Three Clamps Racks From Scraps

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Introduction: Three Clamps Racks From Scraps

For some reason I have been okay with clamps scattered around the shop for far too long. So while preparing for our next Roubo-style workbench build, I decided that it was time to finally give our clamps a proper home! These three clamp racks hold several common clamp styles and sizes and can be made from scrap MDF, plywood, or real wood.

Step 1: Preparing Parts for the Small Clamp Rack

The first pair of clamp racks will hold 12 smaller F-Clamps each. I started these by cutting a few pieces of scrap 3/4” MDF to length and width at the table saw. The final size of the rack can really be any multiple of the stud spacing in the walls (plus a few inches extra on either end). I then marked where the mounting screws will go on the back piece based on the 16” stud spacing in my shop. I also marked the location of the rear of each slot on the top piece.

Step 2: Making the Slots

Next, I drilled the slot holes in the top using a bit that was just a little larger than the width of the bar on the largest clamp. Then I marked the slot locations with a square and headed over to the band saw and cut the slots out. (A jigsaw works well for this as well.) Once that was finished I cleaned up the bottoms of the slots with a file and some sandpaper.

Step 3: Assembling the Small Clamp Rack

Assembly was pretty simple. I ran a bead of glue along the top of the back piece and used several 2” nails in my nail gun to attach the top to the back. I then counter-sunk and predrilled holes for the mounting screws and rounded over the front edges a bit with a sanding block.

Step 4: Finishing the Small Clamp Rack

To finish the small racks I used a couple of coats of black matte spray paint. Once they were dry, I mounted them to the wall (into studs) with a pair of 2-1/2" cabinet screws.

Step 5: A Larger Clamp Rack

The second rack is just a larger and longer version of the first that will hold 14 large F-Clamps including Bessey K-Body parallel clamps. The main differences were the larger drill bit size used for the slots, some heavier duty mounting screws, and having to use a jigsaw to cut the center-most slots as the back was too long to fit through the bandsaw.

Step 6: Securing the Larger Clamps

Since the bar widths on my larger clamps were a bit different it was hard to get a snug fit all the clamps. To solve this, I over-sized the slots a little and added small pieces of felt pads used to protect hardwood floors from furniture. This worked quite well, but another option would be to simply glue a thin strip of wood or hardboard to the front edge to make a lip prior to cutting the slots. This would provide the best security while while allowing for a wider range of clamp sizes in the same rack.

Step 7: A Rack for Quick-Clamps

The final rack, which holds 12-14 quick-clamps, is a little different as these clamps don’t fit into the F-Clamp style racks. I cut the back and sides at the table saw and then beveled the front edge of the side pieces a bit at the bandsaw. Next, I used a 5/8” Forstner bit at the drill press to make a 1/2” deep hole in the sides to hold a piece of dowel.

Step 8: Assembling the Quick-Clamp Rack

To finish the assembly, I used a bit of glue and clamped the pieces together for a few minutes. I then finished it up by attaching the sides to the back with a few nails.

Step 9: Final Results

After a little more paint, it was finally time to move all the clamps off the floor and into their new homes.

Step 10: Plans

PDF and SketchUp plans for all three racks can be found at our website.

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Many variations on this possible - slots for files and chisels, narrow slots for stripping knives, holes of all sizes for screwdrivers etc. etc.

If only I could remember to put them back after use

5 replies

FOR 50 YEARS, my hubby has complained about his garage disorganized and trashed by all of the people who never put anything back. I never bothered because it never was organized and I never knew where-to. Un-like my kitchen, now though, I am building a french cleat wall with one set of like kind items at a time finding a forever home. I am forcing myself to break the 50 year habit. It is hard. I relegate myself to: The last 30inutes in Garage every tool I have not placed earlier that now has a designated spot finds its way home BEFORE I lock the door. RULE: (posted on door, for Kids, Grandkids -- Welcome to use tools -- Replace where you found it or don't use them AGAIN! It is getting more organized, being swept, and staying that way, because I AM the Local Enforcement Officer! So far two persons have been banned for a month till they learned I meant business. If they remove from immediate area, they have to "check" out same as local library. What they borrowed and when. --- So far One person had to cough up $89.00 replacement fee. The word was passed around and I haven't lost any more tools.

Love the looks of these they will be after Solar Passive Pop-Can Heat Panel Project is finished following Christmas! Yeah!

I've done the same thing with my movies/TV shows. Having a log sheet that people sign when they borrow and return is so helpful. Havent lost any movies since doing this.

Lovetra, you would have a field day here and get very, very rich at the same time. My problem is having about a hundred projects on the go all the time and every one is important. The goal is always to plan, get materials, start, and then move onto the next project - that's the problem. Never quite finish the one before. Having worked my way through the whole house, kitchen, bathroom, loft, shed, garden, the whole thing is a dog's dinner. Scattered amongst all this are the tools. Add to this, a hobby (electronics) that involves millions of minute components and you have the perfect storm. About half of my life has been spent looking for things. The air is permanently blue. I have three of everything because I have to go and buy another one.
I have tried every trick in the book, but can never break the habit. Extend this to keys, credit cards, very important documents etc.
If I could afford it, I would put a GPS tracker on everything, but then I would lose the phone. Everyone including lady friend is banned from entering. What I really need is a big shed with bedroom etc. attached. Why do I put myself through all this? Because I come from a long line of grafters and doers who could never afford to get someone in to do it - it's in the genes. It’s the difference between the Brits and USA. Here in the UK, whole new generations have never experienced a hardship like WW2. Get someone in, get the groceries delivered, get it online. If someone put me in a small, neat, tidy one bedroom flat, I would die
Good luck to you and keep on DOING

I didn't say I am the perfect organizer. The 1st American President I voted for was Truman. The book that would describe my childhood was "Grapes of Wrath" by John Stienbeck. Having Uncles and younger cousins returning from WWII. I watched the black and white movies of Britain and Europe's war years. I have read the Ansac's and see our "spoiled brats" of today who, when told by our generation, what it was like think we are lying and "we" could have done better. But then my father told me how he walked behind his Mom & Dads farm wagon 20 miles when they moved from one county to another in Missouri in 1908. His Mom road and 4 much younger children road. His mom breast fed the baby while her Husband drove the wagon pulled by 2 mules, while my Dad, age 7, and five older walked. How when the wagon broke down they repaired with what they had and moved on. Hardware stores were 150.miles away in Saint Louie. It was amazing to me as a child what daddy could fix with a bobby/hair pin.
THE 1940 HOUSETRAILER I added to my profile my Mom, Dad, Brother and I lived in for 10 years as we followed the crops all over California and it didn't hurt either one of us kids. The trailer was 8 feet wide and 18 feet long. We both appreciate where we've been and what we have achieved.
If you aren't doing, your dyeing. Can't be any fun in that!

Thank you for that - true grit
My forebears were all men of the soil, never complained, suffered badly in WW1 and WW2, and worst of all, were never recognised for their efforts.
My generation, the so-called baby-boomers, get the blame for everything, for living in houses, being in hospital beds, getting a pension and so on, all at the hands of generations who have no idea and can't survive without a mobile phone. They walk past you like you are mess on the pavement or simply not there.
You should be proud of all the things you achieved and long may you continue

Haha, yes.. yes it does :) I always seem to have a partial can of it left over that needs to be used.

Timely reminder for me as I have clamps laying around all over the shop.James

great looking clamp racks

I made something similar to this, but I made little notches for guiding the clamps to the slots.