What you want Lanse is forged steel clamps. The cheap C clamps you buy at the box stores or harbor fright is gonna be cast or malleable iron. Puddles shows a beautiful collection of clamps below. Of course I know he has many more of them then that. Vice Grip makes some good specialty clamps for welding. Here's one that you would use a lot.
The sliding type clamp that Puddles shows is my all time favorite clamp. I think I used Wilton clamps like these years ago. I always wanted a set of these and finally bought 3 of them at a machine shop auction a couple of years ago. Two 12" and one 16". These are Bessey - from Germany. Dunno the brand but they are good. Remember: Drop forged steel or cast steel VS cast iron or maleable iron? Iron aint even close to the strength of steel.
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