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Problem + Woodworker = French Cleat Clamp Rack

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Project by Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB posted 135 days ago 2451 views 7 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My shop is an outbuilding constructed from cinder blocks. I suppose it has advantages, but a big disadvantage is that whenever you want to attach something to the wall it is difficult and time consuming. Over the last several weeks I have bought and built a significant amount of new clamps, and leaving them in piles, standing in corners, or hanging on heating pipes wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

So the problem – lots of clamps and lots of cinder blocks.

The inspiration came from watching a lot of woodworking videos on French Cleats … but problem number 2 – clamp racks are top heavy and will cause the cleats to sag.

The solution I came up with was attaching a large piece of plywood with a minimum number of screws – and lots of Liquid Nail – to the wall and modifying a French Cleat to include a bracket.

Click Here for My Video Explanation of the Process.

-- Fr. Thomas, http://www.monkwerks.org





12 comments so far

View iamcliff's profile

iamcliff

463 posts in 750 days


#1 posted 135 days ago

Looks good! I plan on doing something similar once I can get more clamps. I like the bracket idea. Plus it looks cool with the curved style you added. Nice.

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9

View steve_in_ohio's profile

steve_in_ohio

1016 posts in 208 days


#2 posted 135 days ago

very good idea, simple and effective, great work

-- steve, simple and effective woodworking---

View robdem's profile

robdem

308 posts in 1203 days


#3 posted 134 days ago

Great solution to common problem . Never seem to have enough room to store clamps .

View Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB's profile

Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB

75 posts in 251 days


#4 posted 134 days ago

Thanks guys.

Chris: The nice thing about doing the curves was it enabled me to use the cut-off curve to create another, smaller rack for my spring clamps.

-- Fr. Thomas, http://www.monkwerks.org

View Bob Current 's profile

Bob Current

300 posts in 214 days


#5 posted 134 days ago

Fr. Thomas,
For the future fastening to cinder block you might want to try ITW masonry screws.
They are blue colored and come in all manner of configurations. The require the use of a compatible drill and usually a driver. I buy them from Fastenal in Indiana and I think that is a national store.
RMC

-- When you are wrong admit it, when you are right forget it.

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

465 posts in 710 days


#6 posted 134 days ago

yeah- masonary fasteners or toggle bolts would work if you drill into a cavity
great idea wth clamp holder
greg

-- Greg Simon

View Soundx's profile

Soundx

81 posts in 485 days


#7 posted 134 days ago

Love the design. i have numerous cleats on the walls waiting for a clamp shelf concept. You just solved my problem. Hope you don’t mind if I copy?

-- Terry,Tennessee

View Rob's profile (online now)

Rob

239 posts in 1668 days


#8 posted 134 days ago

I don’t mean to be too critical since I haven’t watched very many videos on French cleats, but the part of your video that demonstrates the sagging also seems to demonstrate a misunderstanding of the physics involved in a French cleat. You want most of the force on the cleat to be in the downward direction to push the top cleat against the bottom cleat. When you do that, the bottom cleat will push the top cleat tight against the wall. You can screw the top and bottom cleats together to keep them aligned, but the screws shouldn’t need to bear any weight. In your sagging demo, most of the force on the top cleat is directed upward and outward from the wall because the bottom cleat is acting as a pivot rather than acting as a cleat.

You came up with a good solution which solves the problem well enough for lighter loads, but it’s only part of the complete solution.

If you ever hang anything really heavy with French cleats, consider offsetting the bulk of the load to be as low as possible compared to the cleat itself, so you’ll have mostly downward force. Otherwise, a heavy load could pull the bottom (wall-attached) cleat out of the wall.

View hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

2458 posts in 490 days


#9 posted 134 days ago

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB's profile

Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB

75 posts in 251 days


#10 posted 134 days ago

@Rob: You are absolutely correct. A French cleat works because the downward pressure rests securely underneath the cleat. On a cabinet the cleat is typically recessed into the back to help offset any of the other forces at play, partially moving the center of gravity but also counteracting the outward force caused by the weight of the top of the cabinet. In my situation the tediousness of drilling multiple holes in concrete blocks in order to attach a clamp rack to the wall made me think about a different method. In essence I decided to use the cleat as a hook – creating the pivoting action you mentioned. I therefore needed a way to counter act the pivot, which the “bracket” was then able to do. Screwing both cleats together would stop the sagging, but that just wasn’t the method I chose to redistribute the outward force.

-- Fr. Thomas, http://www.monkwerks.org

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile

WistysWoodWorkingWonders

11908 posts in 1754 days


#11 posted 131 days ago

great idea for clamps – they always seem to take up more space than most other support tools… thanks for posting!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Tom's profile

Tom

150 posts in 317 days


#12 posted 124 days ago

very nice

-- --Tom - Saint Francis, WI

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