Recently, in an attempt to speed up production in the shop, I’ve noticed the lack of clamps was slowing me down significantly. Even though I was initially adverse to working on more than one project at a time, it’s quickly became necessary.
So this morning, after a nice relaxing breakfast with wife, we took a trip to Home Depot, a.k.a the BORG (Big Orange Retail Giant). We filled up the cart, checked out and went home.
I put the clamps together, looked around the shop and had no idea where I was going to put them. I realized there was no decent place to store the new clamps. After a few moments, it became apparent that I could solve this issue, and another, with one solution. But first, another trip to Home Depot (reminds me of early shop setup efforts involving numerous trips to HD and/or Lowe’s per day).
So ugly – yet so useful
The answer focused around the sub-standard glue-up / assembly table. This thing served me well for several years, but now it was due for a face lift as well as an upgrade. There is no such thing as a “pretty” glue-up table. Mine is no exception, esp. since it serves as a finishing table too. it’s downright ugly, but it works well.
Several 2×4’s later, along with some deck screws, a sheet of hardboard and particle board, the table had a new extension. Now I have a new glue-up station with the clamps I use the most in the same spot. It doesn’t seem like much effort to walk a few feet to get the clamps elsewhere, but the time adds up. I am going to try and preserve the top and keep it clean, but that probably won’t last long. The whole point of using hardboard as the top layer is to have a smooth work surface as well as a cheap, easy replacement. Beyond that, I’ll use thicker mil sheets of plastic and newspaper as needed.
Well, it seems I have another problem now. Splitting up the clamp storage was so effective that I now have more room for additional clamps. Somehow I went from a problem, to a solution, to another problem. I cannot help but think how I ended up, even after all this, validating that universal truism known to all makers of fine sawdust: You can never have enough clamps.
Thanks for reading.
Your Arctic Woodworking Friend,
-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) || http://www.birchhillwoodcrafts.com