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Illustration for article titled In Praise Of The Cheap, Miniature Bar Clamp

Even if you aren’t one for DIY projects, there are a few tools that you probably have tucked into a drawer somewhere. A hammer. A few screwdrivers. Maybe even a drill. It’s my deeply held belief the miniature bar clamp should be just as ubiquitous.

My reasoning is simple: Most simple household projects can be tackled a few different ways. If you’re out of nails, you could use a screw or command strips to hang up a picture. Missing your Philips head screwdriver? A flat head can probably turn that screw in a pinch. Can’t find your hammer? You can surely dig up some other heavy object to whack that nail. But if you’re trying to glue two things together that don’t naturally want to stay together (and that you can’t just stack books on top of), a clamp is likely the only sensible tool for the job.

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Unlike spring grip clamps, this Tekton 6″ bar clamp (or 12″, if you have the space) can open wide enough to hold together large items like cracked dishes, split pieces of wood, and broken vases, or clamp down onto smaller, more delicate items like jewelry. And if you so desire, they can also apply less pressure than ALL OF THE PRESSURE, which can be preferable for certain tasks.

I’ve used my clamp to hold together a piece of MDF furniture that developed a split during a move. I also pulled it out when fixing a crack in a cherished wooden bowl that was carved from a tree in my childhood front yard. It worked perfectly well both times, holding everything in place for several days until I was sure the glue was dry.

Have I used it for anything else? Not to my recollection. But it cost less than $10, it was there when I needed it, and it’ll be there again when the next thing breaks.


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