The Basement #3: Flip Down Clamp Rack...

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 10-22-2010 03:39 AM 17782 reads 13 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Hardwood Flooring..........Cheap. Part 3 of The Basement series Part 4: Crosscut Sled »

Previously, I stored my longer clamps up between the floor joists, which worked ok, except they were kind of a pain to sneak them out of the cleats. Recently I added on a bit to the shop so had a stretch of open ceiling.

The idea of having a hinged clamp rack has been in my mind for awhile so what the heck, it not that pretty, but it is pretty functional…..

With 8 parallel clamps and 8 “F’ clamps, it was a little heavier than I really imagined, so I have 4 black rubber bungies offsetting the weight on the hinge side. The blue bungies on the front are “just in case”.

Because of the weight, I wanted a way to close it quickly and safely so I have a spring loaded catch on the ceiling so you can just snap it closed:

And here it is closed:

As a side benefit, I flip the clamps up and use it as a level clamping surface with access to all sides of the project – I didn’t honestly plan it this way – but it works out pretty well. Have used it on several glue-ups and it’s only 2 weeks old.

A couple more shots:

I am sure it’s not an unique idea, but this is my design. If you are tight on space, have low ceilings and do alot of clamping, then maybe it’s the thing to do? Used re-purposed 2×4’s from my last shop expansion so really no cost to build. Also have 2 safety latches, one on each side that I lock just in case, like I said, it’s heavier than you think.

Thanks for looking.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

8 comments so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


712 posts in 3329 days

#1 posted 10-22-2010 03:43 AM

I like it! Ingenious. Well done!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View lew's profile


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#2 posted 10-22-2010 06:18 AM


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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#3 posted 10-22-2010 05:25 PM

That looks like a great use of overhead space! Good job…

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323 posts in 4153 days

#4 posted 10-23-2010 07:06 PM

Unfinished overhead rafters have created some of most useful storage areas. Excellent work.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

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Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3768 days

#5 posted 11-16-2010 04:49 AM

Elegant solution! It is cool that you can also use it to as a clamping jig.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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#6 posted 08-14-2011 06:07 PM

Awesome design and use of space : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3039 days

#7 posted 09-23-2011 04:14 PM

Have been thinking of an overhead clamp rack for my new shop which has a low ceiling.
Now that you’ve used yours for about a year. Do you think the use of gas rods (like those used for van tailgates) would be more beneficial in carrying the weight of the clamps in raising and lowering the rack over using the system your now using? I’m short with 8’ ceilings with not much room to move around in and would have to stand on a step stools to reach it. I would need to make it easy to use safely. I have pipe clamps I would like to do this with also which are heavy by themselves. Hence the questions about improving on your design. I figure you have a good prototype to work from and might have some ideas on how to improve on your design.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View JL7's profile


8672 posts in 3020 days

#8 posted 09-23-2011 04:33 PM

Hey Greg,

My shop has 7’ ceiling, so that extra foot of space is clearly an issue. One thought, make the rack longer so it extends down to level you want. You may also discover a space in your shop that allows you to mount it lower, say a foot down from the ceiling, maybe mounting the hinge side to a wall?

I considered the gas shocks and I actually have a set from something else, but I can’t seem to engineer them into the design because they act in reverse of what I want. They push instead of pull. I’m not sure if they make a version that pulls?

At any rate, I think you can find solutions that could work for you – it really is a handy gadget and it see’s alot of use.

Please post your results if if give it a go!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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