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Thread: Clamp racks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Lafayette, CA
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    364

    Clamp racks

    Until today I had a cluster of Bessey parallel clamps jammed together on the floor in my shop:

    1 mess on the floor.jpg

    I've been dreaming of getting them up on a wall somewhere, but I have very limited wall space in the shop. It's a working garage with virtually every inch of the wall taken up by something (at least I can say that about 8 feet of that is a massive French cleat wall with a hundred tools on it, but that wouldn't fit the clamps).

    Lee Valley sells an elegant little rack:

    1.1 lee-valley-clamp-rack-f-0194.jpg


    The shelves are held onto the backer board with cross dowels and bolts. It's a great idea, but you can only store one set of clamps on a stud. That wasn't going to work in my cramped space. Then I was inspired by some of the marketing copy for Lee Valley's rack:

    "This is the kind of space-saving shop fixture that every woodworker could make; our kit saves you the trouble."

    That's all I needed. I decided to use their plywood shelf idea and put several shelf pairs on one backer board, each board bolted between two studs. In all I opted for five shelf pairs. Here's the build...

    The stack of shelves:


    2 shelf stack.jpg


    I used 1/4" x 2-1/2" bolts and 5/8" long dowels. To fit the cross dowels you need to drill into the back of the shelf for the bolt and through the shelf face for the dowel.

    3 cross dowel.jpg 4 drill press setup.jpg 5 1:4%22 holes.jpg


    Note: If I had this to do over, I'd use 2" bolts instead of 2-1/2". I'd have a simpler drill press procedure. I don't think 1/1/2" would be long enough.

    That's all the photos I'm allowed for now. I'll continue on the next post.


    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 05-02-2020 at 6:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
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    (Please ignore those "attached thumbnails." Once those creep in you can never delete them! At least I don't know how.)

    Picking up from there, here is a finished shelf, with a detail where the bolt hole meets the dowel hole:

    6 drilled shelf.jpg 8 hole detail.jpg


    One thing you really don't want to do is scrimp on Baltic birch plywood. I made a cutting mistake and ended up with only enough of the good stuff for 2 shelf pairs, so for the other three I needed to put up with some lesser plywood, which was all I had left on the shop caddy. With this I got more tearout, and that created a lot of cleanup work to clear the precision holes you see above. I have finally learned my lesson: no shop jig, ever, with anything but Baltic birch!


    The backer boards needed recessed bolt holes:

    9 backer board bolt holes.jpg 10 bolt hole detail.jpg


    When you tighten down on the bolts, you want the two shelf halves to be parallel, vertical, and properly spaced. The bolt holes in the backer board above had a little play in them to enable these adjustments (3/8" holes for 1/4" bolts). I used a spacer board the width of the spacing I needed (1-3/8") while I was tightening down the cross dowel bolts. After the bolts are tight, the spacer just slides out, ready to use for the next pair.


    11 spacer.jpg



    Backer boards got bolted into studs in the two remaining wall spaces in the shop. Now the clamps are up, up, and away –– all 14 of them –– with lots of room to grow. You can never have too many clamp racks.

    Reached my photo limit again. Final post shows the clamps on the wall.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 05-02-2020 at 6:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2019
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    Lafayette, CA
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    Again, sorry about those thumbnails. It looks like they are the vestiges of photos that initially got uploaded sideways and then deleted (so I thought).

    Here are the clamps on the wall at last:

    12short clamps.jpg 13 long clamps.jpg


    Thanks to Lee Valley for the idea and the inspiration. And to Shelter in Place for the free time.


    By the way, I'm learning that a vertical format photo will come across sideways here if you don't modify it first. So what I did with this set is this: I opened the photo on my computer, and then rotated it 90ļ four times in succession, then saved it and closed it. After that I uploaded it here and it came out correctly. But apparently the "Attached Thumbnails" never forget.

    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 05-02-2020 at 1:22 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    772
    AC in the wood shop - nice!!
    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Bob, most of my clamp racks moved to this format a while back, too...I get a lot of clamps into a compact space which left more room for accommodating things that required other storage setups. Mine are similar in design, but a little longer projecting. I didn't put any kind of raised lip at the end...'didn't feel it was necessary. I highly recommend this design for parallel clamps and it can be adapted to other types of clamps, too.

    From this:



    To this...



    I may cut a few more for the parallel clamps and UniClamps that didn't make it into the initial setup which will further free up space...I don't have much "wall" in my shop.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-02-2020 at 9:34 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Years ago I found these on Gemplers site. Can't remember what length I have, but I got several of them. I have all my K Body clamps on them and are a Great Wall space saver. They are very heavy duty and well made. I have them bolted to a plywood board, then the board is mounted to the wall studs. They are amazingly strong and support all the clamps I can hang from them. There are a few different lengths and one the that has a mount made for studs. If you like, I can take a pic. https://gemplers.com/collections/all...dled-tool-rackGemplers Clamp Rack.jpg
    Last edited by Derek Arita; 05-02-2020 at 9:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Thanks Bob! I can make use of this. Much appreciated!

    Derek, thank you too
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    All great ideas, in fact Iím not sure why I hadnít thought of it. I used to have a rack just like Jimís first picture, albeit with about half the clamps. Iím envious

    Iíll make a rack that allows stacking, what a space saver.

    cheers

    Todd

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
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    1,845
    Well done Bob. I have zero wall space left and currently use Jim's original storage idea. I need to go your stacking method. I will admit that Derek's Gempler's metal racks look very inviting.
    David

  10. #10
    Found a quick pic. I have mostly Bessey and a few Jet clamps, but they both fit well. Took these pics when I was first setting up the racks...
    Mounted Clamps.jpeg

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    1,185
    Derek,
    I have those exact same ones holding up all my clamps...…...like them a lot!

    Jim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    20,250
    @Bob Jones 5443 Nice implementation of your LV inspiration. Nice journal / how-to as well, thanks. Back in the day I used 3/4" oak dowels instead of cross-dowel nuts.

    Cleat Clamp Rack V2 (2).jpgCleat Clamp Rack V2 (13).jpg

    Mine hang on my cleat wall.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Tobias View Post
    Derek,
    I have those exact same ones holding up all my clamps...…...like them a lot!

    Jim
    Ya...I'm in a small garage shop with little wall space. Those racks allowed me to get the clamps off the floor and onto the wall.

  14. #14
    Hey Jim. Long time no see!
    That looks great!
    Haven't been in SMC in a while and I've missed making things Hope you're well!
    love makes life happen

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,856
    Ryan, I'm really glad to see you've continued the family tradition, both with the architecture/contracting and the woodworking!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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