The Basement #37: A couple of workshop updates.....

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 11-25-2013 04:29 PM 2791 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 36: The Sharpening Cart - Now with a buffing station..... Part 37 of The Basement series Part 38: Saw Blade Jackets »

I still like those little workshop improvement projects…..they are a nice diversion when you are immersed in a big project. And most of them are created out of frustration with the current state…

Anyways, none of these are pretty but here goes:

You can’t have enough clamps….BUT….it’s always a challenge to figure out where to put them and how to access them quickly. In the basement it’s logical to store stuff in the ceiling between the floor joists, but it is a little awkward to get the clamps down, especially the longer ones….

Had some leftover Fir flooring and built these really basic parts which will work for standard F-clamps or quick clamps:

Used some simple dowel construction and mounted them in the ceiling:

The concept is the clamps are stored at an angle which makes them much more accessible.

In the photo above, the rack in the front is fixed and can hold clamps from 12”-24” long and it only hangs down 4.5”, so no problems with clearance in the shop. The rack behind it is hinged and can hold up to 36”. It hangs down 10” from the ceiling which doesn’t cause a problem most of the time, but could be a problem if I have to move the big band saw or whatever. So it can pushed up and locked in tight to the ceiling if necessary. The photo below shows the spring loaded lock mechanism:

The photo below is a shot right above the workbench, which includes one of the new clamp racks, an angled shelf thing, a simple piece of sheet metal angle for tape measures, and a mag bar mounted at an angle for easier access:

Here’s the angled mag bar:

Also in front of the bench is the bench puck dispenser, which is 3” PVC cut and shaped and mounted to a piece of pine:

It works like a Pez dispenser, but to be honest….by design, the pucks don’t really want to slide out easily….but it still works..

I’ve been building my own dowels and when I setup to cut dowels, I cut a bunch….which causes the next problem…..what to do with all those dowels. It’s ugly but effective, a combination of PVC and flex hose scraps and a few labels and the dowels are sorted by size, again, hanging from the ceiling:

One more ceiling mod, and an idea I stole from my Dad, the drill and impact driver holder. which is just holes that fit the chucks:

I have the Ryobi One+ drills and things and just got the battery charger recall…..which is scary to say the least when they can suddenly burst into flames. Either way, I’ve never liked to keep the chargers plugged in when not in use, but sometimes you just forget. My new solution is to mount the chargers right next the door so it’s the last thing I see when leaving the shop and hopefully I remember to unplug them…..and for the record, the recalled charger is gone:

Also beefed up the dust collection on the big band saw and the router table…..kind of ugly, but works well and both have quick dis-connect fittings:

Now they both have 4” fittings. The band saw gets a new port right under the table and the router table has an optional 3” gate for the fence. Form follows function here…..

Lastly, got a bunch free (odd sized) chunks of 1” MDF and they make great tool holders for the French cleat system…’s one for the drum sander:

Enough ramblings…...thanks for looking…..

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

9 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 11-25-2013 05:30 PM

Man is your shop cool. You got stuff and places to put it all.
What a fun place to work that must be.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View DIYaholic's profile


19597 posts in 2643 days

#2 posted 11-25-2013 05:38 PM

Looks like good use of space, materials on hand and brain power.
Anything that helps to organize the shop, improve efficiency or improve dust collection is a great thing….
Looks be damned!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2582 days

#3 posted 11-25-2013 06:04 PM

Jeff thats a shop and a half there , love the clamp rack ,the holder made out of scrap MDF got to use that thans for sharing
very cleaver ,a place for every thing and every thing in its place,i love it as i spend a lot of time looking for stuff :)

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 11-25-2013 08:21 PM

when you get a transporter
a tractor beam
and a cloaking device
(or at least a coat rack)

you will be good to go
and explore
the rest of the universe

a real inspiration jeff

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3302 days

#5 posted 11-25-2013 08:47 PM

Almost makes me wish I didn’t have a paneled ceiling in my shop. Tons of storage up there. Great ideas.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2506 days

#6 posted 11-26-2013 12:42 AM

Looks fantastic, great ideas.

-- I never finish anyth

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2808 days

#7 posted 11-26-2013 02:38 AM

Jeff it looks like you are having to do what i do. Use every absolute spare bit of space as smartly as you can. And you have some cool tool racks.
Nice stuff.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2902 days

#8 posted 11-26-2013 05:16 AM

Cool Shop you got. very well organized.
I picked up some ideas.


-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2772 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 01:44 PM

All, fantastic ideas, Jeff. Luv the Pez dispenser, way kool

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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