Simple Yet Strong Clamp Rack




About: Retired Electronic Design Engineer. Member of The MakerBarn.

In a multi-user shop, such as the woodworking shop at The MakerBarn, a simple, strong rack design was needed to handle the many woodworking clamps. The Bessy clamps are quite heavy, and a wooden support would probably get beaten up pretty quickly.

Most of our people are good with the tools, but there are those who you could lock in a room with just an anvil and hammer. Come back in an hour and they would have broken the anvil and lost the hammer.

This rack can be used for both the Bessy type clamps and F type clamps. It is inexpensive to make, especially if you can find used and surplus pipe ate places like the Habitat for Humaity ReStores.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Basically the rack consists of a length of 1/2" steel pipe. Each section of pipe should be no longer than 36". Several sections of pipe could be joined together using Tees instead of elbows. Either galvanized or black pipe will do. Each end requires a two to three inch nipple, a 90 degree elbow, and a floor flange. The 1/2" pipe works well, 3/4" would also work, but it may be a bit of an overkill and costs more.

Look for the pipe at surplus centers. If you can fine a good deal on floor flanges, be sure to get some extras. For some reason the floor flanges tend to be expensive.

Determine what type of fastener you will use. If the wall is masonry, the "Blue Screws" work well. Use construction screws rather than sheet-rock screws. Sheet-rock screws tend to be brittle.

Step 2: Screw on Elbows and Nipples

Screw the elbows on each end of the pipe. Snug them up, but there's no need for death-grip tight. Try to get them close to square with each other. Then screw the nipples into the elbows.

Step 3: Square the Ends of the Assembly

Lay the assembly on a bench and adjust the elbows so that the assembly lays flat on the bench.

Step 4: Install the Floor Flanges

Screw the floor flanges on the nipples. I's a good idea to orient the holes in the flanges such that the screws will be accessible. Avoid putting a screw hole directly below the pipe.

Set the assembly on the bench and make sure the floor flanges sit flat on the bench.

Step 5: Fasten the Flanges to the Wall

The fastener you use for the wall depends on the wall material. If the walls are open studs, you may want to use some blocking between the studs to screw to. If you have dry-wall, it may be a good idea to secure a long 1x4 board to the studs, then screw the rack assembly to the 1x4. In our case, the walls were 1/2" plywood, so it was easy.

Decide on the desired height. Use a single screw in one of the flanges, then rotate the rack and set it level. Then put a single screw in the opposite end flange. If you are happy with the position and level, install the remaining screws.

Step 6: Job Done and Some Modifications

The system is flexible. To make a longer rack, use a pipe Tee instead of the elbow, then extend the rack with another piece of pipe. Racks can be assembled and disassembled as needed.

Two racks could be stacked. The lower rack using longer nipples to space it further from the wall.



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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I’ve been looking for idea such as this. Love the simplicity and functionality. Brainstorming all the applications this can be for.

    Thanks for the post, great instructable.


    1 year ago

    Had to make this for my shop.


    1 year ago

    Great idea. Love the simplicity and industrial look. Shoulda thought of this myself since I used the same system with hooks to make a pot-and-pan rack for my daughter. Very strong and works great in the kitchen. I'll finally have a dedicated rack for all my assorted clamps. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    It would probably work well as a Steam Punk towel rod as well.


    1 year ago

    Will give this a try . I have timber ones of various sizes . This idea works well with any plier type tool ,shears ,multigrips,etc