Clamping frame and panel door with sure-foot pipe clamps

A clamp's a clamp's a clamp: No reason to go out of your way for a "special kind" of pipe clamp, like Rockler's Sure-Foot Pipe Clamps, right? Not quite.

Check your experience with typical pipe clamps against this scenario: It's a simple process - you just need to edge-glue a few pieces of lumber together for a table top. This should be a piece of cake for an experienced woodworker like you. In preparation, you've carefully jointed the lumber so that everything fits together nicely, and you're planning to use an ample number of biscuits in each of the joints – you want to make sure you have an extra strong joint and the biscuits will help keep the top edges flush.

You have an impressive collection of standard-issue pipe clamps at your disposal; plenty for the job at hand. The six you grab and in a couple of minutes have carefully arranged on you workbench are already open far enough to get the pieces assembled and laid flat on the pipes. You move right along while you get the biscuits in and the parts assembled – which is good, because the glue you're using has a relatively short open time. With that accomplished, all that’s left is to snug up the clamps' tail stock and crank 'em down. Suddenly, the experience takes an unpleasant turn. The tail stock clutch plates of the first clamp you try are stuck, and try as you may, you can't free them with your unaided fingers.

You need something to whack them with to break the tail stock free: Where's that hammer? You were just using it... A couple of smacks sets the tail stock of your first clamp free. You snug it up and move on to the next, which is also stuck. In fact, it's really stuck, and in the process of freeing it, you wiggle the whole assembly a little, causing the second clamp from the end to tip over. To get it back upright (its clutch plates are stuck too), you have to lift up on the stock a little and - wouldn't you know it – doing so rolls the clamp on the far end just enough to cause it to tip over.

At this point you begin to develop a heightened awareness of the ticking clock - this is taking a long time, and you know that PVA glue polymerization waits for no one. So you speed up, and finally have all of the clamps upright and snugged up. But, unfortunately, as you're tightening up the last clamp, you notice that in the rush get things done before the glue sets up, one of the clamps didn't get put back in the right place. It's too close to the next clamp over, and it's skewed out of parallel with the other clamps.

When you back off the skewed clamp to get it lined up, you notice that its screw is about to bottom out in the clamp body. You need to back it off and then bring the tail stock in a little closer. Guess what? Where's that hammer? You were just using it...Are we striking a familiar chord?

Rockler Sure-Foot Pipe Clamps and Sure-Foot Bar Clamps are comparably priced to standard pipe and bar clamps as well as being designed to solve the tip-over problem. They have an extra wide, extra stable base, which means that you can shove them around just about all you want to get them positioned without worrying about tipping them over.

Why would you go out of your way for a "special kind" of pipe or bar clamp. The best answer we can come up with is, "Why wouldn’t you?"