Rockler came out with the Bandy Clamp just under a year ago and just recently added new Bandy Clamp sizes to the lineup. Now, it looks like at least one other company has noticed and come out with a competing product. Several months ago, Peachtree Woodworking Supply introduced Flex-A-Band clamp pads.
The Flex-A-Band differs from the Bandy Clamp in that it isn’t a clamp itself. It is simply a pair of clamping pads that are connected together with a rubbery band. It’s meant to be attached to other clamps to make a tool that works in the same way as Rockler’s design.
Flex-A-Bands come in two varieties: a version that attaches to Kreg-style face clamps (maybe Vise-Grip swivel-pad C-clamps as well?) and a version that you can use with most 2″ to 3″ spring clamps.
Both bands are made from rubber, so they’ll conform to the contour of whatever edge banding you are clamping. The pads are soft and non-marring, so they shouldn’t slip or mark up your work piece.
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These clamps accessories are designed for edge banding applications, and for securing items to a workbench or other fixture.
Pricing: $15 for (2) Flex-A-Bands for locking face clamps, $13 for (2) Flex-A-Bands for spring clamps.
Peachtree charges shipping based on order value, and has a convenient shipping chart. If you wanted to get one pair of either type of Flex-A-Band, shipping will cost you $6, and for two pairs (with pricing over $25) shipping will cost $9.
Here’s Peachtree’s promo video:
The approach of supplying separate bands without clamps has both advantages and disadvantages. For one, you can use the clamps you already have and are familiar with. Of course on the flip side, you have to already own the right clamps. Also, since the bands aren’t attached to the clamps, you might waste time looking for both parts.
It also remains to be seen how easy they are to use. Since the bands are already attached to Rockler’s Bandy Clamps, you just open the clamp and press it against the edge. The Flex-A-Bands aren’t permanently attached to the clamps, so will they take more time or be more difficult to use?
I would think another advantage of selling just the bands is that the price would be lower, but a pair of Flex-A-Bands alone are around the same price as a pair of medium Rockler Bandy Clamps. You would think Peachtree would have been able to supply them at a lower price point because they aren’t supplying clamps.