Most of the time I work alone, so clamps are my imaginary helper.
Sometimes my rachet clamps break. Not being a person to throw things away, I keep them in a scrap box.
Well I was in the need of clamping some oddly shaped items and I remembered my box full of broken clamps.
Well, I came up with a simple solution. I bent some S-hooks onto a welded ring and mated them with the broken ratchet clamps.
This will allow me to clamp in many directions; for the oddly shape item.
In this instructable configuration; I am using three clamps, but I could add more if I wanted to.
In the past I have made several holding fixtures and most of them take up valuable space when not in use.
This assembly allows me to break it down for easy storage and create other configurations.
Step 1: Components and Tools used
2-inch diameter welded steel ring- ¼-inch diameter wall
S-hooks 1 ¾-inch length 1/8-inch diameter wall (used three) – not all s hooks are made equally. I purchased a few sets and in the bending process, they broke. Therefore, I went with s hooks from rubber tie-down straps.
Ratchet bar clamp (used 2) 6-inch ---- (used 1) 24-inch – I used broken clamps and removed the damaged/broken finger end.
Note: clamps that can take the one finger off - can work.
5-inch bench vise – really almost any vise will work
15-inch adjustable wrench
Large channel lock pliers
Step 2: Get started by bending S-Hooks
I placed half of the S-hook into the vise. Using the 15-inch adjustable wrench, I put a 90-degree bend into it - by pulling the wrench towards me. I did this for all three S-hooks.
I then put the same part of the S-hook that was in the vice onto the welded ring. Using my large channel lock pliers I closed the end-permanently to the ring. I did this for all three S-hooks.
I choose to keep them mounted all in the same manner or direction.
Step 3: Assemble
I choose to make a three clamp Multi directional ratchet bar clamp system. (wow that is a mouthful)
Since I made this to take apart, assembly is a loose term.
The clamps have holes in the end of the bars; the bent S-hooks are mounted into these holes.
S-hooks on the ring are all facing in the same direction, so all the clamps are position correctly to close around an oddly shaped item.
Side note: If I permanently squeezed the S-hooks to the ratchet clamps, set up for clamping might be easier- not sure, since I did not try this.I do know that if they were kept permanently all together, it would collapse nicely to hang on the wall.
Step 4: Some clamping options
Keeping in mind that these ratchet clamps were in the scrap box.
I am pleased to have a new use for them.
Step 5: More Clamp Options
Different lengths of bars and different size clamps; along with different rubber pads can be use for specific applications.