Clamp Station Design


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A couple weeks ago I saw this Woodsmith Tip on Twitter: http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/2008/08/14/sn/

I really liked it as it doesn't take up much space on the wall yet would allow me to have a fair number of clamps. I don't have many right now, but hey, always room for more. :)

The drawing was nice and I could sort of picture it in my head, but having read some of the posts on here and watched videos on things you can do with Sketchup, I wanted to try and recreate this thing in there so I could get a better idea of what it would actually look like. I have attached my file to the post here, grab it if you like. I am a very raw noob on Sketchup so I basically followed the design exactly, as I don't know how to do fancy stuff in there. I'm sure there is all kinds of things you could do with the design to spruce it up or "make it your own", but I think I am going to make my first attempt to plan.

I also tried using Cutlist, which I saw in a separate thread on here, but while I got it installed ok, I just could not get it to work right.... or at least how I thought it should. Ended up just drawing out my cut list on paper.... figured out I could build the whole thing from one 48"x48" sheet of 3/4" birch ply.

It was fun making this thing in Sketchup, bought my materials this weekend, hopefully I will get to work on building it next weekend.... but we all know how the best laid plans usually end up. :)

-- Andrew

Clamp Storage Rack.skp

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I haven't built any clamp storage yet - for now I have just clamped the clamps to the ends of a set of shelves.

I see clamp storage systems with notches cut to hold each type of clamp. What's the advantage of doing that, vs just clamping the clamps to a horizontal piece of wood projecting from the wall? I don't clamp the clamps tightly, just enough that they don't fall off.

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I haven't built any clamp storage yet - for now I have just clamped the clamps to the ends of a set of shelves.

I see clamp storage systems with notches cut to hold each type of clamp. What's the advantage of doing that, vs just clamping the clamps to a horizontal piece of wood projecting from the wall? I don't clamp the clamps tightly, just enough that they don't fall off.

I used a 2x4 like Marc had suggested with the notches. It worked very well, The bessy tyope clamps sit it there very well. I guess it cuts doen on the amount they protrude as well. On another note, I have also bought the Rockler clamp rack. It is very good and holds a lot of clamps. After a while you gather so many clamps, they are hanging all over the place, nice to have them in one place. This is a nice sketchup design though, I could see myself building it.

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I did a clamp rack like that... long board with notches. What I hated was all the space it took. Wall space is precious in my shop; I think long before putting something on the wall.

I opted for a set of triangles above the bench. One side holds 40" parallels and the other 24/27" parallels. There are 8 clamps on that set of triangles and they take the space of about 3 on a notched wall rack. It actually is more convenient since I routinely grab 2 at a time when I take them out.

IMG_1237.JPG

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Andrew, this is a very well made SketchUp model for one of your first attempts. Nice job, very accurate & complete!

I agree with Paul-Marcel that the best way to save wall space is to stack your clamps coming out from the wall, and the Woodcraft design is a good example of this. My clamp rack is almost like P-M's, but with groups of two triangular supports spaced about 1 1/2" apart. Most every type of clamp I have can fit in these - F-Body, pipe clamps, bar clamps, whatever.

Storing clamps is one of those topics that is endlessly debated. If you find a design that works for your shop, go for it!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for your feedback on this. I decided to continue with the project on plan that I created in SketchUp. The only difference I made was to not make the 5° cuts on the ends to angle the notched boards. My table saw is not that precise, and I really didn't see any other way I could manage such cuts with the tools I had on hand. So, I just made everything perpendicular. Came out pretty good if I do say so myself. :) And once it was done, it actually didn't take up that much wall space yet gives me lots of room for clamps. As you can see though, I have some empty slots so I might need to address that small problem! :)

-- Andrew

post-2319-0-53670100-1291304685_thumb.jp

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  • 1 month later...

Here's my set up to add to the mix. I'll be doing a double rack soon for the shorter clamps.

Hey Vic, what are the dimensions of the triangle for your bar clamp cleat? I am guessing 12" deep x 7 1/4" high on a 4" cleat rail?

I just finished building 8' of comb/finger style clamp rack last night. Logged into WTO and saw this thread. D'oh! I really like the space savings of your design, thanks for the post!

--Rick

post-3547-0-11156400-1295800442_thumb.jp

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It's just very utilitarian. The upper part of the French cleat is the same as the wall cleat, 3 3/4" The triangular section is 11 1/2" out and the entire height of both cleats. I used three pocket screws per triangle. They are spaced according to the clamps they hold and the width of the bars on the clamp. Super simple. The 11 1/2" allows six of the Jet clamps comfortably. Seven will go on, but it's to the very end.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very nice ideas, gentlemen.

I have been attaching my clamps to the I-Beams across the ceiling of my shop. But I really do not like the knots that have developed on my head from walking into them. So I think I'll build one of these.

Paul-Marcel: Can I borrow some of those Bessey clamps to help make the clamp storage? :-)

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Thanks for the help Vic. I am very happy with the result and I have plenty of room for ...more clamps!!! :D

LOL..looks familiar. Now, remember to buy a few clamps a month...they wont kill the budget so much that way.

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