New clamp holders and box joints on the bandsaw

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by stefang posted 07-20-2010 11:02 PM 10596 reads 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone,

I’ve been trying to make a few small changes in my shop. One of the changes is to make my clamps more accessible. I have been needing to do this since I installed my sliding work benches about a year ago. I thought someone might like my clamp rack idea and since I used box joints on it’s construction, I thought those with scroll saws who haven’t done jointing with theirs yet might like to see how I do them on the scroll saw.

So what is this then? Not something for my sweetie. All is revealed in the 2nd photo. Once assembled and glued-up it will be hung on the wall.



Making Box joints

1. I’ve cut the short pieces for the top and bottom of the clamp rack. Here the finger widths are determined by dividing the workpiece into 4 finger widths. An odd number would be better, but I wanted to save time and effort on this utilitarian item.


2. Marking the shoulder width using a piece the same thickness as the workpiece and adding about 1/16” so the fingers will stick out a bit when glued-up.


3. only one end has been marked on the first of the two pieces and then cut.


4. After cutting the first fingers the cut end is used as a pattern for both ends on the other piece. en


5. Then I cut both ends on the piece that was just marked. When that is finished one of ends of the new piece is used to mark the remaining end on the original piece.

So now the remaining end is cut and the two pieces are ready. These pieces will now be used as patterns to mark off the long pieces they attach to. A word of caution here. I always regard each end as unique. In practice this means that each end used as a pattern will be mated with the corresponding piece it was marked from.


6. The long mating pieces are now marked using the short pieces for a pattern. I letter these so that ‘A’ is mated to ‘A’ and so on to insure the joint used as a pattern will be mated to it’s respective long piece end.


7. The long parts are now cut. Proper cutting is critical to get a tight fit. This requires cutting on the correct side of the markings. An example of this is that when marking an opening on the long piece with a tooth from the short piece, the penciled outline will be around the outside of the tooth. The marking is therefore a little wider than the actual tooth. In order to get a tight fit, the lines must be left when cutting around the tooth hole.

Finished so here is a photo of the nice tight fit we are looking for. All of the joints came out like this right off the saw and no adjustments were necessary.


Here is the tool rack hung up and filled with my clamps. The 2nd photo shows the same type of rack, but for long clamps.


I hope everyone will understand the box joint routine with regard to marking up and cutting. Please let me know if you need more info or want anything cleared up. Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

23 comments so far

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3362 days

#1 posted 07-20-2010 11:15 PM

simple enough ,

thanks mike .

we all learn with you ,

even when you are being obstinate (LOL) !

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

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2962 days

#2 posted 07-20-2010 11:21 PM

Nice article and nice clamp racks Mike. I wish my clamps were still that shiny and good looking!!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3111 days

#3 posted 07-20-2010 11:52 PM

Yes Mike – whne the tools are in place working are so much more fun.
And you even get more space – simple and effective.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View dedalo's profile


173 posts in 2919 days

#4 posted 07-21-2010 12:05 AM

Muy bueno! excelente idea :D


View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#5 posted 07-21-2010 12:06 AM

David, I can’t use those dado blade sets on my European saw and I hate to rout them with all the noise and set-up. I even have built a really good adjustable routing jig to make them, but I prefer the scroll saw which is quick, quiet and very accurate if done right, plus I can sit down while cutting them.

Div, That’s one advantage of using PVA and Titebond glues. My impression is that judging by your work I’ve seen, you are probably deeply into using two component glues and maybe polyurethane which are pretty messy. Most of those clamps are about 13 years old. I will readily admit though that a professional like yourself probably does more work in a week than I do in a year.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

789 posts in 3854 days

#6 posted 07-21-2010 01:34 AM

Very cool. Stores a bunch of clamps in a small space

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View a1Jim's profile


117113 posts in 3598 days

#7 posted 07-21-2010 01:37 AM

Hey Mike
Great idea. It’s the rack(s) for you my friend LOL

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3128 days

#8 posted 07-21-2010 02:04 AM

Hey Mike,
I like the clamp racks. I don’t have a scroll saw, but I just got a dado set. I’ll see what I come up with when I try this. Thanks for the idea. Rand

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3189 days

#9 posted 07-21-2010 03:52 AM

Nice job and thanks for sharing. I really like how you made these.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3036 days

#10 posted 07-21-2010 04:20 AM

Mike…Nice clamp racks. A simple and yet very effective design. I like the fact that you can simply place the racks at a comfortable height and pull a clamp out or place one back into the rack. Nice job with the finger joints. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to sit down and get the job done without the noise. Thanks for sharing! I could use a small clamp rack like this.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18283 posts in 3697 days

#11 posted 07-21-2010 06:04 AM

Looks good Mike. Are you close to running out of walls ?:-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3808 days

#12 posted 07-21-2010 06:06 AM

Great ideas. I wonder if I can adapt your idea to work on the end of a metal legged work bench. Just what I need….another shop project. Thanks for shairing this great idea.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3826 days

#13 posted 07-21-2010 08:46 AM

Mike, the clamp rack is nicely designed. I liked the clear description of how to make the box joint. I know you are a perfectionist.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3071 days

#14 posted 07-21-2010 11:33 AM

Love the idea, I was thinking, just today, of trying to put some order into my disarray of clamps. Now you have given me the idea I just have to find the time to actually do it.

-- Theresa,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#15 posted 07-21-2010 11:49 AM

Thanks for the positive comments guys. I also use this same idea on a smaller scale to store my try squares, calipers, rulers and a bunch of other frequently used stuff that will rest in the narrow slots.

Rand I had to laugh about your getting the dado set. Good one.

Bob (Topamax) I have been using this system for many years, but I had a longer rack on another wall that I couldn’t reach after installing my sliding benches. I had to make this shorter one to fit. I also use this system for my long clamps which you can see on my workshop page. They work well, but aren’t as efficient with regards to space saving as the small ones are. And yes, I am really out of wall space now. I’m going to have to do some heavy thinking, no matter how painful, to come up with some new ideas.

Sharad Thank you for the ‘perfectionist’ title. Extremely generous in my case.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

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