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A few months ago a coworker held up the item pictured above and said, “This is called a cheeseborough.” I didn’t believe him, nor could I see any particular use for the tool. Later, I found out he wasn’t making up the term, and that all a cheeseborough does is clamp onto 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2″ pipe. And a few days ago I found out what makes this odd tool so cool.

Last week some guys were prepping for an outdoor event, and I got to see ’em put up an aluminum truss structure, made of tubing around 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2″ in diameter. I found out that with a cheeseborough and some pipe, you can hold almost anything. I saw cheeseboroughs used to hold ceilings, large fabric headers, plasma screens, and just about anything else that could be clamped down with it.


This week I did a little research. I haven’t found out why they’re called cheeseboroughs, but I did find out they’re also called less cool names, like pipe coupler or scaffold clamp. I found out they come in dozens of styles — some are rigid, some swivel, some can be bolted onto, some can have rope tied off. Just about any permutation seems to exist out there.

I also learned they aren’t too cheap. If they weren’t so expensive, I’d be trying to come up with projects for ’em all the time.

Scaffold Clamps [Rosco]
Couplers [The Light Source]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


12 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Cheeseboroughs

  1. Beaver says:

    At my last job we used a lot of speed rail to set up 48-96 Camera systems for motion Capture. When I started I didn’t believe that these things were called cheeseboroughs either. After working there for a few years it’s now impossible not to call them CheeseBurgers. They are just so bad ass though. I did want to still want to make all of my furniture with speed rail.

  2. David says:

    We use a TON of these in the theatre world. If you think the standard version is cool, you should check them out here:


    The Doughty people make equipment for the film world, and its all shiny and billet aluminum. Just the coolest hardware you can get.

  3. Aric says:

    David beat me to it, but yeah, we use these all the time in stage theater to hold all kinds of things, but especially when hanging extra pipes to the ceiling grid for lighting and scenery/backdrop work. Very useful.

  4. Eli says:

    There is or was an actual brand name, spelling: Cheseboro, but alternate spellings are cheeseboro, chesebro, or cheeseborough. I’ve discovered that they use them here in Australia in the film biz too, so I already feel at home. (Although strangely enough they never call a beadboard holder a platypus, only an onky bonk)


  5. Elliot Lake says:

    The ones I met up with when road shows came to the theater I worked in in the 80’s were vaguely cheese-burger shaped, that is, rounded & flat, with the ability to clamp pipe in parallel or perpendicular. It looks like tech (as always) has continued to evolve wonderful tools.

  6. Émile Essent says:

    It would be nice to see a photo gallery of interesting stuff to do with these. I have a balcony to build…!

  7. nat says:

    If you want ’em cheap
    they’ve started importing them
    in bulk from china
    and they seem to be fine.


    at $6 a pop i’ll try out a couple dozen and see how they are.

  8. Brian says:

    We call them “cheesburgers”

  9. christian says:

    Hanging a virtcal pipe from a horazonal truss witch way does the bolt latch? On top or bottom of the truss?

  10. new says:

    Wait, I take that back. Use 2 of them. One at the top, and one at the bottom. If you only have one, use it at the top for better support.

  11. Tim says:

    There was a sceffolding company in the 1920’s called cheseborough witney or something. I think they invented them, but if that was in 1920, no doubt the great depression had something to do with why no one knows about this.

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