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Can I bore a bunch of holes in my joists for clamp storage?

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 03-27-2015 02:07 PM 1084 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ADHDan

800 posts in 1571 days


03-27-2015 02:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My small shop is in the lower level of my house, underneath the kitchen. The ceiling is exposed joists. Currently, I’ve been hanging my bar clamps over my workbench with racks screwed to the joists, which you can kind of see in these pictures:

It occurred to me that I could pack more clamps into the same amount of space if I hang my 24”+ clamps from a rack mounted high up on the joist, and bore staggered holes (or cut a long slot) below the rack to hang my collection of shorter 6”/12”/18” bar/quick-grip clamps. All in, I think I’d be looking to store somewhere between 50-60 clamps (quick-grip, F-style, parallel, and aluminum bar) on two joists.

It would take a LOT of holes removing a LOT of material before I started seeing structural problems with a floor-supporting joist, right? How many holes/hanging clamps do you think I could get away with in a single joist before it becomes dicey? Part of me thinks I’m worrying about nothing, but another part of me wants to at least be a little cautious before going hogwild on my house’s structural elements.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.


13 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1192 days


#1 posted 03-27-2015 02:16 PM

If you like your kitchen the way it is, read the section in the Uniform Building Code about the size, placement and amount of holes in joists. You might be surprised at what you should and shouldn’t do. If you proceed on mounting your clamps like you are questioning, you could be doing a kitchen remodel before you thought it would be necessary. My 2 cents…......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View artsyfartsy's profile

artsyfartsy

645 posts in 621 days


#2 posted 03-27-2015 02:28 PM

If you have open floor joists, there may be a better way to store them without making holes in your joists. Make a swing down storage rack for the clamps. When you need a clamp, swing down the enclosed storage unit. Put it back up when not in use. Then they are up and out of the way when your not using them and not banging your head on them.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1061 posts in 3075 days


#3 posted 03-27-2015 02:36 PM

Last time I did work on wiring, I came across this guide:

NOTCHING & BORING GUIDE FOR FLOOR JOISTS & STUD WALLS

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1183 days


#4 posted 03-27-2015 02:52 PM

Cutting a long slot, definite no no. Staggered holes might work depending on the span and dimension of the joists you have. A better option might be to add something either to the joists or in between them. Even if you can safely bore holes, there will be a compromise in strength most noticed by addition bounce as you walk across that whichever joists have been modified.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2705 days


#5 posted 03-27-2015 02:54 PM

I would not risk the integrity of the structure. You may even compromise your insurance.

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

800 posts in 1571 days


#6 posted 03-27-2015 03:07 PM



If you have open floor joists, there may be a better way to store them without making holes in your joists. Make a swing down storage rack for the clamps. When you need a clamp, swing down the enclosed storage unit. Put it back up when not in use. Then they are up and out of the way when your not using them and not banging your head on them.

- artsyfartsy

We have a winner! This sounds like a perfect idea, and even easier than you described because I already have all the metal clamp racks I need. I can just screw them to plywood sheets sized to fit between the joists with a swing-down/latch-up mechanism.

Thanks everyone for setting me straight. I’m very glad I posted here before doing something stupid.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 713 days


#7 posted 03-27-2015 03:44 PM

I clamp mine to the joist, parallel to the floor.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2533 days


#8 posted 03-27-2015 04:11 PM

I wouldn’t bore into the joists themselves, but you could either make a swing-down rack as DWelch suggested or just hang any type of rack off the joists, like a horizontal 2×2 suspended by vertical 1×2s (which would be similar to the long slot idea).

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

800 posts in 1571 days


#9 posted 03-27-2015 04:25 PM



I clamp mine to the joist, parallel to the floor.

- CB_Cohick

I thought about this but my shop is so small I actually don’t want to lose the square footage of ceiling space.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

800 posts in 1571 days


#10 posted 03-27-2015 04:26 PM



I wouldn t bore into the joists themselves, but you could either make a swing-down rack as DWelch suggested or just hang any type of rack off the joists, like a horizontal 2×2 suspended by vertical 1×2s (which would be similar to the long slot idea).

- Rob

Yup. Swing-down platforms will be perfect – I can bolt my clamp racks to them and store all of my clamps compactly between the joists when not in use. No more bonking my head every time I need to grab a pencil.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 684 days


#11 posted 03-28-2015 12:26 AM

Have you considered free wall space as an option?
Or you could pound some nails into the joist and hang clamps from them.
If you’re adamant could bore holes in a 2X4, set pegs then fasten the 2X to the open joist. Anything longer than a foot will end up being a head smacker unless it’s against the wall.

-- I meant to do that!

View devann's profile

devann

2200 posts in 2154 days


#12 posted 03-28-2015 12:48 AM

Short answer, No. Keep in mind that it’s not even a good idea to hang more weight from your joist than they were designed to carry. The more weight that is hung further from the ends of the joist the more you exacerbate the problem.

On a positive note here’s a suggestion; http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1922
It’s a link to a book review I posted on the site. I’ve given away many copies to my friends and it’s something you may find interesting too.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View splatman's profile

splatman

558 posts in 861 days


#13 posted 03-28-2015 03:24 AM

If overloading the joists is an issue, try joist sistering. E.g. if your joists are 2×10s, joist sistering will turn them into 4×10s. Getting those boards in there will be a bit of a Physical Challenge, though.
Easier: Glue and nail a 2×4 to the bottom edge of each joist, transforming them into upside down T-joists. Great if your floor is a bit bouncy. Now you can hang up all your clamps. And other things, too.

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