How do I remove the burrs from my pipe clamps?
The more I use my pipe clamps, the more “bite marks” I get on the pipe from the tail jaw. Now the jaw catches as it slides. What can I do to fix this and prevent it from happening again?
—Fred Barnes, Seattle
The marks (or “burrs”) result from the clutch rings inside the tail jaw biting into the bar as you clamp up a project, Fred. Overtightening can deepen those bite marks, so ease off a bit with future glue-ups. Tighten them until firm and your joints have pulled together, but not so much that you have to work hard at it.
Now for the fix: Use a mill file to remove the offending burrs. You don’t need to dig in and make the shallow pits disappear—just knock off the high spots, making them flush with the pipe surface, working your way across and along the pipe. After filing, wrap the pipe with 220-grit sandpaper and work the abrasive back and forth to remove any subtle burrs.