Introduction: DIY Clamp Rack (with Sliding Dove Tails)

About: YouTube content creator, wood worker, Diyer.

I have been wanting to build myself a clamp rack for quite some time now. They were a trip hazard in the floor and taking up valuable shop space so it was time to do something about it. I wanted a design that would save space and also hold quite a few clamps, so after looking at several designs, this is what I come up with!

Step 1: Laying Out the Back Panel for the Rack

I started by using a scrap of 3/4″ plywood that measured 28″ long by 12″ wide. First I made the marks for where the studs would fall and then laid the clamps out and spaced everything accordingly, you wanna make sure that you leave enough room between the vertical supports to easily slid the clamps in and out. I was able to use a scrap of 3/4″ ply and mark all the vertical supports for the clamps on to the back piece of ply. This allowed me to precisely pre drill through the front so that from behind I would know where the countersinks needed to be to attach the uprights with screws from behind. I spaced out 4 even holes for the uprights by using a tape measure trick where you find a measurement on the back piece that is easily divisible by whatever number you need, then you make a mark at each spot and then transfer the lines to each location for the holes to be drilled.

Step 2: Cutting the Vertical Supports

The upright supports came next, I ripped some 3/4″ ply into 9 1/2″ strips and then cross cut them into 11 1/2″ pieces. There were 8 of these to cut. I then made a mark 2 inches down from the top and 2 inches in from the back at the bottom, connected the marks, and then cut the angles. The angles are really sort of arbitrary here, they are just to lighten the look and make it a little easier to access the clamps.

Step 3: The Sliding Dovetails!

It was at this point that I decided to attach the uprights with sliding dove tails. You could probably just attach them with the screws drilled earlier, but I wanted something that would be a little stronger and to be honest, I just wanted to cut the sliding dove tails. This was something I haven’t yet incorporated into a project and had a lot of fun doing so. My thought was that with all the weight from the clamps pulling on the uprights, they would be less likely to fail if the had a joint that locked them into the back piece. It took a series of sneak up cuts on the uprights to get everything fitting properly. The Incra system is great for this because of all the incremental adjustments.

Step 4: The Glue-up

I made sure to drill the holes for the timber lock screws before gluing the uprights into place. This was done with a combination of a forstner bit at the drill press and a through hole with my cordless drill. I spread the glue on both sides of the joint. I had to use my mallet to get some of them to slide into place! I still used the screws for extra insurance and to act as clamps while the glue dried in the dove tails. This made the gluing process go really fast.

Step 5: Adding Strips to the Front

I also decided to add some thin strips at the front of each vertical support to prevent the clamps from possibly sliding off. The band saw worked great for cross cutting the thin strips of oak. A little bit of glue and some brad nails are all that’s needed to to hold these in place.

Step 6: Attaching to the Wall!

I attached the clamp rack with timber lock screws that I bought from the home store. I drove three of them evenly space through the back and into the wall studs. These are holding a lot of weight and need to driven into something very well anchored.

Step 7: Fill the Rack Up!!

Here are a few shots of the finished clamp rack. I am glad that this is finally done and I realize that it wont be long until I probably have to build another one!!

Step 8: Watch the Video!

To get a better understanding of how this clamp rack is built, watch the video! This rack was a fairly simple build and I'm already loving having it in my shop! It can be tailored to fit an array of different clamps.