PowRlock Maxiclamp archive
Thursday 17 June 2010
We've come to expect good things from Spencer Franklin clamps, so how does the SF-1310M compare?
Spencer Franklin have long been known for making superb clamping systems for carvers and industrial purposes alike, and the SF-1310M PowRlock Maxiclamp sits nicely between the smaller 1200M and larger 1400M, all commonly used by carvers.
During testing, however, I discovered that the PowRlock is also great for use when routing and precision drilling.
How it worksThe cast-iron construction of the SF-1310M provides mass and solidity. Three holes in the base flange allow it to be fixed to an appropriate surface. The locking/clamping mechanism operates via a mechanical system that is designed to allow easy positioning of the work. It utilises a ball & socket design either by rotation though a full 360 degrees, or by angling it to the preferred working angle. A slot in the main body section allows the work to be tilted from a horizontal working position to a vertical plane.
Locking or release is via a push/pull lever. Little effort is required to lock the mechanism securely.
To hold the work there is a threaded spindle attached to the ball joint, onto which can be secured optional extras such as a faceplate or vice, depending on the work being held. The faceplate is a great place to start when carving both in the round and relief panels.
In useThe unit is well-built and sturdy. This mass kills vibration quickly and provides a very stable platform for holding work of various kinds. It is finished in a nice enamelled orange paint and is designed to take the rough and tumble of everyday use. The beauty of the clamp is that you can hold the work with one hand and move it to the required position, leaving the other hand free to lock it in place.
VerdictIn Woodcarving 109 we reported on the smaller mechanically operated SF1200M and the large hydraulically operated SF1400M, and comments came back from the testers such as:
"For large carvings in a workshop, there is nothing to compare to the SF-1400M. The hydraulic operation is unique and the work can be secured with the fingertips. 5 out of 5."
"I've used my SF-1200 for many years and find it a superb bit of kit. I like to work quickly and adjusting the position of your carving is done easily and quickly."
I can only echo their comments and add that the SF-1310M is a very simple to operate no-nonsense piece of equipment that is a dream to use. I loved it.