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Model Clamps

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  • Member since
    June, 2016
Model Clamps
Posted by David from PA on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 3:58 PM

Hi All,

I need to buy some clamps to hold my models while gluing them (my paper clamps and clothes pins won't work for what I need to glue). Looked on the website from which I usually order my models and I found several but I'm not sure which clamps would serve the purpose. can you folks suggest some options? I don't want to damage the plastic, of course.

David From PA

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
Posted by Marcus McBean on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 4:33 PM

I build ships and tanks and I found that I need clamps from the smallest size (1/4") opening to 3-4" openings along with the size of the clamp. 

Go online to Micro-Mark, they have every type of clamp a modeler would need. 

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • From: Arizona
Posted by pilotjohn on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 6:07 PM
  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Wyoming Michigan
Posted by ejhammer on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 7:34 PM

I do plastic and wood ships in various scales. These are clamps I use, sometimes in many combinations. The bar clamps are from Home Depot, clothes pins from the dime store, teeny alligator clips with smooth jaws from an electronics supplier, the long skinny clamps from Harbor freight, the small skinny ones and the flat small ones from Micro Mark. I've got some really nice ones made of brass bar stock, but rarely use them (not in the picture). Sometimes, just a rubber band, masking tape or a bread bag twisty or piece of wire will do the trick. Model ships require some inventiveness to clamp those weird spots and angles.

The clamps

 

Used in making a wood mast and boom 

 

 

 

Completed - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa Dec 1942, USS Yorktown 1/700 Trumpeter 1943. In The Yards - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa 1945, USS ESSEX 1/700 Dragon 1944, USS ESSEX 1/700 Trumpeter 1945, USS ESSEX 1/540 Revell (vintage) 1962, USS ESSEX 1/350 Trumpeter 1942, USS ESSEX LHD-2 as commissioned, converted from USS Wasp kit Gallery Models. Plus 35 other plastic and wood ship kits.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, May 04, 2017 9:39 AM

I love those Irwin bar clamps with the "micro" adjustment. They are so smooth that you can get exactly the clamping pressure you want.  I use the six inch versions, just right for most models.

Also found some that work the same way at Harbor Freight that were cheaper, but not quite as smooth to operate.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Wyoming Michigan
Posted by ejhammer on Thursday, May 04, 2017 9:59 AM
Me too. bought the harbor freight ones after I had used a couple Irwins, but was not pleased with them. They now lay on the bench in the workshop, probably waiting for disposal.

Completed - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa Dec 1942, USS Yorktown 1/700 Trumpeter 1943. In The Yards - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa 1945, USS ESSEX 1/700 Dragon 1944, USS ESSEX 1/700 Trumpeter 1945, USS ESSEX 1/540 Revell (vintage) 1962, USS ESSEX 1/350 Trumpeter 1942, USS ESSEX LHD-2 as commissioned, converted from USS Wasp kit Gallery Models. Plus 35 other plastic and wood ship kits.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, May 12, 2017 7:33 AM

Hi ;

   I use the smaller version of the clamps next to the rubber bands too . Besides we can't have enough Erwins now can we ?

 There is also a softer alligator clamp with teeth you can smooth down some .( I don't )  I take the end that accomodates the wire and bend it outward . Why ? this way the clamp opens it's jaws further .

    I have been known to use my Micro - Mark table saw to cut clothes pins in half lengthwise to make very narrow clamps too . This way when I reverse the clothes pin sides , I get smooth straight jaws as well .

   Note ; when reversing the clothes pins you do diminish the opening a lot .This does work well for clamping sheet goods and such though . I thought I was the only one who had Brass bar clamps .

 Last time I saw those I was in high school .Oh , and I do have six . T.B. P.S. The small thin clamps used for heat sinks in soldering , come in handy for a light duty thin clamp for small parts too.

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Wyoming Michigan
Posted by ejhammer on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:19 AM

Clothespins have the spring sticking out past the sides, so to make them into parts holders for glueing or painting, I glue bits of basswood scrap to the sides. They then sit nice and flat with no wobble.

 

Completed - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa Dec 1942, USS Yorktown 1/700 Trumpeter 1943. In The Yards - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa 1945, USS ESSEX 1/700 Dragon 1944, USS ESSEX 1/700 Trumpeter 1945, USS ESSEX 1/540 Revell (vintage) 1962, USS ESSEX 1/350 Trumpeter 1942, USS ESSEX LHD-2 as commissioned, converted from USS Wasp kit Gallery Models. Plus 35 other plastic and wood ship kits.

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