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Tiny clamps


NOBLNG
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I use these alligator clips a lot for clamping things. They have a nice strong spring and can get in where other clamps can’t. Sometimes though, the teeth can mar the finished paint or chrome. So I trimmed a piece of popsicle stick to fit inside the jaws and then filed the teeth down flush to the wood. If anyone has any other handy tiny clamps, please post them up here.

 

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Edited by NOBLNG
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I use a range of clamps based on the reach and/or tension required. I use alligator clips mostly for spray painting. I use both large and small black binder clamps from any office supply house. I use plain wooden clothes pins for most of my gluing as the tension is adequate but they do not open very wide. I have some $1 store plastic clamps which are very versatile. I have a plastic jawed Panavise with a very heavy base which is invaluable for holding things still. I have some mini ratcheting clamps for big stuff. I even use rubber bands when they are needed. My favorite are the two pairs of hemostats for the tiny stuff fingers cannot deal with.

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Thanks Guys. I have some of those same clamps. I probably use these yellow ones and the white plastic ones the most. The long nose ones on the left are handy, as they have very tiny jaws. I made a couple of long reach ones that use elastic bands for clamping, but they are a little sloppy. I may have to re-make them. My hemostats will pretty much crush any plastic part if I clamp tight enough to lock them...maybe good for installing metal pins.?

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14 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

 I'm tempted to get the little wood clothes pins at Hobby Lobby.

I use those a lot - and if you have one of the rotating Tamiya paint stands, they fit in the slots on there perfectly to hold the parts

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I also made those reverse clothespin clamps (using regular and miniature clothespins).   I have learned of this technique years ago in some modeling magazine (I think it was FineScale Modeler) - the magazine most members here love to hate. :(

Edited by peteski
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5 hours ago, Belugawrx said:

Yes to all of the above...have you guys flipped the jaws on the clothes pins?

Now THAT is a good trick! The jaws can also be carved to suit tight spots. Thanks!

Edit: All clothes pins are not equal either. 

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Edited by NOBLNG
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5 hours ago, NOBLNG said:

Now THAT is a good trick! The jaws can also be carved to suit tight spots. Thanks!

Edit: All clothes pins are not equal either.

Very true!  Also, when I reverse them I take rat-tail file and enlarge and round off the new "nest" for the spring.That makes the clamp's jaws more stable.

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2 hours ago, Belugawrx said:

I learned that one right here at MCM ?

Thanks to whoever discovered the trick and thank you for passing it along.

1 hour ago, peteski said:

Very true!  Also, when I reverse them I take rat-tail file and enlarge and round off the new "nest" for the spring.That makes the clamp's jaws more stable.

Exactly what I did. And filed the tips flush. One leg could even be cut shorter for special applications if needed.

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Edited by NOBLNG
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For small and/or deliacte parts, I often use cheap metal hair clips like the one pictured below. They don't have teeth which could leave marks and the clamping force isn't nearly as high as with alligator clips.

The only thing I do is to sand the insides of the tips a bit because the surface is too smooth for a good grip.

 

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Also, you can get tiny wooden clothespins in crafts stores, and the "reverse trick" works with them. Just glue them to the end of a popsickle stick for better handling.

 

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Edited by mattg
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These are my new favourite clamps/tweezers!! ? They are great for hanging onto small parts for sanding. The spring holds the parts so you don’t drop them, and are easily pinched tighter so the parts don’t move around while sanding or filing. ?

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Edited by NOBLNG
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I got these little wood clothes pins at Hobby Lobby.  Glued on sticks to make them longer, and removed the tips using a disk sander.  I use full scale clothes pins to stabilize for painting.  Reversed some, but haven't used yet.
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On 12/14/2020 at 2:41 PM, NOBLNG said:

Now THAT is a good trick! The jaws can also be carved to suit tight spots. Thanks!

Edit: All clothes pins are not equal either. 

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The first place I saw this tip was in an Ertl Blueprinter in 1974 or '75(?). It was sent in by my friend, Jim Schaffel, who is the guy who got me started down this path. I still have the issue.

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