Because it enables you to exert control over the object you are working on, a holding or toggling clamp is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment a workshop might have. Its purpose is straightforward: to maintain the position of items while you carry out some other operation on them. You always need to keep your parts securely in place, regardless of whether you run a small-scale cabinet-making business or an industrial machine shop.
To be able to select the appropriate holding or toggling clamps, you need to first determine what function you are doing, what materials you are working with, and for how long. They should offer the highest possible levels of both safety and productivity. Because there are so many different manufacturers of holding and toggling clamps, it is much simpler to zero in on the specific model that is most suited to meet your requirements. For instance, Rowse considers Destaco to be a member of our family of certified suppliers. This business was the first to file a patent for a toggle clamp, which they did in 1936, and they are experts in all things pertaining to work holding.
A holding/toggle clamp is defined as the following:
A holding clamp, also known as a toggling clamp, is a piece of apparatus that is most frequently employed for the purpose of keeping items together or holding them in place by providing constant pressure. It is a highly adaptable piece of equipment, which may either be the manual form that is often used or a motorized variant that is utilized for more strenuous labor. You may install a powered clamping system in an industrial environment, and your choices are either pneumatic or hydraulic. The amount of pressure that can be generated using power clamps is significantly higher. Because of their ability to clamp components rapidly, frequently, and correctly, they are usually used in automated production processes. In addition to that, they can be swiftly triggered and deactivated, and they deliver pressure in a consistent manner. This results in a reduced number of process mistakes as well as part deformities. Manual clamps, on the other hand, are easily transportable, are available in a diverse selection of sizes and designs, and may be used in a broad variety of locations.
What is the operation of a holding/toggle clamp?
In most instances, the toggle clamp will be fastened to a stationary surface, such as a table or jig. After that, movable objects can be placed beneath the clamp in order to have a secure hold established on them. They consist of a mounting shaft that has a pivot pin and flanges that allow the clamp to be fastened to its mounting in a secure manner. The clamping arm can be opened or closed by the action of a lever that is a set length and is mounted in the center. The lever pivots around the pin. A foot consisting of rubber or some other non-impacting gripping substance that contacts with the workpiece are often installed on this arm. However, these are frequently changed for specific purposes. An adjustable vertical screw is typically mounted on this arm. The amount of pressure that is applied may be altered, and certain varieties of clamps allow for flexible thickness adjustments to accommodate a wide range of workpieces. Because the lever also contains a lock point over the central axis, which provides a permanent stop and linkage, the clamp cannot be released unless this linkage is adjusted. This lock point is located directly above the central axis.
Toggle clamps are graded according to their holding capacity, which is the highest amount of pressure or weight that the clamp can withstand while it is in the locked position (usually denoted as pounds of force, or lbf). In order to handle a wide array of materials and holding forces, many machine shops and manufacturers store a number of clamps in a variety of sizes.
How to Pick the Right Holding and Toggle Clamps
The ability to select the appropriate holding and toggling clamps will rely on a number of things, one of which is the holding capacity that you require, as well as the amount of force that you will need to use in order to reach that capacity. Holding a workpiece in a certain position for the shortest amount of time is feasible and is one of the most important functions that a holding or toggling clamp is expected to perform. In order to do this, you will need to use a certain amount of force, which, when applied, will firmly hold the workpiece without distorting or otherwise injuring it while the clamping process is being carried out.
When selecting how to choose holding/toggle clamps, other factors to take into consideration include the shape and size of the pieces you need to hold, as well as whether or not they are uniform or vary. In addition, you need to determine whether or not the clamp is intended for temporary or permanent use, as well as whether or not the environment in which it will be used will have an effect on the materials used or the way it functions. For example, clamps that are going to be used in dangerous locations will need to be made of materials that are more durable.
Because the length of time that anything is held makes a difference, another consideration that has to be taken into account is how long the operation of holding something is anticipated to take. Because the operation may also be a component of a cycle consisting of sequentially performed industrial processes, it is necessary that it be capable of performing accurately and repeatedly. It is imperative that high clamping pressures be preserved while at the same time ensuring that the workpiece is easily accessible.
There are several safety considerations that need to be made in order to avoid injuring the operator. You need to take into account the strength and dexterity of the operator of the clamp, in addition to the position they need to maintain in order to operate it. This indicates that the clamp needs to be positioned in a location that makes it easily accessible and does not place undue strain on any component of the body when it is being used. Handgrips that are designed using an ergonomic approach also make the operation more pleasant. Many manufacturers, like Destaco, provide versions with a secondary lock as an extra safety feature on their products. This helps to prevent the clamp from being opened unintentionally. This contributes to the maintenance of the over-center fixed locking and offers extra security against openings that are made accidentally.
As soon as you have a general understanding of these aspects, you may go on to select the most suitable clamp for your needs, which may include the following alternatives:
Horizontal Or Vertical
Workpiece Dimensions and Contours Act as a Driving Force
In addition to making a distinction between manual and power clamps, there are other considerations to take into account. These are often decided by the amount of room available in which the clamp is to be installed as well as the degree of maneuverability that the clamp provides. Manual toggle clamps can have levers that are horizontal or vertical, that move with a push or pull linear action, that employ a rolling cam rather than a pivot, or that have a hook rather than a clamping foot. These levers can also work in a variety of other ways. Latch clamps and squeeze-action clamps are two further kinds of holding clamps. Squeeze-action clamps function similarly to grippers. In order for a latch clamp to function, one must first place a hook at the end of the clamping arm around an opposing latch and then press down on the handle of the clamp to lock it into place. This particular style of clamp may be found on vintage swing-top bottles and Kilner jars, and it is often utilized for the purpose of securing covers, lids, and doors.
