SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Clamps

1566 views
15 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2010
  • From: Paris, Texas
Clamps
Posted by Michael B on Monday, April 6, 2020 1:19 PM

I am looking for a source for clamps to "lightly" hold parts together, i.e. aircraft wing halves, fuslages, etc., without too much pressure and distorting the parts or causing them to splay out from too much pressure.  I have tried several without much success other than my fingers.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Regards,  Michael B.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, April 6, 2020 1:33 PM

I use a "micro-adjustable" bar clamp, six inch size.  They  have a metal bar, but most of it is plastic.  It has two triggers- one releases the clamp to position it roughly by hand.  The most popular brand appears to be Irwin, and can be found at most hardware stores.  But Harbor Freight has them at a cheaper price, but not as good a quality as the Irwin ones.  I have about four of the Irwin ones and three of the Harbor Freight ones. They provide exellent control of clamping pressure.  Each actuation of the clamping pressure only moves the jaw a small fraction of an inch.

I will try to take a picture today and post it tomorrow.

I use other clamps too- two sizes of closepins, rubber bands, those plastic spring clamps, and even masking tape.  There was a thread either in this forum or the techniques one below,a week or so ago, about masking tape, as the glue can wick out under the tape and mar the finish of the plastic

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, April 6, 2020 1:41 PM

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 8:49 AM

GMorrison

Thanks, Bill you beat me to it.  Yes, those are the ones- my go to clamps, though I use several other types if the bar clamps don't work.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 9:07 AM

I have quite a collection of those mini-clamps myself. I agree they are very handy to have around, and I use mine oftern. But personally I find there use in modeling to be extremely limited.

If one is gluing something basically flat to something else basically flat, and both lying on the same plane, they are great. But in my experience, in our hobby, that doesn't happen very often.

I'm always buying clamps of some sort, thinking maybe this is the magic clamp. It's gotta be, right? I recently acquired the cutest little yellow clamps, they even have swiviling clamping surfaces. They are small, perfect for our miniature world hobby. They just had to be the ones!

They are not. Sigh.

So I go back to holding parts together with my fingers, which is my primary clamp.

There must be a better way, but I've yet to find it.

-Greg

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 12:15 PM

Some guys use these spring clamps:

https://www.harborfreight.com/spring-clamp-set-22-pc-69374.html

I got myself a set and tried them.  I don't find them as useful as the clothespins I also use.

I find that the mating surfaces of the jaws are too smooth and the clamp may slip off in some scenarios.  When I use them to clamp an airplane wing together, for example, they would shoot off the trailing edge.  However, you can cover those bits with masking tape, or even glue pieces of emery paper to them.  Beyond that, these clamps are OK.

(I've gotten away from using clamps to hold wing parts together, by the way.  Too often, uneven pressure caused gaps on the leading or trailing edge.  Now I just use rubber bands).

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • From: Paris, Texas
Posted by Michael B on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:37 AM

I thank y'all for your suggestions.  The bar clamps look interesting and I'll have to give them a try, but perhaps my fingers might cause less slippage and apply the right amount of pressure before they start to cramp.  Thanks again.  Michael B. 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 12:30 PM

I also find most clamps to be useless for modelling; the spring clamps in particular want to pop off anything that isn't flat. Clothespins are cheap and you can modify the jaws easily according to your situation. 

My general procedure is to lay out some short pieces of tape ahead of time, apply Tamiya Thin and hold with finger pressure until flashed dry, tape the join and move on down the line. Works for me on most applications.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 2:08 PM

mrmike

I also find most clamps to be useless for modelling; the spring clamps in particular want to pop off anything that isn't flat. Clothespins are cheap and you can modify the jaws easily according to your situation. 

....

 

I use clothespins a lot.  I have three sizes, the normal ones for pinning clotheslines, and a mini- and a micro set that I suspect are primarily for hobbyists.  The mini size are about an inch long, the micro size a half inch long.  I bought the micro set from Model Expo.  I have seen the one inch ones in many places including some hardware stores and a dollar store.

I do cut the full size ones, either straight across to eliminate the fishmouth, or even the opposite direction  to make them more pointed.  I also do the same with the minis, but just leave the micros as they are.  They are a very soft pressure, not good for things that need a strong force.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 3:06 PM

While we're talking clothespins I should mention specifically how handy the are for tubular shapes; think missles, gun barrels, etc. It only takes a few swipes of a round file to make custom clamps for these otherwise difficult objects.

Don, thanks for reminding us about the mini clamps - I need to order some.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, April 9, 2020 10:40 AM

I like to build 1/48 scale bombers. The main wings have been warped on every one of them. These wings are long and the appearance of the model can be ruined if the warp isn't corrected. I have devised a way of straightening the wings. I use an architects scale, clamps and rubber bands. The architects scale is super stiff and removes the warp when used with rubber bands. Works great.  FYI, I use those bar clamps a lot.

B-29

B-24

B-58

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, April 9, 2020 11:51 AM

Now that is clever! YesYes

Eats <<<< that's me eating my words about clamps just a little bit.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, April 11, 2020 4:39 PM

This is a picture of the B-29 wing after I removed the clamps. It is perfectly straight. The architects scale is perfect for fixing a warped wing because it will not bend at all.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 12, 2020 8:42 AM

Great work!  That post also points out the strength of monocoque construction.  The wing of the '29 had a fairly thick airfoil, so when both halves of the wing are glued together, even under pressure like that, it will hold its shape.

I got started modeling with the balsa stick and tissue models. I was always amazed at how much more rigid they became after covering with that thin tissue.  And a coat of dope stiffened them even more!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, April 13, 2020 9:25 AM

Don Stauffer

I got started modeling with the balsa stick and tissue models. I was always amazed at how much more rigid they became after covering with that thin tissue.  And a coat of dope stiffened them even more!

 Ah yes, the good old days Wink Smile

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
Posted by Peaches on Monday, April 13, 2020 9:36 PM

WIP:
Academy F-15 (1/72)

On Deck 

MH-60G 1:48 (Minicraft)

C-17 1/144

KC-135R 1/144

Academy F-18(1/72)

Ting Ting Ting, WTF is that....

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.