual WoodRiver parallel bar clamps, so this looks like a great time to stock-up for our soon to come Fall projects.
Click this link to be magically transported to the Woodcraft web page for the Woodcraft WoodRiver 4-Piece Parallel Bar Clamp Set
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