on all orders over R1000
on all orders over R1000
Based in Swellendam in the Western Cape, with 50 years of woodworking experience under my belt, I build period style furniture, using both hand tools and machines.
I also teach hand tool skills, write blogs & articles and prefer shavings to sawdust!
Please note that any individual woodworking product or range of products that I review is an entirely honest appraisal based on the following criteria:
Product Range Review #001: Ehoma Parallel Jaw Clamps
Ehoma is based in Taiwan and is gaining an enviable reputation for the design and quality of their range of woodworking clamps.
With Parallel Jaw Clamps fast becoming the norm for woodworkers worldwide, Ehoma has stepped in with a wide range of excellent products.
My current line-up of Ehoma Clamps is as follows:
18 each Ehoma PJ-16
18 each Ehoma PJ-30
18 each Ehoma PJ-60
6 each Ehoma PCH-150R
6 each Ehoma PCH-80R
I often get asked why I have eighteen of a specific sized clamp. The answer is simple, if only logical in my tiny mind... I prefer to have clamps of specific styles and sizes in groups of four for standard clamp-ups.
For years I owned standard sash clamps in fours, eights and so on. Then I came to a stupidly simple revelation, that when I did a carcass assembly, quite often I needed an extra clamp or two for diagonal true-ing, or needed clamps elsewhere in the workshop while an assembly was drying.
It was this that led me to my “18” number. Quite simply, when you glue up, you require at minimum of eight clamps in each plane of the project, therefore you need sixteen clamps, quite often of the same size for a specific assembly. The result was that I ended up with 4+4+4+4=16 and two extra of each size =18!
This works for me. I also subscribe to the logic that more clamps and less pressure yields better results. I know that I am stirring a hornet's nest with this proposition, so let me clarify my thinking process:
Why would I put expensive glue into a joint, only to squeeze it all out again and create a weak joint?
Why would I want to clamp boards together so tightly that I end up crushing the fibres of the wood with the clamp jaws?
My aim when clamping any two boards together is to attain a very even clamping pressure throughout the glue joint, maintaining a very thin glue line and having sufficient glue remaining in the joint to create a very strong bond.
The Ehoma Parallel Jaw clamps suit my needs completely, they are well made, withstand repeated daily work and are exceptionally well priced when compared to competitive products in South Africa.
Their clamping strength is very good, the handles on the PJ-16, PJ30 and PJ60 are made from wood and easy to grip and turn, the moveable jaws adjust smoothly and sit exactly where you set them, they are not overly heavy and are really easy to use. There is also a removable grey plastic clip on the end of each clamp which assists in keeping the clamp level when it is laid on your workbench.
The Ehoma PJ range is great value for money, they are lightweight and their clamping power is excellent.
The PCH Range is the next range up. consisting of the PCH-150R, PCH-80R & PCH-30R Parallel Jaw Clamps. I have only used the 150R and 80R, however I am sure that the 30R performs exactly the same as these two clamps in all respects.
They are all about the same weight as the competitive models of the same size and style, and they work extremely smoothly.
The handles are quite clever, in that they can be adjusted to a 90º position for that final bit of extra torque (if needed) when glueing up. The parallel jaw heads are 50mm in width, which offers a decent amount of pressure spread to the workpiece and the jaws remain completely parallel during use.
The 50mm jaw widths also allows me to place the clamp hard against each other when necessary in a glue-up, whilst still allowing me to get my hand around the handles for tightening.
There is also a rugged removable black plastic clamp-levelling-spacer fitted to each clamp and the purpose of this clip is to maintain the clamp in a level position when placed on a surface.
Also on each PCH-150R, PCH-80R & PCH-30R clamp are two rugged removable black plastic workpiece spacers, which allow you to rest your boards on them, thus keeping the board off the metal bar of the clamp during glue-up.
This is a really nice feature, especially when working with tannin rich timbers such as oak, where normally the metal clamp bar coming into contact with the glue and moisture of the joint results in the wood being accidentally stained by the chemical reaction of the tannin and the glue.
My overall opinion of Ehoma Parallel Jaw Clamps:
Product Range Specifications:
Ehoma also makes a number of other styles and types of clamps for woodworking including “F” Style clamps and Ratchet clamps. These clamps along with the Ehoma Parallel Jaw range are available in South Africa from www.toolcraft.co.za