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Wise Buys: Band Clamps

Why buy?
Every workshop should have at least one band clamp--also known as a strap or web clamp--for pulling together joints on projects that prove difficult for standard bar or pipe clamps, such as frames, chairs, cases, columns, or any odd-shaped project. They all come with corner blocks for supporting angled joints, but you also can use these clamps without them. Just be aware that without corner blocks, glue squeeze-out seeps into the nylon bands and can be difficult to remove. WOOD tool tester Bob Saunders tested nine band clamps and recommends these three.

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Lee Valley 17F10.13

Lee Valley 17F10.13

Editor test-drive:

This low-cost clamp works like the ratcheting tie-downs I use to secure cargo to my pickup truck. But instead of rubber-coated metal hooks on the ends of the 16'-long nylon band, it's secured to the ratchet at one end with the other end loose to pull through the ratchet before tightening. It comes with four 90 nylon corner brackets that clip onto the band and work great for square glue-ups. For odd angles, I use Lee Valley's accessory variable-angle corners (4-pack, #50K57.01, $12.95, shown in the photo) because they adjust from 30 to 180--the only ones with this much flexibility. My advice: Buy the band clamp (#17F10.02) itself for $9.95, then get the variable corners.

To learn more:

Continued on page 2:  Craftsman 31458



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