What are The Best Clamps and Tools for a Small Grip Kit?

 

There are lots of clamps and tools on the market to choose from. However, over the years we've learned first-hand which items are absolutely necessary.  Here's what we recommend:

2" Matthellini Clamp End Jaw…aka Cardellini Clamp

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The 2" Matthellini Clamp End Jaw is a "universal" clamp that features a jaw that opens 2" wide, that allows you to lock onto square or round stock (pipes, lumber, and door frames).  We prefer the "end jaw" model as it allows the clamp to be mounted closer to a wall or ceiling. The Matthelini clamp also includes a 5/8" diameter baby pin for rigging lights or grip gear like a grip head, net or flag.

Baby Wall Plate aka 750 Pigeon

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A Baby Wall Plate or Pigeon is a flat steel plate with 3" baby pin 5/8" diameter.  It can be screwed or taped to an apple box, floor or any flat surface for mounting fixtures, or lighting something from the ground.

Spring Clamps aka "A Clamps" — 1", 2" or 3"

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Spring clamps are used to hold things in place just like having an extra set of hands on set…who doesn't need that?  The applications for spring clamps are endless. However, some of the most popular applications include: Clamping a show card to a stand, clipping a sound blanket to cover a window, clamping Duvetyne to cover tripod legs.  The 1" jaws open 1" and 2" jaws open 2", etc.

Duckbill Clamp aka Quacker Clamp aka Vice Grip (one of my favorite clamps)

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The Duckbill is our all time favorite clamp. It is the perfect solution for holding large bounce cards like bead board and foam core.  The clamp has large flat jaws to provide a secure grip on flat stock. Plus It terminates in a 5/8" diameter baby pin for mounting in a grip head on a c stand. The Duckbill is a must have in your grip kit!

Scissor Clamp

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Want to mount lights on suspended ceiling tracks in offices and retail environments? This is the clamp you need.  Just loosen the clamp by rotating the baby pin to open its jaws.  Squeeze the jaws around the ceiling track and tighten by rotating baby pin clockwise.  The Scissor Clamp is great for hanging back lights or specials.  It also works great with smaller, lightweight fixtures under 1,000 Watts. Caution:  Make sure to use a safety wire or trick line to secure the mounted lights to a pipe or beam above the suspended ceiling just to be safe…you never know.

Baby Sliding Pin aka Furniture Clamp Adapter

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Many light fixtures operate best when mounted on a vertical stud.  Try mounting a Dedolight on a horizontal stud? You'll notice the light will not pan and tilt properly. The Baby Sliding Pin solves the problem. The Baby Sliding Pin can slide along a furniture clamp or along a c-stand arm for mounting fixtures vertically.

Black Wrap

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Black Wrap is a great tool for blocking the spillage of light from fixtures with clothes pins, as well as helping control the light spread from fixtures by extending barn doors.  Black wrap can also be used to make a quick "gobo" or pattern by punching or cutting holes in a piece of black wrap to creates a nice "dapple light" look.  It is very effective.  Give it a try!

Trick Line

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Handy tool for use as a safety cable on lighting fixtures, cable ties or as ties on butterfly or overhead rags such as silks, solids or nets.

Gaffers Tape

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Gaffers Tape is an essential expendable in your grip kit.  You'll find endless uses for gaffers tape…mounting and securing cables to eliminate trip hazard, securing microphones, props, artwork, wardrobe and even lights. We recommend one of the quality tapes we sell as they are much easier to work with and remove afterwards.

Cube Tap aka Triple Tap

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The 3-way cube tap Is an excellent way to add additional Edison outlets on set or location for faster lighting set up, especially if a limited amount of distro is available. Each tap will give you 3 extra Edison outlets.

Ground Lifters

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Need to go from an Edison into a two-prong outlet? You need ground lifters.  Some older locations have two prong outlets. With ground lifters, you can easily convert available outlets to Edison.  Also helps to solve sound problems by eliminating "ac hum".

1K Dimmer aka "Hand Squeezer"     

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Want to dim down fixtures under 1K Watts quickly and safely? A quality 1K dimmer is the answer. 1K dimmers will get the job done quickly and efficiently. Great solution to controlling practical lamps on set.  2K dimmers are also available.

 

These clamps and tools are available in different brands and price points on our website.  We have shown photos for a particular brand just as a point of reference. All of the products we sell are recommended.

Questions about any of the clamps or tools?  Give us a call.  We'd love to assist you!

Web Store:       http://www.filmandvideolighting.com

Rental Store:     http://www.barndoorlighting.com

Retail Store:     232 Branford Road, North Branford CT

                       Open Mon-Fri; 9-5

Contact:           info@barndoorlighting.com; 203-208-0615

                  

 

 

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