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Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Clamping Devices

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Clamping Devices


00:00 - A big part of motorsport fabrication is setting up the components that make up your work piece and then holding them in the correct location and orientation while we apply enough tack welds to hold them in place.
00:11 This admittedly can be an exercise in frustration, particularly when we're working with tubes that intersect at unusual angles.
00:19 While a couple of extra pairs of hands would be ideal, the good news is that having a range of clamps and magnets in the workshop can remove a lot of the frustration and make setting up your parts easy.
00:30 There are some clamps that you may already be familiar with like locking pliers, G clamps and sash clamps but there are literally 100s of devices out there for just about any job you might be doing.
00:41 With that in mind, let's just look at a few of the most common that should be conisdered must haves in any fabrication workshop.
00:48 The G clamp or C clamp as it's also known is a huge help in holding larger components and can be used to clamp parts to each other or to hold them in location on the workbench.
00:59 The body of the G clamp is traditionally made from cast iron and the size dictates the open dimension of the threaded screw.
01:06 For smaller jobs requiring clamping assistance, the adjustable V pad magnet is essential, effortlessly allowing us to position steel and tube in just about any location and orientation and can be adapted to a bunch of other tools to make it into a versatile jig for many different roles.
01:24 The right angled magnetic square is another tool that makes part setup and jigging a lot easier.
01:30 Using a magnetic square allows us to hold parts at right angles to each other and they have enough magnetic force to place against a tube and still attract other parts placed on top of the tube for the purpose of positioning before tacking.
01:43 As helpful as magnetic clamps are though, they can also give us some real dramas when it comes to welding near to them.
01:50 The magnetic field of a magnet can disrupt the arc of the welding process by pulling it towards the magnet so it's best to try and keep the magnet on the opposite side of the weld area to decrease the risk of the arc being pulled away from where we actually need it.
02:04 It's also good to keep in mind that magnets are great for positioning and tacking materials together but if exposed to a lot of heat they do begin to lose their magnetic force.
02:14 For this reason, we should try to position our tacks away from the magnet and only get enough weld onto the job so that we can remove the magnet and continue without doing any damage.
02:24 Next we have wide mouth locking pliers which are available in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and come in extremely handy in a variety of different fabrication scenarios.
02:35 Used heavily in the fabrication of sheet metal panels, these locking pliers make clamping and locking a breeze with their adjustable capacity and quick action release.
02:44 Lastly we also have Clecos which are commonly used when working with sheet metal.
02:49 While not strictly a clamp, they do fit nicely into this section.
02:53 These are available in 1/8th inch and 3/16th inch diameters and are a spring loaded device that can be used to temporarily attach sheet metal or panels together during the fabrication process.
03:04 Clecos are inserted through drilled holes in the two panels and are typically installed temporarily in the place of a rivet, bolt or screw.
03:12 They're used in conjunction with a special pair of pliers that make it easy to depress the sprung centre which allows them to be installed or removed easily.

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