Opinions Wanted Master Clamps

Rob Markoff

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If you do buy them, I would recommend buying them from M and M Distributors.

I had a "issue" with my V-8 (the part has since been modified and I received a new, modified replacement part) and Mark from M and M took immediate care of me. Excellent and prompt customer service.

Yes, the clamps are expensive but the first 6"-7" wide frame that joins perfectly will more than pay for the clamp(s)!
 

BatesMotel

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
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Feb 18, 2008
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Conshohocken, PA
LOVE THEM!!!! Worth the investment, just wish I bought more before the prices went up. I agree, get them from M&M, Mark will take care of you.
 

osgood

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I looked at the website, but it is unclear how they work and especially how they draw the joint together along the entire height of the joint.

Can anyone enlighten me and anyone else who wants to know, please???
 

Warren Tucker

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Osgood,check out www.fwfo.net underFrame Outlet, Backroom Gallery. Scroll down and you'll see an example using Bessy K body clamps. We use mat scraps to apply pressure to close corners. We have about 30 clamps from 8" to 8'. They exert tremendous pressure when they are cross clamped as in the picture. Of cours there have to be v nails in the joints to keep the mitered faces from slipping. Using selective, we can pretty mush correct any misalignment. At any one time during the day we might have three or more frames in clamps. We just lift them off the table and lean them up against a wall for an hour. The clamps really come into their own on large frames, six feet or more. We buy the clamps from a local discount tool store.
 

osgood

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Thanks Warren. Nice website!
I was more interested in how the master Clamps work.

I have similar clamps to yours, plus sash clamps, metal strap clamps, mitre clamps, but have never seen a Master Clamp and their website doesn't show how they work. I guess they assume that everyone has the opportunity to see one in real life before deciding to buy them.
 

more_so

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We have 1.5 sets of the 6 inchers here and love 'em. You can put some serious crush on those miter joints. However, don't be tempted to try to correct bad miter angles with those, although you can...temporarily! But they're great for closing basically correct but maybe slightly ragged cuts on the big mouldings. Way more pressure than regular framing clamps. And if you have to cut large mouldings with slider saws, Master Clamps will take up the slop pretty well.

Once in a while have wished they were a little taller. They do have the shadowbox version, but it can't put anywhere near as much compression on the high part of the molding as the low part.
 

Warren Tucker

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Ozgood, I had the wrong clamps. I just did a google search and came up with Jorganson Mastermclamps which are very similar to K Body clamps. We actually have the large pertinent Master Clamp; we've proabaly had it for over 15 years. It's an excellent clamp for what it was designed for: joining frames with glue only. Of course, you'd need a set of 4. The Master
Clamp would work as a replacement for the Stanley type framer's clamp. I' say it's better.

If you have a v nailer, K Body type clamps would be vastly better because they allow way more force than the Master Clamp and are way more adjustable as the picture on our web sight should show. You can adjust each one of the 4 clamps individually as well as place mat scraps strategically to apply pressure where needed. You need to v nail a frame first to stabilize it for cross clamping. I've yet to see a v nailed frame that cross clamping couldn't make pretty near perfect. V nailing plus cross clamping where necessary is vastly superior to working with 4 Master Clamps; we never considered using the Master Clamp in production.

We never actually used our Master Clamp to join frames, only to test out the glue only method which with large moulding works well.
 

DVieau2

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I You need to v nail a frame first to stabilize it for cross clamping. I've yet to see a v nailed frame that cross clamping couldn't make pretty near perfect. V nailing plus cross clamping where necessary is vastly superior to working with 4 Master Clamps; we never considered using the Master Clamp in production.

Warren,

I would like to try this the next time I get an impossible frame.

When you v-nail first do you get enough wiggle room in the joint to close a gap?

What glue do you use that gives you enough set-up time to put the clamps on the frame?

Doug
 

j Paul

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Osgood,check out www.fwfo.net underFrame Outlet, Backroom Gallery. Scroll down and you'll see an example using Bessy K body clamps.


Warren, just so you know on that page there is a typo. You talk about being able to join really large frames. I assume you meant to say that you have pairs of clamps that are 8' long, but it reads as follows:

We've got pairs of clamps 8" long.
 

mike

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As to the OP and their simple question the answer is yes, they are worth every penny they cost. Mike
 

Warren Tucker

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Doug, we always join our frames on our v nailer with the intention that they will go together well, and most do. About 15 percent require "adjusting" with clamps. The clamps can create wiggle room with their force; if the backs aren't lined up properly, the clamps can handle that. The same with any gaps. There is a lof of force available cross clamping. We use Corner Weld; it gives us a good 7 minutes to adjust the corners if we need to. We can remove a clamped frame from the clamps in about half an hour. For really big frames with sides 6' or more we always cross clamp after v nailing just to be safe. Who would want to make one over again?

