What Is An F Clamp Used For?

The F clamp gets its name because it is shaped like the letter “F.”

There are so many helpful options when it comes to clamps for your project. Each clamp has a specific purpose and function that separates it from the others. I’ve researched through the internet and put together a quick summary on F clamps.

What is an F clamp used for? An F-clamp is a simple mechanical device used to hold pieces together in woodworking or metalworking before the permanent attachment is made with glue, adhesives, nails, or screws.

Keep reading below to learn more about F clamps and what they can be used for.

What Is An F Clamp Used For?

An F-clamp is a simple mechanical device used to hold pieces together in woodworking or metalworking before the permanent attachment is made with glue, adhesives, nails, or screws.

It is made up of two horizontal bars that are joined together by a vertical bar, and it possesses a large screw on the moveable horizontal bar, which allows it to be tightened.

The name of the clamp comes from its shape, which resembles the letter “F.” The F-clamp is also referred to as a speed clamp. The F-clamp works similarly to the G-clamp because one jaw is fixed at the end of one bar while the other is moveable and can easily slide into different positions.

The G-clamp, though, has jaws that can open considerably wider than an F-clamp. The shape of the F-clamp is frequently used by amateurs and professionals to join workpieces because of how perfectly parallel its jaws could hold the pieces of the project together. The F-clamp is available in a variety of sizes, and this allows for different clamping activities to be performed.

The F-style clamp consists of several parts which allow it to hold the workpiece firmly, including:

  • The Bar: The bar of an F-clamp could also be referred to as the sliding arm. The bar is a long and straight piece of metal that is strong enough to withstand the pressure of clamping large and heavy workpieces. The bar of the clamp is usually made from forged steel which is tempered and increases the toughness of the metal. Even though tempering the steel could reduce the hardness of the steel minimally, it makes the steel less brittle. There are serrated edges along the top of the bar, which help give an extra grip to the moveable jaw while it is being used in clamping. The bar of the F-style clamp could also be galvanized to increase the bar’s resistance to rust.
  • The Jaws: The jaws of an F-style clamp are thin metal plates that are placed parallel to each other and are used for gripping the workpiece and keeping it securely in place. The jaws could also be referred to as brackets. One of the jaws is fixed at the end of the bar while the other jaw can be moved along the sliding arm, so it is adjusted to the needed position. The jaws have clamping plates which are the part that makes contact with the workpiece. These clamping plates are usually covered by plastic pads so that the workpiece that is clamped will not be damaged.
  • The Screw: An F-clamp comprises a threaded screw that is used to control the motion of the moveable jaw. The screw could either be tightened or loosened, leading to the moveable jaw moving closer to the fixed jaw and closing in on the workpiece, or it could result in the moveable jaw moving away from the fixed jaw releasing the workpiece.
  • The Handle: The F-clamp usually has a large handle that provides a comfortable grip for the user when the screw is being tightened or loosened. The handle is designed to be operated with just one hand, as the other hand is normally used to perform another function with the workpiece.
  • The Spring Lock: Some F-clamps contain a spring lock that allows the moveable jaw to be quickly slid along the sliding arm when the trigger has been pressed. The jaw is then locked into place in the correct position once the trigger has been released.
  • The Tilting Jaw: Some models of the F-clamp are also created with a tilting plate that is attached to the moveable jaw. This gives the clamp the ability to grip on either tapered or angled workpieces.

F-Style Bar Clamps Comparison / TayTools / Jorgensen / Bessey / Harbor Freight

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The F-style clamp is quite an easy device to use, but a couple of simple steps need to be followed to ensure that it is used properly and carries out its work efficiently.

Before you begin to use the clamp, choose the joining material to be used. Whether it be glue, nails, or any other type of adhesive, you should select the one which would hold the materials you are using well and for a long time.

Also, to avoid the glue staining the clamp, you should lay a sheet of wax paper over the bar of the clamp. You should then apply the glue to the part of the workpieces you wish to join together.

You could use something like a flex brush to spread the glue evenly across the surface of the material. The materials should then be placed together at the point where the glue has been applied to facilitate their joining.

At this point, you should then place the clamp over the attached parts, and the jaws should be closed around them. The jaws should be closed tightly against the workpieces to hold them firmly.

Though, the jaws should not be forced too tightly as excessive force could result and the glue or adhesive leaking out of the joint, which could, in turn, cause the parts to come out eventually.

Additional clamps could also be utilized to ensure that the pressure is spread evenly across the whole of the workpiece. The clamp should then be left on the piece to allow it to set and should then be removed when the workpiece is firm and dry.

The F-style clamp is commonly utilized in woodworking or even metalworking to hold pieces of either wood or metal in place while they are permanently attached. DIYers can easily handle it to perform simple tasks at home where the pieces need to be joined together.

Professionals could also easily use it for heavy-duty applications as its size and strength allow it to accommodate the force of larger and heavier workpieces. The moveable parts of an F-clamp should regularly be oiled, and it should be cleaned regularly as well as stored in a dry place. It should also be regularly lubricated or galvanized to prevent rusting, as rust could prove to be an obstacle when clamping.

The Work Around: How to Use Clamps for Woodworking | HGTV

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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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