HORIZONTAL OR VERTICAL
The horizontal lever holding/toggle clamp is perhaps the one that is utilized the most frequently, particularly in situations in which the machinery has height restrictions. It is easy to use, portable, and can accommodate a large number of different sizes and tolerances. When the handle is in the raised position, the compartment is open, and you may put your items under the foot. The foot is lowered into place by the clamping arm when the lever is lowered into the horizontal position, which is parallel with the base. The last depress of the lever will bring it to the locking position, at which time it will no longer be possible to open it by accident and the material will be secured firmly in place. The vertical holding/toggle clamp operates on the same principles as the horizontal holding/toggle clamp, with one key difference: the clamp is locked when the lever is up, perpendicular to the base, and open when it is horizontal.
This fundamental idea of a lever and its fulcrum may also be used to push-pull or straight-line clamps. In these types of clamps, the force of the lever is used to move the clamp in a linear fashion along a horizontal plane. In these types, the push/pull handle drives the plunger of the clamp back and forth along its axis, therefore closing and opening the clamp. Because they may be secured in either of two different positions, many clamps of this sort are versatile enough to be utilized for both pulling and pushing motions.
SIZE AND SHAPE OF WORKPIECE
The size of your workpiece and whether or not it has a regular or irregular form will determine the kind of clamp that is appropriate for holding it. When creating a single item in large quantities that has a consistent shape and thickness, you should pick the clamp that suits that profile the most effectively. You have the option of selecting a self-adjusting clamp if you want something that is a little bit more adaptable and can accommodate varied thicknesses that may not be of a uniform shape. This type of clamp will account for these aspects.
The amount of force that must be applied throughout your operation will also have an impact on the holding and toggling clamps that you select. The surface finish of the materials you are utilizing and the materials themselves will determine this. In addition to this, it is affected by the entirety of the machining process, which includes activities such as drilling, milling, bending, welding, sealing, and joining, among others.
When it comes to manual clamps, the actual holding force can be affected by a number of different factors. These factors include the size of the clamp, the material it is made of, and the user’s grip on the clamp. The amount of force that the operator applies to the handle, as well as the precise location on the handle where that force is delivered, are among these factors. In addition to this, there are mechanical considerations that influence the ratio of the force that is exerted between the handle and the workpiece. As a matter of course, holding clamps like the ones that are manufactured by Destaco operate within a range of mechanical advantage that ranges from 2:1 all the way up to 10:1.
For instance, the holding capacity of a horizontal clamp is only up to 1,300 lbf, which is significantly less than the holding capacity of a vertical clamp, which is up to 5,060 lbf. On the other hand, the holding capacity of a straight-line push-pull clamp may range anywhere from 100 to 16,000 lbf. Latch clamps are surprisingly powerful for their basic manner of action, with a holding capacity of up to 7,500 lbf. Squeeze or gripper clamps similarly have a modest holding capacity, ranging from 100 to 1200 lbf.
MATERIAL The materials of your workpiece as well as the purpose they serve will play a role in determining your decision. When working with more fragile materials like paper, glass, or plastic, it makes sense to use a clamp that is on the smaller side than when working with materials like steel or wood. You will also need to take into consideration the surface’s hardness and softness, as well as whether or not it has been polished.
Toggle clamps are built with a variety of contemporary materials and techniques, therefore the clamp itself may be made from a variety of different materials. Cast iron or forged steel will more often than not be used to construct the frame. Cast iron is extremely long-lasting and is capable of withstanding severe workloads, while a frame made of forged steel can carry large or heavy workpieces. The clamping arm, also known as the jaws of the clamp, is almost always composed of steel since this material offers the highest level of strength when subjected to pressure. Full stainless steel mechanisms are also available for use in areas that must adhere to food safety standards. It is possible to equip the clamping arm with jaw pads, which will protect fragile workpieces from being damaged in any way. In an ideal situation, the adjustable screw would likewise be composed of steel so that it could withstand the tremendous forces that are applied during clamping. Chrome plating is an option for the surfaces of screws and clamps whenever there is the potential for corrosion.
There are a few different materials that may be used to make the handle of a holding or toggling clamp, the most common of which being chrome-plated steel or molded plastic. The latter option gives a pleasant grip in addition to a durable and useful design. Plastic handles, while not as strong as metal ones, have the advantage of being more easily molded to fit the operator’s hand. This provides the most comfortable grip, and rubber patches can also be added for additional comfort and grip if desired.
The selection of a holding or toggling clamp involves a number of considerations, the most important of which are what you want to use the clamp for and where you will put it. In addition to taking into account its highest possible level of safety, it is necessary to take into account the spatial and environmental needs. It is imperative that you select the appropriate clamp in order to prevent causing damage to your materials, harming your employees, or spending time on the improper tolerances and capabilities for your workpiece.