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  #1  
Old 08-02-2014, 01:02 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 482
Default New clamps on EZ-1. Rave!

I recently got the set of four of the new table clamps. I have been using them on my Ez-1. Wow! What a difference it makes. For use on the EZ-1 these excel over the smart clamps--the old-style. Although those have their place especially when using with the track. I still like the old-style smart clamps for positioning a fence too.

With the new clamps, Instead of figuring out how to clamp or trap my workpiece each time. I just do it effortlessly. I used to spend a lot of time setting up various ways to do that. Now it's zip, zip, zip, and it's done. I normally use a 3/4" MDF top rather than an open top on my EZ-1.

I'll start taking photos of various ways I use them. And post here. Anyone else who has these is welcome to join in. I was going to make a tabletop with dog holes now I may not need to do that given that these clamps work so well.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2014, 11:18 AM
nealf2 nealf2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Michigan
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Default thanks

Thanks, Katie. Your review was a big help.
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2014, 06:15 PM
aaronp aaronp is offline
 
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I went ahead and ordered a couple of these, so I'm glad you like them, but I made one of my own a while back with a Kreg bench clamp, and I wasn't really too impressed. I found it hard to get the sweet spot where the clamp would stay locked down, unless I tightened it so much that it began to stress the extrusion— deforming the work surface.

These are very similar in appearance to the Kreg, but the Kreg version doesn't have the locking inner lever— you're just supposed to squeeze it shut and go. I guess this is why it comes with a 1/4" plate for installation. Hopefully this is the problem with it and the EZ version is less finicky.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2014, 10:54 PM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
 
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Location: Evans, GA
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Just got the set that I ordered. Look good I'll try them out soon and report back.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:47 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 482
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronp View Post
I went ahead and ordered a couple of these, so I'm glad you like them, but I made one of my own a while back with a Kreg bench clamp, and I wasn't really too impressed. I found it hard to get the sweet spot where the clamp would stay locked down, unless I tightened it so much that it began to stress the extrusion— deforming the work surface.

These are very similar in appearance to the Kreg, but the Kreg version doesn't have the locking inner lever— you're just supposed to squeeze it shut and go. I guess this is why it comes with a 1/4" plate for installation. Hopefully this is the problem with it and the EZ version is less finicky.
Aaron, I tried the Kreg clamp, too, based on your post. I had to tighten the clamp partly by swiveling it on the added set screw (holding the clamp to the connector extrusion) and never could get it in the right position. These clamps don't seem to have that problem.

I'll have to notice if it deforms the top next time I use it. So far it hasn't been an issue that I can tell.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2014, 09:55 PM
aaronp aaronp is offline
 
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Received my clamps today, and happy to say they clamp much better than the Kreg, with no deformation. The Kreg is just made for a heavy duty clamping load, which I wouldn't recommend on EZ tracks anyway.

I was a little disappointed that the mounting method is no different than the Kreg hack (Katie— mine don't have the set screw), so you still have to think through how the clamp will be positioned before you slide it into the track or the clamp mount will tighten down on you. I had hoped that the connector would be free swiveling somehow.

But big thumbs up, overall.
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2014, 08:53 AM
Mad Mac Mad Mac is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 26
Default kreg clamp retro

Refer to posts on 06-20-13 under Clamping Systems for a cheap way to convert Kreg clamps for clamping.

http://www.tracksawforum.com/showthread.php?t=3122
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2014, 11:58 AM
jkr jkr is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Western Mass
Posts: 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronp View Post
I had hoped that the connector would be free swiveling somehow.
I'm another delighted clamp user. Easy and quick to use.

I may be misunderstanding the issue here. My clamps do pivot in all directions. I bought a large and a small, and one of them seemed fixed on purchase. I just had to use a little pressure to allow it to rotate. The connector rotates counter clockwise when looking at it clamp down/connector up. When in the SSME, rotating the clamp will tighten or loosen the connection to the SSME. I didn't see a set screw.

If I am understanding right, you should be able to rotate it, or call tech support for help or a replacement. Good luck.
Judd
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2014, 01:48 PM
aaronp aaronp is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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jkr:
I should clarify. Mine swivel fine. I just don't like that it tightens down when you swivel it, and I also don't want to have to fiddle with a set screw each time just so it will be tightened down just right. I had hoped that the connector would "freely" swivel at a fixed distance from the clamp base so that it would be the same tightness no matter which direction it's facing. I don't necessarily think these clamps' bases have to be perfectly tightened down to the surface to be effective. It's a minor quibble.

Mad Mac:
Thanks for the link. Might be something I try if these get on my nerves down the road. I still don't like that model Kreg, though. The clamping mechanism is too finicky for my taste— I'm afraid it might bend the extrusion.
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2014, 10:48 AM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 250
Default Alternate Clamps

These clamps are a little low tech compared to the EZ or Kreg clamps but I've used them for years and they work very well. With a bolt, they work well in a t-slot but you could use a piece of all-thread and a short section of connector and they would work well with the EZ extrusions. I made up a set as shown to use with my Brand "X" track and they work as well as the Smart Clamps, although maybe not quite as versatile. The clamps are made by various manufacturers, come in a couple of different sizes and have slots for 1/4" or 5/16" bolts, depending on the size of the clamp. They swivel easily, generate sufficient clamp force and loosen with less than a turn of the knob - for clamp, all-thread or bolt and knob, the cost would be less than $10 per clamp. The only limitation, and it hasn't been a problem for me so far, is that they don't have the reach of the EZ or Kreg clamps, but I would think that this could be worked around with the correct arrangement of t-track on the work surface.

Tom
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