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  1. #1
    mixdenny is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Are antique C clamps collectible?

    I saw a couple of nice old C clamps at my local flea market this weekend. 6 or 8 inch, with wing-style tightening knob instead of a sliding rod. The patent information was cast into the wings: August something 1878. The thing that made them stand out was the frame. Instead of a straight I beam they have a fancy scroll shape to the back. $20 the pair, and the last thing I need is more C clamps, but it got me to wondering if anyone collects them?

    Dennis

  2. #2
    rivett608's Avatar
    rivett608 is offline Diamond
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    I don't think they are collectable but I often buy them when cheap...... I use them. Sometimes when working on cool looking stuff they look neat... I mean a bright colored painted modern clamp would just ruin the whole look of it......

    Also the old Cincinnati or Armstrong clamps are probably better than anything you can buy today.....

  3. #3
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    MixDenny,

    Well, they say that a person could never have too many clamps !!! You'll eventually encounter a job which needs more than you have on hand, or needs different ones.

    The only really important characteristic of a C-clamp (or "cramp", as our British friends call them) is that it has to close "square". Clamps that exert a side force are exasperating! They will move your setup or glue-up or weld-up out of alignment at exactly the wrong moment.

    Any tool with a patent date can be researched and mulled over and shown to your buddies, etc. So, yes, I'd say they were "collectable".

    I'd not pay $20/pair unless I thought they were really outstanding - no chips or cracks, original finish intact or at least not rusty. (If they are "japanned", you can get genuine japanning enamel at a price or you can fake it with black Krylon which looks very similar, although it will not fool experts.)

    And the fact that *I* would not pay $20/pr doesn't mean someone else wouldn't !

    John Ruth

  4. #4
    rivett608's Avatar
    rivett608 is offline Diamond
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    "I'd not pay $20/pair unless I thought they were really outstanding - no chips or cracks,...." since they have minimal collector value I would not buy them at any price if they were cracked!!!....... I mean what good is a cracked clamp?

  5. #5
    mixdenny is offline Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    what good is a cracked clamp?
    In England would that be "a clacked cramp"?

    Dennis

  6. #6
    Mel in WA's Avatar
    Mel in WA is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default

    Nothing wrong with having a few unusual clamps in the collection:
    Top: P S & W steel screw,
    Btm, L-R: Stearns, Stearns cam type, Cin. Tool Co.

    Mel
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_2186-1.jpg  

  7. #7
    stnecut is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default I'm sure they are collectible

    But to me they are usable. So as long as you use them, you're collecting them.

  8. #8
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    Uh, My Bad ! My post was poorly worded and Rivett seems to have noticed it first !

    "I mean what good is a cracked clamp? "

    Well, at least I didn't inadvertently advocate buying a cracked gluepot !!!
    (I can imagine the crackpot jokes......)

    Mel,

    Nice grouping ! You ought to wire them to a piece of nicely painted plywood and frame it.

    JRR

  9. #9
    Andy FitzGibbon is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthBendModel34 View Post
    Mel,

    Nice grouping ! You ought to wire them to a piece of nicely painted plywood and frame it.

    JRR
    Which would then render them rather inconvenient to actually use...
    Andy

  10. #10
    Mel in WA's Avatar
    Mel in WA is offline Hot Rolled
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    I have over 200 C clamps from 1" to 12" capacity, so won't need to use the cute ones.
    Every time I bring another clamp home from a sale, my wife just rolls her eyes. My theory is: You can never have enough clamps.

    Mel

  11. #11
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    Cool

    I would think someone collects about anything these days. I have about 40 different one's but i use them. Someday someone can buy my collection when i am gone...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

  12. #12
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    Perhaps we need to distinguish here between a "collection" and an "accumulation" !!!

    Collection is when you like clamps, so you buy ones that appeal to you

    Accumulation is when you need clamps, so you buy lots of useful ones.

    Most of us are probably somewhere in between. This morning, I bought a rust-free Armstrong 5" C-clamp for $15. He also had an old-timey CAST clamp about 2-1/2" with the "wingnut" style handle, which I passed up because I thought it could not be a great clamp if it was cast rather than forged.

