Clamps

Clamps

I say it as a corny joke far too frequently. But the fact remains: you can never have too many clamps. These ones are at the lowest end of the spectrum. They grip without much force or versatility. But they replicate one of the most basic functions of the human hand freeing the human to use his or hers for more demanding tasks — squeezing and directing a glue bottle, making a cut, rubbing a chin.

Clamps are a feature of craft practices that involve assembling pre-made components or materials: woodwork, electronics (known as helping hands), welding. Even sewing has its own variant; we call them pins.

Woodworking clamps have soft jaws to avoid damaging the material, whereas the crocodile clips at the business end of a set of helping hands have sharp points to grip the wire. Bar cramps are designed to exert large forces across the jaw without deforming, whereas pins are optimised to stop lateral movement of the assemblage, for small size (to avoid deforming the workpiece), and for easy removal during working.

One thing’s for sure: you can never have too many clamps.

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