Maintenance: Quick-Release Clamps
Have you ever flipped the lever or twisted the knob on your clamp, only to find that the clamp jaw doesn’t pop open smoothly? Is your clamp making noise that it shouldn’t? Time for some maintenance!
The stainless steel lever on the clamp rides on a self-lubricating, wear resistant bronze bearing surface. But from time to time, we recommend cleaning grit, dust, and salt-water residue from the shaft to prevent the stainless steel and bronze washers from binding. Here’s what you do…
- Flip the lever to the fully open position, and squeeze the jaws together to expose the shaft. Blow out any dirt or grit with compressed air.
- Stubborn grime or salt residue can be rinsed with warm water and even a drop of liquid dish soap. A soft toothbrush or pipe cleaner can be used for tight spaces.
- Then apply a drop of lubricant on the shaft and work the lever back & forth to evenly distribute. Wipe off any excess to avoid attracting dirt. We don’t recommend WD-40; instead, use a multi-purpose synthetic oil or waterproof grease. Here in the shop we use Phil Wood Tenacious Oil.
Screw-Knob style clamps have the same jaw parts, but use a simpler knob to compress and release the jaw. The same steps apply for maintaining those parts, with the lubrication going on the exposed threaded shaft of the knob, between the jaw and the knob shroud.