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Clamps, What is best type

5 replies
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  • Member since
    December, 2011
Clamps, What is best type
Posted by daffy022 on Sunday, December 02, 2012 9:16 PM

I am trying to determine what type of clamps I should purchase.  I saw some C-clamps from Testors that looked to be good for plastic modeling.  But I also read that C-clamps are not great for plastic models.  The article I read indicated that plastic clamps like those shown here:

are best for plastic modeling. 

I mostly build airplanes so I would like to use them for the fuselage and wings. 

Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided.

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Monday, December 03, 2012 7:43 AM

I find clothes pins work pretty well. Those in the link  look good for fuselages.



  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, December 03, 2012 8:52 AM

In addition to cloths pins (I saw off the opening mouth to make a sharper point) and the little plastic spring clamps, I am using a new style clamp that is becoming popular and has a VERY fine adjustment.  These clamps have a steel bar (the clamps are bar-clamp type) and have a plastic end and a plastic mechanism.  There are two levers on the moveable part- a quick release and a trigger that closes the clamp a very small distance for each pull.  This allows careful pressure adjustment, and they work fine on plastic models. I have bought several 6 inch Irwin brand when my local hardware store has them on sale.  I have also bought some four inch versions from Harbor Freight at a very low price (I  think a buck a piece) and they work as nicely as the Irwin ones.

BTW, Model Expo has tiny "modelers" clothespins, about an inch long (I still have to saw off and reshape the ends).

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, December 03, 2012 12:48 PM

Actually, a modeler needs many different kinds of clamps for different purposes.  For example, I bought some alligator clips at Radio Shack, glued a 1/8" wooden dowel into the open end (where the wire would normally go) and I use these for holding fiddly bits while airbrushing them and drying them.  Just stick the wooden dowel into a block of styrofoam and spray them as they stand there!

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Monday, December 03, 2012 4:28 PM

FWIW, I use C-Clamps of various sizes that I get from home improvement stores.  They're big enough to work on 1/32 aircraft where smaller clamps don't reach.

  • Member since
    February, 2007
Posted by mitsdude on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 12:54 AM

I agree with Chuck. You need more than just one type of clamp.

I use:

Close pins

Adjustable bar clips (shaped kinda like a handgun)


Spring clamps from Harbor Freight, 2 sizes

Alligator clips

Binder clips- 5 different sizes. These are for heavy duty clamping. I used then to glue the hull halves of the C-57

Spreader clamps? not sure what these are called. Made by Irwin. They are kinda C shaped but are not C clamps

Potato chip bag clamps


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