Overhead clamp storage

  • Advertise with us
Project by KerwinLumpkins posted 01-30-2016 06:00 PM 2015 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My large clamps were seriously in the way and I needed to store them properly. Of course, where is the question. I have a garage like space with steel bar framed overhead space. After seeing some posts like JL7’s, I thought I would set out to store them overhead.

JL7’s post on this topic

Mine looks very similar. Hacked together with relatively cheap materials. Not a pretty solution, but it works. The rack box is made of 3/4” plywood with pocket screw hole joinery. I cut out slotted “rack” features using my laser cutter and 1/4” plywood, though of course I could have cut with band saw. I wanted curves in the slots and my laser cutter does that faster and much prettier than I could do manually. The slotted racks are set in place with wooden triangular brackets. The “hinges” of the rack to a bar in the ceiling are also 3/4” plywood in two pieces. One piece is a slot that allowed me to just drop it over the bar, then I added the other half with made a closed circle. There are many other ways to do this. My method was just expedient and still very strong, so I did it.

Those clamps are heavy so I needed counter force to allow me to lift/lower them. I used 2 hefty springs I got at home depot. They are about $7 each. I used dual U clamps on the ceiling for each (I used 2 for redundant holding power). With those two springs, the weight of the clamps is largely offset, so that I am able to easily raise and lower the rack with one hand. These clamps (a combination of Bessey K models and some Groz models) weigh on average about 12 pounds each. I have 10 of them, so 120 pounds plus the plywood rack means about 150 pounds or so. I was going to use a counterweight system, but there is section where the concrete wall comes down a foot or so from the ceiling so I would have to rig a system of pulleys to get around that corner in order to have counterweight rack on the wall. So I went with springs. I estimate about 15 pounds of force needed after the springs to lift that rack back into the closed position.

Similar to JL7, I used a spring loaded latch to hold it closed. The spring ensures that it can’t easily come undone on its own. Though I have done tests where I suddenly release that clamp to ensure that if it does happen I won’t get my skull fractured. With those springs the rack comes down but at a controlled pace, not in “freight train” fashion. 3 weeks since installation and my skull is still intact, so I guess it’s okay. I still intend to add redundant latches to it anyway, since I don’t access these clamps that often.

2 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile (online now)


3328 posts in 2480 days

#1 posted 01-31-2016 01:12 AM

Nice that works for you, great idea to have an extra lock. without the safety springs etc. it could sure send you for a loop across the shop. don’t have to worry about getting hit on the head, wouldn’t remember it anyway. Nice to get them off the walls and out of sight but ready to use. Mine are on the wall and in a pile under a table.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View JL7's profile


8690 posts in 3162 days

#2 posted 01-31-2016 11:54 PM

Well done, and thanks for the shout out…...the extra safety latches are a must!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics