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Parallel Clamp Rack

One of my clamp racks had partially broken. In addition, I obtained a few more clamps. This caused me to think about clamp storage for my clamps -- mainly for Parallel clamps.

My old clamp rack was designed for the clamps to be clamped when they are stored. This adds an extra step when putting them away or taking them out, since you need to clamp them or unclamp them during that process. I wanted to try out a clamp rack where the clamps are NOT clamped when stored, they are just resting loose. Yet they still need to be secure.

I did some searching online and found This article on The Woodwhisperer website. His clamp rack was in turn inspired by another website. My clamp rack is based on his design.

Mainly, I liked the idea of having a shelf on top, and of the full back. I also added the idea of a small lip at the front of the clamp shelf, to help keep the clamps in place, so that they could not just slide forward and fall off the rack.

Here is a 2D side view sketch of my clamp rack, which shows the small lip on the front of the clamp support shelf. (the side panel is removed from this drawing.)

Here (below) are several more views of my clamp rack plan, including dimensions for my clamp rack. My rack is designed to hold fourteen clamps, and it is designed to accommodate all the clamp brands that I currently own: Irwin, Pony Jorgensen, and the now-discontinued Gross-Stabil.

The height of the back panel is not critical. The critical measures included the gap between the upper shelf and the clamps shelf -- as there needs to be sufficient vertical space for the clamps to fit. Also, the width of the slots and the spacing between the slots is important as it needs to accommodate my clamps.

NOTE: The plan shows the top shelf mounted on TOP of the back. In my build, as shown in the video, I changed that on-the-fly to have it mounted to the face of the back. This is purely for aesthetics, and does not affect the build.

ALSO: this plan uses 1/2" plywood for the two side pieces. I ended up using 3/4" thick plywood which affects the length of the clamp shelf. Make sure you take the length of the clamp shelf off of your actual project and not from these plans. I also adjusted the location of the clamp slots left by 1/4" as a consequence of that. That is, I started them 1" from the left side, and not 1-1/4" as shown on the plans.

I made my previous rack with solid wood, which was in hindsight a mistake, because all of the slots in the rack are cut across the grain, which severely weakens the wood. I made this rack using plywood for the clamp shelf. I wanted to use 3/4" thick plywood, but did not have any, so I glued together some thinner scraps of plywood to make up the thickness that I wanted.

I did the same thing with the back panel; glueing together three layers of scrap 1/8" thich plywood.

I glued a 1/4" thick piece of hardwood to the front of the clamp shelf. It also sticks up about 1/4" to provide a lip to help prevent clamps from falling off the shelf.

I taped the two side pieces together and cut out a curve and angle on the bandsaw. This is purely decorative. (Please see the plans above if this is not clear.)

I assembled the clamp rack with just screws, no glue, so that I could easily take it apart in the future if I needed to change anything. Here I am measuring the clamp shelf so I can cut it to exact length to fit into the rack.

I drilled a 7/16" hole at the end of each slot that needed to be cut in the clamp shelf. I then used the bandsaw to cut out the straight part of the slot. This could be done on a jigsaw also.

Next two photos: I made this plywood cutout with my channel name on it approximately four years ago. Just for fun I pulled it out and used it to spraypaint my youtube name onto the inside back of the rack. This step is, of course, optional.

And here is a photo of my finished rack, with all three types of parallel clamps.

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)


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The BEST Tape Measure