More open clamp surgery

I got quite lucky the first time I broke one of my Task-tools quick clamps, as it didn’t break in a particularly critical place and I was able to support the glued part by gluing it to the surrounding body of the clamp, which fixed the problem.

Last month I broke another of them, but this time I wasn’t so lucky and the break was across the trigger 😦

Broken trigger

I figured this was terminal until I saw a very similar looking clamp (which was itself broken) at a car boot sale, which I bought for 10p in the hope that I could cannibalise the trigger from it.

Task-tools quick clamps

I opened them up and although they are nearly identical there are some differences:

  1. My clamp has two bars between the springs whereas the one I got today only has one
  2. My clamp has a 6mm steel pivot for the trigger, which extends through both sides of the case, whereas the one I got today has a thinner pivot that sits in a moulding each side and this moulding has failed
Trigger differences

Trigger differences

Failed mouldings

Failed mouldings

The above makes me think that my clamps are actually a revised version of the one I got today, unless the manufacturer embarked on some cost saving exercises and decreased the build quality!

Another difference I noticed was that my clamp had the tip broken off or worn down slightly, exposing the horrible rough honeycomb structure of the plastic:

Trigger tips difference

I tried glueing the trigger with superglue but it failed again when I tested it gently, so I went to plan B!

I couldn’t use the body of the clamp I got today as the mouldings had failed so there’s nothing for the pivot pin to locate into, so I enlarged the hole in its trigger with a 6.5mm drill bit in my drill press and offered it up.

Enlarging hole in trigger

Everything was fine except the recesses on the trigger to accomodate the mouldings each side of the case weren’t deep enough so I enlarged them using a forstner bit in my drill press.

Hopefully I’ll get a few more years out of my clamp now, and if I find that the short bar is limiting I now have a spare long one and a variety of other parts I can draw on and if the worst comes to the worst I can use this clamp to fix the others if they fail.

I suspect I’ll end up with a single clamp that’s like Trigger’s broom 🙂

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