A Good Design for Clamp Racks?

This Viewer Question comes from Peter who writes:

I’m having a hard time finding a good design for mounting my clamps on the wall. I am interested in your design for your clamp racks. Maybe you could post an upclose pic?

And my reply:

My clamp racks are about as simple as they come. For my Jet parallel clamps, I use a 2×4 and a strip of 3/4″ ply. The ply has numerous cutouts on it that allow the clamps to slip in. I used the bandsaw to make those cuts. When its done, it looks like a giant comb. I then attach it to the side of the 2×4 and and drive a couple of screws through the 2×4 into the wall studs. The pictures should make this much clearer.

clamprack3 clamprack2 clamprack1

Now for all my other clamps, I use a simple rack made from various piece of cheap construction lumber. No need for anything fancy here.

clamprack4 clamprack5

On a related note, I covered the topic of clamps way back in Episode 12 – The Big Squeeze. And at around the 10 minute mark, you’ll see a video shot of the clamp rack in the old shop.
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/episode-12-the-big-squeeze/


***If anyone else has images of their clamp rack online, feel free to post your link in the comments.

Category: The Shop

Comments

  1. MikeD August 31, 2009

    How does a person own so many clamps? Buy a few here and there? Yard or estate sale? They are so expensive!!

    •  
      thewoodwhisperer August 31, 2009

      Yeah they aren’t cheap. But keep in mind I didn’t own this many as a hobbyist. I could only justify that many once I started my furniture business. When you have multiple projects going at once, or even just several cabinets being assembled at the same time, you can easily pull every clamp off the wall and wish you had more. And when you are running a business, running out of clamps can wind up costing you money. But to directly answer your question, I bought quite a few used and the rest were purchased whenever Amazon or Rockler would have a big sale.

    • Dave H August 31, 2009

      Mike,

      I know I don’t have quite as many as Marc, but I have a LOT more clamps than most hobbyists I know, and they cam early on in the shop buildup process. I found that while gluing up drawers for the kitchen remodel, and my wife’s step stool, I ran out of clamps too quickly…

      A lot of guys don’t like them, but if you look at my clamp rack (linked below) I own mostly Harbor Freight “Pittsburg” brand clamps. I have a few Jorgensens, and a couple of Craftsman clamps. All in all, for hobby woodworking, the Pittsburg clamps have done everything I have asked of them, and Harbor Freight puts them on sale dirt cheap fairly frequently… I got the 36″ clamps for something like $4.99 each, and the smaller clamps were $1.00 each cheaper each size we went down, so the 24″ were $3.99, the 12″ were $2.99, and the 6″ were $1.99…

      I was initially trying to get all wooden handled clamps, but after owning them, I am REALLY liking the plasticy rubber handles on the 36″ models. I almost wish I had gotten all plastic handles. They feel good in the hand…

      • Curtis September 8, 2009

        Thanks for the mention of the Harbor Freight clamps…I just saw them today and wondered if any clamps sold so cheaply could be decent. Though I’d certainly like to own Jet parallel clamps, I’ll probably go the cheap route.

    • joe tee May 18, 2014

      Mike D. look for sales at Woodworking shows, garage sales or just buy one here and one there. I’ve done this and now have a great array of clamps. I’m looking for a good rack to build for them…so far not much except a 4 foot wide wall unit???? Good luck!!!

  2. Dave H August 31, 2009

    My clamp racks are super simple. I took 2×4 scrap as a spacer block and mounted 2×2 crossbars between them. The scrap 2×4 is mounted securely to the wall studs using 3″ #10 wood screws.

    I had another purpose for the 2×2 originally, so it got a routed edge treatement and finish, but that project was abandoned after LOML changed her mind…

    This is not the prettiest setup out there, but it IS very sturdy and functional. The shelf mounted overhead is where my muffs, respirator, face shield etc… are kept. I am using a LOT of closet rock brackets and plywood shelves for storage in the shop as it is very fast, and easy, that way I can move on to more important projects…

    http://inlinethumb41.webshots......600Q85.jpg

  3. Sharon August 31, 2009

    I find wall space to be such a valuable real estate, that I can’t even think about spreading clamps across it – since I don’t have much of it.

    heres how I have my clamps hung. so far it’s holding up pretty well (about a year):

    http://homepage.mac.com/sharon.....clamps.jpg

  4. I found some plans for a clamp rack with multiple levels on it.

    My version is here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/deuce868/Clamp_rack#

    I wish I’d used some sturdier material to make them and the middle door sags a little bit now, but it works to fit more clamps in a smaller space.

    • jHop September 1, 2009

      I like this idea… I’m going to borrow it for something else, though. Mind?

      Personally, as my stock of clamps is much smaller than most people have posted, I have a different storage system. (I don’t have any bar clamps over 4″.) I have them clamped up to the 2×12″ floor joists. Not all on one joist, and not torqued up like a MOPAR speed demon, just tight enough that it won’t fall on my head. And I alternated them, so that I can actually reach the handles to loosen them and remove them as needed.

