Instructables

New Handle for a Broken Irwin Squeeze Clamp

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Picture of New Handle for a Broken Irwin Squeeze Clamp
I went to use this clamp recently. Either the plastic was brittle, or I squeezed the handle too hard. The part of the handle that adds pressure to the clamp broke in my hand. I decided not to discard the clamp and get a new one, but to make a new squeeze handle and continue using the clamp. The photo shows the break. 
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of Tools and materials
Tools
  • Hacksaw
  • Angle grinder with a cutting wheel
  • Grinder
  • Spring clamps
Materials
  • 1/8 x 3/4 inch strap iron
  • 7/16 inch rod
The photo shows part of the broken handle that will be used for a pattern. In my hand I am holding a piece of 7/16 inch steel rod I have ground away to copy the half-round portion on the broken handle. After grinding, I used a hacksaw to saw two cross section slices from the rod. It was necessary to cut a triangle to be welded to the 1/8 x 3/4 inch strap iron. 

Step 2: Weld both halves of the handle

The two halves of the squeeze handle I made are shown here welded. Compare the cavity in the blue handle on the clamp and the broken portion of the original handle. I have ground the welds a little to make them nearly flat. There is some free movement in the clamp for the handle, so the welds do not need to be completely precise and smooth. 

I cut and ground away some of the triangular pieces welded to the strap iron to fit the cavity in the blue portion of the handle. Notice a chalk mark on one piece and a score mark where I began cutting on the other. I did a little grinding for making a close fit.
stncilr1 year ago
awesome!
Phil B (author)  stncilr1 year ago
Thank you.
midlif1 year ago
I almost threw my broken clamp away. Not now it will be fixed and stronger then before. Thanks Phil
Phil B (author)  midlif1 year ago
I am glad to be helpful. Thank you for looking and commenting.
yopauly1 year ago
It's great that you fixed this tool but:


At IRWIN Tools, we stand behind our products and are proud to offer the following guarantees.

HAND TOOLS GUARANTEE FULL LIFETIME GUARANTEE:
Each IRWIN hand tool is warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for the life of the tool under normal wear and tear, except for damage caused by misuse or alteration. Return the tool to place of purchase for replacement if warranty applies. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, which vary from state to state.

Limited Warranty:
IRWIN warrants to the original owner that their products are free from defects in material and workmanship for it’s reasonable useful life. IRWIN MAKES NO OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, CONCERNING THE PRODUCT OF THE MERCHANTABILITY FOR FITNESS THEREOF FOR ANY PURPOSE.
BTW, I don't work there!
Phil B (author)  yopauly1 year ago
Thank you for the information. My fix for this broken tool may also help someone with a similar problem, but no warranty get their tool working again. And, it gave me an excuse to use my welder.
temper Phil B1 year ago
Indeed it is - Irwin clamps are a bit too pricey for me so this is a likely scenario for my cheap Chinese knock-offs - well done. Also I am pleased to see that the quality of your welds aren't all that much better than my own ha ha :-(
Phil B (author)  temper1 year ago
Jacquie Kennedy said she painted in a manner one's own family could appreciate. I have told people that describes my welding. These welds were worse than usual and inspired me to think about a guide to guide the gun, which resulted in my newer Instructable on Never Again Weld A Crooked Bead. (Never mind the comment below that was removed. It was what you see here, but I deleted it in order to clean up some typos.)
Phil B (author)  temper1 year ago
(removed by author or community request)
temper Phil B1 year ago
Oh, I had looked at that before this one but hadn't made the connection. Alas, you have a MIG whereas I only a lowly stick. My problems are more with keeping a constant bead running rather than it going off line - I found I cured that problem, and the arc starting problem when I moved to an Auto Darkening Solar Welding Helmet - do you use one?
yopauly Phil B1 year ago
I'm like you that I make things that are a solution to a problem. I keep a stock of 1/4" round stock and have steel coffee cans full of bits of steel scrap.When the bits are 1" square or smaller they go into the recycle bin.
I think that the warranty policy of Irwin Tools is magnificent, but your repair is better than the original plastic handle, Bill.
Phil B (author)  rimar20001 year ago
I always like improving on things, and sometimes have dismantled new items so I could modify something I thought poorly designed or poorly made. Afterward, the item felt more like it was mine, and I enjoyed using it more because I knew it was better after I modified it.
pfred21 year ago
Phil you're as bad as I am. I fix everything that breaks too. Great job!
Phil B (author)  pfred21 year ago
Thanks, Phred.
rimar20001 year ago
You always surprise me, Phil! Another person had thrown away an excellent tool that could be recovered.
Phil B (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thank you, Osvaldo.
Thanks for the share! I have a nice glue gun with a cracked plastic....maybe i can just fabricate new trigger. Thanks for the idea :)
Phil B (author)  audreyobscura1 year ago
It should be possible. Thanks.
iceng1 year ago
Nice Job
You deserve to replace IRWIN with

PHIL

above the QUICK CLAMP lable


Very Happy Holidays

A
Phil B (author)  iceng1 year ago
Thanks.
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