Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Cramps and Pains

With all the glue-ups I’m having to complete with for each of these cutting boards, it’s got me thinking about the sash cramps I own; which ones I like and which ones I actually needs.

In this post, I’ll be running through my ‘collection’ and attempting to construct a plan of action.

Starting at the top, you can see that I have two pairs of vintage sash cramp heads on top and a pair of Expert sash clamps sitting underneath. I like both of these; the wooden ones for their ease of storage and versatility; also the steel ones, for their low cost but mild robustness and reliable threads.

Wooden sash bar storage.

All of my wooden sash bars now live up on the overhead floor. I moved them last night and have also freed myself a little shelf space for more timber storage (because I do need it). There may be a more efficient method available that I haven’t yet come across. My bars are made from 2x1in offcuts of beech; leftovers from my workbench build in 2009. If/when ever I do have to move, these should be easy to pack and transport, as a number of head pairs could fit in to a single small box.

Expert Sash and Bessey Uni-Clamps.

Those Expert clamps live in a rack just behind and to the right of my workbench (I have two pairs each of the 900mm and 1200mm clamps). Alongside them I have four Bessey Uni-Clamps but, only two of those still function as the jaws have broken inside on the other two (well, they are the cheapest of their kind in Bessey’s extensive range). I’m quite happy with where the big clamps live though, as they are heavy and very close to hand when needed. I could buy a couple more.

Aluminium Sash Clamps

On the end wall, I have a rack for my collection of Aluminium Sash Clamps, which are the cheapest I have ever come across. I own a few of each size and they are okay for very small jobs. But, I’m dissatisfied with them for two reasons…

Not made to last…

And secondly:

When one clamp fails…

So, I’m currently in the mindset of flogging all six clamps in a kind of job lot and instead allowing my wooden sash bars a little wall space on which to hang. I was thinking of £50 for all six, if anyone reading this is interested.

Like I said; they are okay for small jobs and they are fine when working with softwood. But, their performance is much dependant on their construction when it comes to hardwoods and the like. I don’t really ‘need’ them and could use any funds to invest in more cramp heads even.

Wood Offcuts Storage Box.

Looking further around the workshop, I have this box of offcuts on castors that doesn’t seem to store anything of much use. It was a nice idea and an interesting project to build a few years ago but it takes up a bit of room and is constantly in the way whenever I need to change the bag on my extractor (last night…). Back then, I didn’t have as much shelf space for wood storage.

Clamp Guides.

Two other clamps I don’t need are in the form of these quick-grip guides for power tools. I’m sure I tried to sell these on UKworkshop once but never got back to the potential buyer as I was unsure of packaging and sending these by post. I know I put them on Freecycle after that but my guy never came to collect (same story with some unused hand tools).

So, I’ve already discovered the potential to rid my space of more clutter and perhaps to make some money that can be reinvested to obtain items I might actually use on a regular basis. This Friday, I must make the trip to the tip that I didn’t accomplish last week. There’s still a lot more to come!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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6 responses to “Cramps and Pains

  1. Martin Keepfer 16/04/2013 at 23:21

    Mmm..methinks I spotted one of our chopping boards clamped up there! Looking like an excellent job so far! Best MARTIN PS: Don’t forget to let me have payment details!

    • Olly Parry-Jones 17/04/2013 at 17:44

      Thanks, Martin. You are correct and very eagle-eyed! 😉

      If you didn’t receive my second e-mail from last night then I’ll try again this evening from another address.

      • Martin Keepfer 17/04/2013 at 22:06

        Olly, no, nothing in the inbox! Very strange… Keep trying!
        Best MARTIN

      • Olly Parry-Jones 17/04/2013 at 23:00

        I’ve sent you one from another account. If that doesn’t work, I will try your other address (hope Natalia doesn’t see these messages! ;-)).

  2. Andy Williamson 18/04/2013 at 21:36

    Olly – did you drop something on the aluminium sash clamp or did it buckle under clamping load? I use aluminium clamps mostly but then I’m currently only making small items so they are adequate for the job. They do have a tendency to fall apart though 😦

    I am one of the worst for keeping (probably useless) offcuts and find it difficult to throw away even small pieces of wood. I have a clear out every now and then when storage becomes an issue – but you just never know when they might come in handy!!

    Andy

    • Olly Parry-Jones 19/04/2013 at 13:25

      Hi Andy,

      I’m pretty sure that I either dropped it or it fell from a height on to another object – that happens quite often in a small space, I find! 🙂

      Those holes are from ‘wear and tear’ where I’ve had to crank them right up to get a bigger joint to close (again, they’re not really built for this purpose).

      I’m going to the tip this afternoon with some of my offcuts and I expect I’ll make future trips after that. I only try to keep bits that are rare or expensive.

I welcome your thoughts.

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