      I haven’t planned anything larger for storage yet, as I have not purchased any longer bar clamps. I plan on doing so later this year, however, so I am looking at Rockler’s clamp rack on wheels. I’m just not willing to give up that much floor space at this time.

    • Dave H September 1, 2009

      I ran across the design you linked to a while back, and I am working my own redesign of it. The fellow that I originally saw the design from is named Suwat Phruksawan. I really like his design, but wanted to make some changes…

      http://woodworking.phruksawan......index.html

      Those changes are specifically to add another tier in depth, building it with 12 slots instead of 10, and adding bracing to the larger tiers to prevent sagging. I am also trying to figure out how to hang handscrews and spring clamps from it.

      The pipe clamps are an entirely different matter. For now hanging off the side of the shelf works for me, but I know there must be a more elegant solution out there…

      • That’s where I got the idea from. I definitely agree it needs some bracing when larger. One of these days I’ll redo the rack. The idea is great, but my execution left something to be desired. For the pipe clamps, I actually cut a larger opening on the end of each level to hold them. It works out well, I’ve only got a couple of them at this point.

    • Adam Weil September 4, 2009

      If your sag, Rick, is happening at the hinges then you may want to change them out for piano hinges. They can take a lot more of the racking then most standard hinges.

  5. Zach August 31, 2009

    My clamp rack is similar to Marc’s. I don’t have anything for my parallel clamps though, since I only have two right now. :( Someday I hope to dedicate a whole wall to clamps.

    And in the most recent issue of Wood Magazine there is an article about building a pretty nice clamp rack.

  6. Mick September 1, 2009

    I really like the way you have your clamps
    Rick

  7. Haydar September 1, 2009

    What do you guys think of the rolling clamp racks that I have seen?

  8. Gary Bell September 1, 2009

    Check out this project from New Yankee Workshop:

    http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct.php?0207

    You can get the general idea from seeing the picture. The clamp stand is standing behind Norm in the picture. I built mine from just looking at it. I love it. It takes up very litte space. Holds a crap load of clamps and I move it around to the project instead of walking back and forth to the clamp wall. Just like Norm said in the video.

    Of course I am sure Norm would apprecitate it if someone would buy his “measured drawing” and DVD. But seriously this is a good idea.

  9. Germain September 1, 2009

    Norm’s clamp rack is awesome. But it would take up floor space, which is more precious than wall space in my shop. Right now I’ve just got a 2×4 mounted to the wall with my clamps stuck on it. I think it’s high time I made a rack like Marc’s. Once I have the extra space, it will give me yet another reason to buy more clamps!

    • Derek L September 1, 2009

      My 2×4 isn’t even fastened to the wall… A previous owner had left a line of huge nails in the studs at right about the right height and location, so I just set a scrap of 2×4 on top of them and started hanging clamps. Some clamps are just clamped directly to the studs.

      You can see my ‘clamp rack’ in the background:
      http://picasaweb.google.com/fa.....2762448210

      • Germain September 1, 2009

        Fuction over form. Nothing wrong with that!

      • Jason H September 2, 2009

        That is essentially what I have.

  10. ChrisF September 1, 2009

    The racks for my parallel jaw clamps are almost identical to Marc’s, but I have one added feature. I put a screw at the top front corners, then slid a long dowel behind the screws. It acts as an easily removed lock that keeps the clamps from falling out of their slots if I should bump them (or more likely, if my young son should try to grab them). Those puppies are heavy…I’d hate to have one fall on ANY part of a body!

  11. andy September 1, 2009

    A whole wall dedicated to clamps is not an option here so I just screwed some boxes together and attached them to the wall. These hold alot of clamps and they are made out of scrap melamine, plywood and pb. I made them really quick since I was in the middle of a project, told myself I’d make a nice one later and never got around to it. These have been on the wall for three years.

  12. andy September 1, 2009

    marc, how do you post a photo?

  13. Marc, I take it you just routed those out with a straight bit? What was the spacing you used, and did you build a jig to accomplish that?

  14. Goldenleaf September 1, 2009

    Geez, Marc you really need to put up a disclaimer or warnning before posting pictures like this…..

    Almost shorted my laptop with all the drool….

  15. AMarshall September 2, 2009

    There is a thread on the forum about this topic also. Some more great ideas over there, including (ahem) the ones I built.

    http://woodwhispererforum.com/.....php?t=1967

    I agree 100% with Sharon – wall space is too valuable to waste, so I made sure to hang them on the wall “sideways” and at least 5 deep. I also have french cleats so the hanger can be moved, but in practice they never get adjusted.

  16. John D. (NiteWalker) September 24, 2010

    Hey Marc. I just found the page google searching for parallel clamp rack ideas and yours will be the one I use. Super simple and efficient. Just what I’m looking for. Thanks!

    -John

  17. Ross May 17, 2011

    I began acquiring clamps as gifts for my upcoming marriage (We registered at Menards… she’s a good woman). I now have a very small collection. My solution was taking a piece of scrap wood and screwing it across a window in my shop (read ‘room in basement’). I just clamp the clamps onto this piece of wood and it gets them out of the way. Obviously, once I get more clamps I will need to figure something else out. But for the time being, a simply strip of wood works just fine for me.

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