At times, I need to tweak some metal a little to weld or bend into position.
I have used a combination of things; come alongs, ratcheting chain binders,
turnbuckles in conjunction with nylon straps, ropes made into a loop with a
sheet bend then with a lark's head, chains, and various other things in
Is there anything like a mini come along? Maybe just a small ratchet
binder? What do you use to pull things into position?
"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere
critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly,
I once had what amounted to a miniature chain hoist. Rated at 500 lb,
operated by a 3/8" ratchet. It was called a "tool box hoist". Got it
at Northern Tool. Glad I didn't pay much for it, because it was
An approach I've used that you didn't mention is the HF version of a
hydraulic "porta power". They have good sales on them occasionally.
That, with an accessory "puller", works very well indeed and it does
not take no for an answer. Use with robust chain, not rope or nylon
strap. The working range (pull distance) is limited so you don't want
to waste any in stretch.
I got mine on sale for $89. I don't use it all that often but I've
definitely gotten $89 worth out of utility from it. No question!
It's one of those tools that can change a several-hour session of
frustration and cussing into a short session ending with "hot damn!"
One example: removing stuck-by-rust hitch from receiver tube. I
always get it out when I'm going to weld up a rectangular frame. I
plan the welds, tack judiciously, etc etc, you know the drill ... and
then I let it fix my sins of commission and omission to tweak the
corners to blackout square.
Some 3/4" allthread, a few nuts and some scrap bits can be handy at
times if not a lot of force is required.
On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 00:18:19 -0500, the infamous Don Foreman
Try the little ratcheting tiedowns with 1" nylon strap. They'll pull a
considerable tension. I used one for keeping my mill stand straight
before and during welding. And I used it to tweak the stand after
welding, when it was standing on 3 legs. It pulled that 1/8" skew out
of it, too. I was impressed. The comealong was too long and I'd
forgotten I owned a portapower unit at the time.
I picked up their 4T unit for $69.
I sometimes use a beefy turnbuckle, some wire rope, and some rope
clips to pull something true. Whatever fits into the space I have
(plus whatever I have lying around) is what I use.
"Given the low level of competence among politicians,
every American should become a Libertarian."
The best combination of compactness, strength and fine adjustment I've
found is a worm-drive strap winch. I bought mine used and haven't seen
anything similar for sale new. It's too inefficient to be a good
general-purpose hoist, for that I like the 3/4 ton Jet lever chain
WalMart's 2" webbing tie-down will pull 1000Lbs. Their little takedown
cable puller in a clear/black plastic case is OK after greasing it and
fixing the obvious flaws, mainly reshaping the ratchets.
You could use your welding Vise-Grips to tighten the chain. I have an
11R tightened to ~500 Lbs on a load cell in front of me right now. The
smaller 6R almost reached 400.
--For stuff that's so small that you can't get the ratchet binder in
there I use those new squeeze-to-tighten woodworking clamps. If you get good
ones, there's an option that lets you reverse the jaws so that you can push,
as well as pull with them. IIRC Stanley makes a decent one..
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : $150,000,000,000 in pork??
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : Where's my share???
I tend to use things that squeeze from the outside more than pull from the
inside, especially on small things. I use pipe clamps, bar clamps, Vise-Grips
bar clamps, and C-clamps.
I like Ries Niemi's idea, which is to take a stout turnbuckle and weld the bolt
ends to the workpiece. That way you can either pull or push. When you're done,
you just break off the tacks and clean up with a flap wheel.
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