Removing Glue from Clamps

Article - August 25, 2008

This week’s question comes from Jeff who writes:

Hey Marc, I have the following question, and could really use some advice. Do you know any way to clean the bars on the Jet Parallel clamps? They are supposed to be coated so glue doesn’t stick. Mine, however, stick. In fact, I can no longer open nor close my 24′ ones! Any ideas? Thanks.

And here is my response:

Hey Jeff. Very good question. This is a dilemma that all clamp users face. Although the manufacturer may claim they are resistant to glue, you and I know different! First off, any new clamp that comes into the shop gets waxed immediately with paste wax. That will definitely help repel glue. However, once the damage is done I usually get the heavy stuff off with a putty knife. That usually takes care of the bulk of it and gets the clamp working again. For the textured area on the top, you can use a steel brush to knock the glue out of the crevices. If you are in a rush, just pick up one of those wire wheels that chucks into your drill or a Dremel, and carefully knock the glue out of the grooves. Just don’t be too aggressive or you can smooth out the texture and the ridges. And, of course, the best practice with these clamps is prevention. That means covering them with a sheet of newspaper, craft paper, wax paper, brown paper, or even sheets of plastic. Although I need to practice what I preach. Most times, I don’t think about prevention until after the glue is drying, haha. Good luck!