J Paul, thanks for the heads up. Yes, we have K Body clamps 8' as well as 8".

The Master Clamps are well made and function well for what they were designed for but for anyone with a v nailer, I'd think the Master Clamp is a waste of money. What would it be used for? The money would be better spent in starting a collection of K Body type clamps that would bail out a frame that comes off the v nailer needing help. With cross clamping we almost never have to take a badly joined frame apart, remove the v nails and start over.
 

osgood

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If you have a v nailer, K Body type clamps would be vastly better because they allow way more force than the Master Clamp and are way more adjustable as the picture on our web sight should show.

I have a Cassese 3099 vee nailer, which joins very well, but there are some occasions where a moulding may have a slight twist or bend and a clamp is needed after joining. The metal strap clamps work really well and I guess your K Body Clamps work very well too.

However, there are some reverse mouldings, where the outer edge is not flat or only has a quarter of an inch at the bottom that is flat. Strap clamps do not pull the top of the joint together and neither would the K Body Clamps, because all the pressure is applied at the bottom.

I was hoping to find out if the Master Clamps work with this type of moulding.
 

Warren Tucker

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Ozgood, banding clamps don't give anywhere near the control over corners that cross clamping would nor anywhere near the force. As to the example you mention, I doubt a Master Clamp would be much good. With cross clamping, there is nothing to stop you from using 8"nK Body clamps from the face to the bottom of the cross clamped corner to force the wide face together. We've done just that. Look at the picture and imagine where you could apply pressure. Especially note where we've applied the scraps of matte board to force the face closed. On a difficult corner, we can place it near the edge of the jointing table and apply a clamp from beneath the table to the face of a wide faced moulding. Of course in this instance, the frame would have to remain on the table until the corner set up. Once the corners have v nails in them there is a lot of clamping flexibility with K Body clamps that simply isn't there with band clamps (and we have a very large one with a 1" band) or a Master Clamp, for that matter. Look at that cross clamped frame and imagine where you could apply force if necessary.
 

Pat Murphey

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Warren, These clamps with a metal band allow enough leverage to pull recalcitrant corners together (obviously without the plastic inserts).


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Puppiesonacid

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I like master clamps as well

just got mine a few months ago for some larger frames i was joining.

made them look much better than v nail alone. strange shaped frames they were.
 

whitemule

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Nov 10, 2010
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Are Master Clamps worth the expense?

They are worth every penny - especially the shadowbox clamp. I wish I could afford more of them (I have, with great pains, bought 5 now and would like to get more - 4 of each type is my goal). They make joining a miter almost effortless, the bond is excellent, glue-setting takes less time, and they are beautiful works of art in and of themselves. Between these and the miter sander, we can quickly and almost effortlessly achieve perfect joins with little to no need for any fillers. I very highly recommend investing in them.
 

Prospero

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Stanley used to do some neat little strap clamps. Just a pressed steel body with a ratchet mechanism with a length of webbing. I have about 10 of them. Used them for years and they are very useful when assembling big frames single-handed. They don't have corner bits, but a bit of card does the job if you need to cushion the corners. But they work really well on scoop-back mouldings as the webbing moulds itself into the scoop. You can get really high pressure on because you can cinch up the ratchet with a wrench.

As well as framing they make very good general woodworking clamps, especially on irregular-shaped things like chairs and wotnot.

Pity they don't seem to make them anymore. :(
 

hangupsgallery

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Stanley used to do some neat little strap clamps. Just a pressed steel body with a ratchet mechanism with a length of webbing. I have about 10 of them. Used them for years and they are very useful when assembling big frames single-handed. They don't have corner bits, but a bit of card does the job if you need to cushion the corners. But they work really well on scoop-back mouldings as the webbing moulds itself into the scoop. You can get really high pressure on because you can cinch up the ratchet with a wrench.

As well as framing they make very good general woodworking clamps, especially on irregular-shaped things like chairs and wotnot.

Pity they don't seem to make them anymore. :(

We have several dozen of these....use them all the time. You can get them from United, I think they call them "band clamps"
 
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