Rockler sent me a pair of Bandy Clamps when they announced the product in March. As soon as I saw the packaging I knew what the tools were about; they’re intended to clamp solid edging against the edges of plywood—though they can be used for almost any task where it’s necessary to squeeze something against the edge of a piece.
The clamps are spring clamps with a wide rubber strip spanning the jaws. Using them is a matter of squeezing the grips, pressing the band against the edge you want clamped, and releasing the grips so the pads grasp the piece. If the band is stretched it will apply constant pressure to the piece being held. These clamps will easily hold straight edging in place and I’ve used them to hold 1/8-inch wood edging against a concave edge. They did the job, though I wish I’d had more than two of them to work with.
The clamps are solid but light. A steel spring holds the composite body of the clamp closed until you squeeze the rubberized handles. The pivoting jaws and are covered with substantial rubber pads and will open far enough to clamp 8/4 stock. The spring is stiff and the clamp grabs very well. Because the band is rubber it will automatically conform to irregular pieces.
Bandy Clamps are a good alternative to placing a caul against the edge piece and spanning the substrate with bar clamps; it’s faster and there are fewer items to handle. I like them better than the 3-way edging clamps I once used for this task because neither the jaws nor band will mar the piece. The band can’t press as hard as a screw-style clamp but is able to supply enough clamping force provided the edge piece is not so thick and bowed it needs to be forced into position.
The Bandy Clamp is not just for clamping pieces that are being glued; I’ve used them to hold edging in position while fastening it with 23-gauge brads. Yes, I could have relied entirely on glue, but 23-gauge pins are so small that it’s hard to see the entrance holes. I’ve also used them to secure hoses, cords, and camera tripods while shooting video in the shop—each clamp is like a handy third hand. It’s worth noting that if you plan to use these for more than minor repairs you’re going to need more than two of them. If you plan to do much edge-gluing, 6 clamps would the minimum. I’d want 12.
Maximum opening: 2 inches
Jaw depth: 1 5/8 inches
Price: $20 for one pair; $50 for three pairs
Country of origin: China