C-Clamp Becomes Light-Duty Arbor Press

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Upside-down c-clamp held in a frame, forming a crude press

[ThingaUser] made a tool to solve a specific problem of theirs, but the design also happens to be a pretty good way to turn a c-clamp into a poor man’s light duty arbor press.

The frame is made for a common 4-inch c-clamp.

The problem they had was a frequent need to press nuts and occasionally bearings into other parts. Some kind of press is really the best tool for the job, but rather than buy a press, they opted to make their own solution. By designing and 3D printing an adapter for a common 4-inch c-clamp, a simple kind of light duty press was born.

Sure, one has to turn the handle on the clamp to raise and lower the moveable jaw, and that’s not the fastest operation. But the real value in the design is that the clamp can now stand by itself on a tabletop, leaving the operator to dedicate one hand to manipulating the part to be pressed, while twisting the clamp’s handle with the other hand. There’s no need for a third hand to keep the clamp itself stable in the process. As a bonus, it can print without supports and the clamp secures with zip ties; no other fasteners or glue needed.

Not all c-clamps are the same, so there is a risk that this frame that fits [ThingaUser]’s clamp might not fit someone else’s. In those cases, it’s best to have access to not just the STL file, but also to a version in a portable CAD format like STEP to make it easy to modify. But there are still ways to make changes to an STL that isn’t quite right.