    JRR
    P.S. to AAMetalmaster - you saw Asquith's thread about the "Silver" drill from Ohio, right? I remarked that I thought it was the same Silver of Silver & Demming

  13. #13
    Limy Sami is online now Diamond
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthBendModel34 View Post
    C-clamp (or "cramp", as our British friends call them) i

    John Ruth
    Actually we call them G cramps

    G cramps, C cramps, whatever you want to call em, plain fact is you can't have too many.

  14. #14
    rivett608's Avatar
    rivett608 is offline Diamond
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    I guess in thinking about this I sort of DO collect them....... see...

    Pretty Precision C-Clamp....

    Micrometer C-clamps by B & S and Starrett

    Not quite the kind your are talking about here but collectable?

  15. #15
    Craig Donges is offline Stainless
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    Continuing with metalmaster's thoughts, listen to this. A few years back I had a large gruop of NOS photo cells. I had one ebayer would buy two of each style. When I approached them about buying a quantity at a better price, they had no intrest. I was told they are building a photo cell collection and only needed two of each.

    So, the moral of the story is that if someone ever suggests that your collection is rather boring, tell that it is a whole lot more exciting than photo cells!

    Craig Donges

  16. #16
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthBendModel34 View Post

    P.S. to AAMetalmaster - you saw Asquith's thread about the "Silver" drill from Ohio, right? I remarked that I thought it was the same Silver of Silver & Demming
    Thanks, Yes i saw that post and picture. And yes from Silver and Deming fame just like the big straight shank drill bits that are still named S&D because they never put a patient on them. I worked in the machine shop in the orig Deming building years ago. Ms Deming was my neighbor when i was a kid and Mr John Deming was her grand dad and she still lived in his house. Someday i will find a wall hanger post drill like Craigs for my collection of stuff i prob will never use but the kids will love the money when it sells LOL...Bob
    http://www.owwm.com/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=1017
    http://www.owwm.com/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=751
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

  17. #17
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    Cool

    Hey Rivett love the old mic c clamps. I see mic junkers all the time and that would make a usefull conversion...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

  18. #18
    Craig Donges is offline Stainless
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    Bob;

    You mean like this drill?

    Craig Donges

  19. #19
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    Default "Sort of" Collecting

    Rivett used one of my favorite phrases:

    "I guess in thinking about this I sort of DO collect them"

    The concept of "sort of collecting" something has been discussed many times on the OLDTOOLS mailing list. The discussion centers around whether or not one can "sort of collect" something - is collecting binary, zero or one, or is it an analog range ?

    MANY people use this phrase ! There are a lot of people who consider themselves "sort of" collectors of this, that, or the other thing.

    Then I got to thinking how I advised against buying a pair of ancient clamps for $20 and then a day later I said I paid $15 for a single Armstrong C-clamp.

    I want to hereby deny being as inconsistent as that appears to be. The $15 purchase was centered around the Armstrong clamp, which is an entirely rust-free specimin with the heavy Acme thread. However, there were four more items included in the $15 purchase: A cap for a Stanley 101 midget block plane, a teeney-weenie cape chisel that I thought was cute, a smallish diamond-point cold chisel, and mid-sized wood lathe turning tool. So, I did not really pay $15 for one clamp.

    Hello, I'm John and I "sort of collect" older made-in-USA cold chisels, especially unusual configurations.
    Last edited by SouthBendModel34; 08-11-2009 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Added title

  20. #20
    AntiqueMac's Avatar
    AntiqueMac is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default

    Well! I truly do love SouthbendModel34. John has given me more insight into areas I thought I'd never receive. He has puzzled over problems for me in the past.

    We have both been on the OLDTOOLS list for decades (I started with Digest 300). But, John, you have forgotten the earliest discussion their about collecting. To wit:

    It was posted there that if you don't actually need it for work, then.......

    "One of anything is an interest.
    Two is a collection.
    Three or more is an obsession."
    (copyright Tony Seo)

    But then, if one is hanging out on the PM list, that in itself almost always guarantees an obsession with talking about machinists something or other!

    Oh, and if you don't think he is obsessed, ask Rivett how many golf balls I sent him! But, no, not true, false, you're wrong! I'm not obsessed with beating him to a super rare collectible. It will happen however. Someday. Maybe?


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