Clamp Rack do's and dont's ? Weight of your clamp collection?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 07-04-2014 03:13 PM 1493 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1869 posts in 2029 days

07-04-2014 03:13 PM

I started my wood working hobby with the bare essentials of clamps: a set of Irwin quick clamps. They served their intended purpose rather well. I have since acquired 60+ more clamps with no home. My next blog project will be a clamp rack. But I am hitting a brick wall. Do I go wall mount system or roll around cart system? I am unable to see challenges and doubts with future clamp additions for either system. I believe I am all set for a long time regarding F clamps of various sizes. But I do see more parallel clamps (currently I have 4’ bessey and 4’ jorgensen) of the 12, 24, 36 variety in my future.
I guess what I am asking those who have constructed their clamp racks… what would you change now that you did not envision having an issue with when you first constructed the rack? And what aspects made you choose wall / mobile rack systems?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

16 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2006 days

#1 posted 07-04-2014 04:17 PM

I’ve been thinking about the same thing. From what I’ve seen wall hung systems use a LOT of space. And since I’m losing 20’ of wall space (prime real estate in any shop) I’ve been considering a floor rack of some sort, Will no doubt need wheels. Back in 10aSEE I hung my clamps from the rafters, but this new building has a ceiling so that’s out.

I’ve been looking thru some of the LJs project racks and there’s LOTS of ideas to steal (oops, I mean copy!)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2598 days

#2 posted 07-04-2014 04:38 PM

I think it will depend on wall space vs floor space availability. I used to have the Norm style A frame. Easy to build and somewhat mobile. But floor space was at more of a premium, then I just simple wall racks and put up in various out of the way spaces.

View Holbs's profile


1869 posts in 2029 days

#3 posted 07-04-2014 05:05 PM

good points. floor space vs wall space. With all my accumulations in the last couple years, both are beginning to be equally spoken for. A curious dilemma.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View jonah's profile


1702 posts in 3298 days

#4 posted 07-04-2014 05:08 PM

Mine are on the walls, because floor space is at more of a premium, and there’s literally nowhere to roll a rack around.

My simple answer: if your space is small, put them on the wall. You’re never more than a few steps away from them.

If it’s large and flat, use a roll around rack because you’re a lot farther away from the clamps.

View RonTanc's profile


23 posts in 2777 days

#5 posted 07-04-2014 05:35 PM

I have 60 plus Bessie clamps, 6” to 36”, hanging from a wall rack 24” wide. I used 2X4 cantilevered arms mounted on a 3/4” back board. The clamps land sideways on the arms and are 5 clamps deep. The arms are nested such that all available spaces is used. The rack is next to my workbench. Works great for me!

-- Cut the hole twice and it's still too big!

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1720 days

#6 posted 07-04-2014 06:52 PM

Roll around racks take up more space and almost always require more material and build time, but they bring the clamps closer to where you need them. That can be helpful if you have a large shop and don’t assemble everything in the same place. Wall mounted racks are quicker, cheaper and take up no floor space, but the wall has to bear all of the weight of what can end up being many clamps, that must be taken into consideration. For me, I’m planning on mounting mine on the wall at some point after I figure out once and for all where I want everything to go. If you give yourself plenty of width on the wall, modifications for more/different clamps will be easier than with a roll around cart too.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2045 days

#7 posted 07-04-2014 10:15 PM

Impressive collection. I think I need to post a photo myself.

-- paxorion

View LeeInAZ's profile


41 posts in 2475 days

#8 posted 07-04-2014 11:05 PM

I built a cabinet that currently holder over 200 clamps including several 60” long. It takes up a 4’ x 6’ section of wall. Check it out here

-- Lee - Phoenix, AZ

View Holbs's profile


1869 posts in 2029 days

#9 posted 07-04-2014 11:13 PM

I like your method, Lee. So far, your method is at the top of the list. The heavy duty hinges you used.. would you have the brand name / rated LBS ? I do have spare 12’ of piano hinge that I wonder if I could use instead.
So you have 2 front swinging doors that opens up to a deeper cabinet. These parallel clamps are HEAVY when bunched up. I think I’ll follow your project, but put the parallel clamps in the rear cabinet instead of on swinging doors. Is your cabinet bolted to the wall or on wheels? I might toss on my 5” castor wheels for this cabinet, just incase I need to move it around (shop cleanup and/or rinsing the floor off).

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1954 days

#10 posted 07-05-2014 04:38 AM

LeeInAz, without a doubt the best study in design planning for clamps I have ever seen. Kudos for your result! I really do love it! Puts my unimplemented ideas to shame.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2576 days

#11 posted 07-05-2014 03:42 PM

+1 on lee’s design; you can fit a lot more clamps in a smaller space.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 2671 days

#12 posted 07-06-2014 12:39 AM

I’m in the same boat as you although my collection of clamps is still very much in it’s infancy. I don’t have much wall space, and since I am in need of an assembly table, I’m planning to build one with clamp storage along both sides and some shelves underneath. Might put some small bins for cauls and small clamps.

That being said, time is at a premium so I am currently using the “pile o’ clamps” method where I toss them in pile, generally the most used clamps stick to the top of the pile so it isn’t as inefficient as it might seem…

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View Holbs's profile


1869 posts in 2029 days

#13 posted 07-06-2014 03:15 AM

I have decided to go with a cart. My wall space is ‘more’ of a premium than a roll around cart. In the process now. I think I’ll do a phase 1 basic structure holding the more heavier clamps and future clamps, and then later on a phase 2 with doors. Plus with future weight considerations of all clamps combined, I would feel more safer on a cart than attached to the wall (I did not construct this garage so… relying on cheap sub-contractors for quality of wall studs is hit & miss). Besides, gives me more practice with dado’s and SketchUp :)
But what I should of asked everyone on LJ’s…

how much does your collection of clamps weigh? my 56” long Jorgensen parallel clamps solo weigh.. wow.. 8-10lbs each? and that is just ONE clamp.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View jonah's profile


1702 posts in 3298 days

#14 posted 07-06-2014 12:39 PM

There’s no way the structure in your garage is incapable of holding up a few clamps, even heavy ones. If that were the case, the building would have fallen down at the slightest wind storm. Even shoddily-built wood structures are incredibly resilient. Wood is tough stuff.

View Holbs's profile


1869 posts in 2029 days

#15 posted 07-06-2014 12:57 PM

so true, jonah. i was just looking for excuses to use up more of my surplus 5” castors :)
before getting into wood working, I undervalued the strength of even construction 2×4’s. The trusses in my garage look rickety and flimsy, yet the integrity has no issue holding up stone tiles, 5/8” fire rated drywall, and me walking ontop of it.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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