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.
charlessenf-gm made it!