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Re-Purposing a Broken C-Clamp

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  • Re-Purposing a Broken C-Clamp

    I saw this in one of the trade publications I subscribe to just the other day and thought I'd share it here.
    Who doesn't have a broken c-clamp, right? I know this would come in handy for for me. Not just on the welding table but on other projects where I need a temporary clamp.

    At any rate I'll leave a link to the page from where it came from and I'll also leave a quote from that page describing what is involved in using these and a couple of photos showing their use.

    Thanks to The Fabricator for publishing this article and to Lynn Rozar of Greeneville, Tenn. for contributing the idea.

    I call these half-clamps. They are half of C-clamps that were broken or have a bent threaded bar.

    I cut them in half and welded a block on the clamp.
    Half-clamps work great for securing metal to the table after it is squared, allowing you to proceed to the next corner. Just tack the inside edge of the block and let the backside float. It will tighten itself. To remove, just unscrew and bend it forward. Make sure you grind the tack off the table.
    I also use them on outside corners when the sheet metal is on the inside of an angle and the pieces are too wide to reach around. Just tack to the sheet metal and put the screw on the angle. It will pull tight

    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

    Location: British Columbia

  • #2
    You can also make the foot part longer towards the threaded rod and drill a bolt hole for a drill press, mill table, or other bolt type hold down.


    • #3
      I have a number of those, commercial ones. I made pop-up hold-downs installed in the bench, and can pop one up and slide a clamp onto it easily. Very handy.

      Mine have a t-slot for the pop-up, but the tack-in-place type would be very flexible in positioning when used on a welding table.

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        I call them "half clamps". Handy to have around, and in some situations nothing else will do. I have a bucket full of them at work for both holding and aligning difficult stuff.


        • #5
          A friend had a booth for doing craft shows that required leveling to some degree as it also held the shelves she displayed her wares on. I bought a bunch of cheap c-clamps from HF and cut them just shy of the first bend past the screw. I then welded them to the uprights of her booth and she could level it up easily on pretty much any uneven surface (within reason). I also welded nuts on the end of the screw to replace the sliding rod so a ratchet could be used to make it adjust easier.


          • #6
            Unfortunately I don't have any broken C-clamps, but it does look like they could be made to accomplish some purposes. I am about to replace my woodstove and chimney after annual cleaning, and it needs to be lifted about 2" off the brick hearth base to fit. I have usually used pry bars and wedges and a few mild oaths to jockey it back in position, but attaching clamps like that to the base would make it much easier:

            It might also help to grind some recesses on the base to provide access to prybars and wedges. If I could weld, perhaps I'd weld some nuts to the corners and run threaded bolts through to lift each corner before setting it down on blocks as I have done before. But I have found that the firebrick splits crack easily, so maybe the screws could be permanent. I might try just drilling and tapping for 1/2"-20 threaded rod. I think the base may be 3/16" steel so that would give almost 4 threads. Even if 1/8" steel it would be 2.5 threads. I think the stove is only about 200 pounds with door and firebrick removed, so I'll give it a try.

            I could also consider using push-action toggle clamps on the corners:
            Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
            USA Maryland 21030


            • #7
              I've never been able to "break" a C-clamp in a way that left anything useful.

              It;s always the screw end that gets FUBAR.


              • #8
                Yes , quite often they get overtorqued, then the screw does not line up with the pad .......
                But we can fix that.
                BtW the Record clamps I got through Thomas Skinner served me very well , used them for 25 years..
                Good bang for the buck..


                • #9
                  Quality C clamps are forged steel or SG iron and do not break. Cheap brittle cast iron ones should only be used for light jobs when repaired, certainly not anything critical.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                    You can also make the foot part longer towards the threaded rod and drill a bolt hole for a drill press, mill table, or other bolt type hold down.
                    The problem with using a clamp like that on a drill press is it's too high and gets in the way of lowering the quill or in the way or the spider handle.
                    an old vise grip works well if you want to keep it a low profile or Destaco make a variety of them.



                    • #11
                      You can also attach a 5/8" pin instead of the footing to use on those welding tables that have 5/8" hole pattern. If you cannot or don't want to turn the pin with a cylindrical head, you can use a spare 5/8" bolt as a pin.
                      WI/IL border, USA