Instructables
Picture of Bargain Hobby Clamps
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This shows how to use an ordinary set of pliers as a hobby clamp (in a pinch anyway).

Ultimately I believe this is worthy of winning a random prize in the tool tip contest.
 
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Step 1: Get your materials

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You will need a pair of pliers and a strong elastic band. I took my band from a bunch of broccoli, so it was FREE.

Make sure your rubber band is strong or it won't have the strength to clamp very well.

Step 2: Attach Rubber Band to Pliers

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Put the rubber band over the handles of the pliers. You may need to move them up or down the length of the handles for the best grip.

It generally depends on the strength and size of your rubber band.

Step 3: Clamp Stuff

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These are not extremely strong clamps but they are useful for hobby work and for keeping your hands free during long holds with a pair of pliers.

You can see how they can grip even small items like finishing nails.
ry259206 years ago
This is so easy, it's stupid. In a good way, I mean. Good instructable.
Thank for posting this one. I have a bunch of those cheap and worthless pliers all living together in unwanted misery in an old toolbox.

Your broccoli rubber band idea is free (meaning excellent), but might be too strong for some clamping applications. To make this into a clamp that adjusts, get a few less vigorous rubber bands. Happily, another place for *free* rubber bands is your friendly neighborhood postal delivery person. Either check on the front steps of your house if you live at the end of a route, like me, or simply ask. Either method is effective, as you will get handfuls. Then use one, two or three postal elastics where the one broccoli band is being used. I'd keep three elastics plus the broccoli band on the handles of the "clamp" so I could have my choice of adjustment when using the tool.

Please check all the rubber bands for dry rot before using. It's nice to have a cheap tool. Not so nice to explain to the Emergency Room personnel that your cheap tool just gouged a nice, expensive part of your body.

One other clamp modification: if your pliers have grooved teeth, you will end up with grooves in the item you are trying to clamp. Gluing a layer of poster board to the teeth of the pliers will solve this problem, although it will render the cheapo pliers useless for well, pliering.

Thanks for this Instructable - it will make my life a whole lot nicer!
Lol I have those pliers, nice tip and good photography, I did something similar with hedge clippers and a bungee cord because the mucles for squeezing were in pain, so I made them work backwards for a while... well made the effort backwards.
papa-g (author)  killerjackalope6 years ago
I hope you still have all of your fingers after putting automatic squeezers on hedge clippers! I think everyone has a pair of these needle nose pliers because they are available at any dollar store. Thanks for the compliment on the photos, I thought they looked a bit washed out.
Yeah it actually makes them really safe because they're closed all the time until you use them, no it was just funny that they were exactly the same... The photos are good, but if you can avoid the flash then do...
Really smart idea, I hate holding it all the time.
And for the random prize, remember, it's random.
So, post a lot, that just increases your chances of a random prize!