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There are three series widely used by wooden clamp makers, to distinguish models.
I can offer no explanation for this diversity of practice.
R. Bliss & Co.
|R. Bliss & Co.
Bliss Mfg Co.
|Bliss Mfg Co.
|Grand Rapids||Grand Rapids||Grand Rapids|
|Greenfield Tool Co.|
Hood and Rice
|Webster & Butterfield|
One common series is 7, 8 1/2, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 inch long jaws. Bliss used this (personal measurements), and Stanley used 7, 8 1/2, 10, 14, 16, 18, 20 (Antique and Collectible Stanley Tools, written by John Walter, and published by The Tool Merchant of Akron Ohio, 1990).
Note that in 1993, Stanley made a commemorative 12 inch clamp
reminiscent of clamps offered by Stanley between 1864 and the mid-1880s.In fact, it has a different shape to the jaws and spindles, and the jaws are laminated of contrasting woods - nothing like the originals.
Another common series is 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 inch long jaws.
I have no explanation, so far, about the irregularities in the first series.
Other collectors have reported 21 inch long clamps. It seems odd to have a 21 incher, when the usual spacing is 2 inches. The larger sizes are not common. I have not seen anything longer than 24 inches. (If any one has such large clamps, please send me the dimensions, the maker's marks, and any other identification. Thanks.)
Usually, the smaller the number, the longer the jaw. However, each company felt free to assign numbers without regard to the practices of other companies. There are apparently no standards for the size that goes with a particular number.
Tables of dimensions:
Grand Rapids Hand Screw Co, jaws and screws , comparison of 800 and proprietary number models
The smaller the number, the longer the jaw. There is some agreement for the size that goes with a particular number, but it is not universal.
Occasionally, the number 8xx is preceded by a No, but this is uncommon. It could be an error in the factory.
There are no series commonly used by composite clamp makers, to distinguish models. A maker, such as Adjustable Clamp, may use two distinct series of numbers for two varieties of one brand, such as Jorgensen.
Some makers seem to have no model marks on their composite clamps; the numbers exist solely in catalogs for ordering purposes.
Under these circumstances, I can only order the links by brand names.
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