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Pony Cabinet Claw

WOOD magazine rating
Average reader rating
3.9
out of 5
Brand:
Pony
Model:
8510BP
Price:
$40

Description

Claws/Alignment Plate - Aluminum.
Screws - 1/2" diameter zinc-plated, cold-drawn steel with special, smoothly cut Acme threads.
Handles - Plastic
Pads - Self-adhesive rubber.
Drill Bit - #31 drill bit.

WOOD magazine review

Clamp and secure face-frame cabinets easily

Review Summary

Installing face-frame cabinets is a bit of a juggling act—leveling them, keeping the faces flush, clamping, and drilling screw holes. You need a helper and a lot of patience. You're on your own for the patience, but the Pony Cabinet Claw will serve as your helper. Two separate jaw assemblies on the Cabinet Claw align and clamp the face frames of adjacent cabinets. One jaw pulls the frames flush, while the other clamps them together.
The rubber-padded jaws prevent marring, and accommodate face frames up to 1" thick and 2" wide each (for a maximum total width of 4"). Those features alone would be enough to sell us, but Pony goes two steps further. We chucked the bit in a drill, and used the guide bushing on the Cabinet Claw to predrill a screw hole exactly 3/8" from the cabinet face (dead-center on 3/4"-thick stock). Then, we rotated the drill guide out of the way and drove the screw through the oversize hole in the Cabinet Claw to join the two face frames. It works like a champ.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Reader Reviews

The right solution for face frame cabinet work - up to a point.

Review Summary

I bought one of these clamping systems in the late '90's when I was redoing bathroom cabinets in my house. I'd already had experience redoing my kitchen and knew that using regular clamps were just OK when linking the cabinet boxes. But there were still alignment issues. The Pony system not only squshes one box up against the other, but it also pulls on the back surface of the face frame and presses the frames up against a front-facing clamping pad.
In use what this means is that you really can't help but get good alignment between pieces. The flip-up drill bit guide centers the drilled hole in the larger opening, and then you can follow up with a coutnersink bit and then ultimately your screw. Unfortunately, the side drilling hole is really only just barely sized for a #8 screw. A #10 screw won't go through the hole. Chasing a countersink bit into that hole so that you can recess for your screw can also be an issue, depending on the size of and depth of your countersink bit. You really don't want to have to remove the clamp to drill for the countersink, then remount the clamp (to realign the cabinets once again!) and then drive your screw. Enlarging the drill hole and maybe even providing a specialty sized countersink drill bit would make this clamping system complete. But alas... it's not offered. I wish it were. Is that a big deal? It depends on your working habits. It's also worth noting that this system won't work on frameless cabinets. For that just use normal every day clamps to bring one box in line with the other. This system is purpose built to accommodate face frame type cabinets. At the end of the day this isn't a clamp you'll use a lot. Since the time that I redid my bathroom my set has sat gathering dust. I've got the (included) drill bit attached to one of the clamps with a bit of masking tape. But the system is there, ready and waiting for me should I get into another cabinet installation job.

Detailed Ratings

3.8
out of 5

Performance

4

Features

3

Ease of Use

4

Value

4

makes installing cabinets easier !

Review Summary

I've used this clamp many times and it works well. It does have it's limitations though. For example if your face frame stiles are extra wide then this clamp won't work. You can use it if they are extra narrow by inserting a block of wood between the stile and one side of the clamp jaw. It is much easier to handle than regular bar clamps and it is much easier to get the opposing stiles flush with each other before screwing them together.
In my opinion it's worth the cost even if your only installing one kitchen.

Detailed Ratings

4.0
out of 5

Performance

4

Features

4

Ease of Use

4

Value

4

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