When building jigs and other hold-downs, toggle clamps are sometimes essential. Still, there’s a typical inconvenience when using the conventional style: you need to adjust the threaded spindle/pad so the clamp will accommodate both the thickness of the workpiece you’re clamping as well as the clamping pressure that will be applied. Bessey’s new Auto-Adjust Toggle Clamps, unveiled at the 2011 AWFS Fair, should make the set-up process much easier.
Thanks to an integrated clamping force adjustment screw, located under the clamp handle, these new toggle clamps automatically adjust to variations in workpiece thickness while still applying the same amount of clamping force. Two models of horizontal toggle clamps can secure workpieces up to 2 or 2-3/4 in. thick, and an inline version can handle workpieces up to 1 in. thick. Adjusting the integrated screw enables you to vary the clamping force from 25 to 550 lbs. of pressure, and all three clamps have a holding capacity of 700 lbs.
The clamp handles are overmolded for comfort, and a plastic cap prevents marring. Bessey reports that the clamps are available from distributors now. Prices range from $19.99 to $21.99 each, depending on the model.