Rolling Clamp Rack (New Yankee Workshop)

I’ve been neglecting my website somewhat lately, so hopefully this will mark the return to form.

I’m not sure if I’ve talked about it in the past, but for many years I’ve used a rolling clamp cart made out of construction pine (90x35mm, or 2x4s). It was made well before I knew what I was doing, well before I had a dado blade and before I had very many clamps. I had some left over material and a rough idea of what I wanted, so I made it in an evening.

It was awful.

Apart from poor construction, the holders weren’t consistent widths, nor consistent spacing, meaning some clamps couldn’t go in some of the slots. Without many clamps at the time, it was all sort of speculation on how I’d use it.

In startling 240p, illegitimately uploaded to YouTube, Episode 7, Season 14 of the New Yankee Workshop included the solution. You can buy the plans – not digital, so you’ll have to pay postage – from the New Yankee Workshop website. I chose not to purchase the plans because honestly it isn’t that difficult. Figure out the sizing that works for your space, cut four uprights, mitre them and you’re mostly done.

This represents a major design improvement over the last clamp rack in construction and function. While the general A-frame shape with 5 degree angles are similar, it’s sturdier. By using plywood, the “end grain” glueups actually have some strength. The use of two dados in the bottom to secure the frame gives it rigidity. By not having dedicated slots for the clamps to fit into, any clamp can hook on anywhere – no special holders needed. Normally this would be a disaster as the clamps could fall off, but the angle of the frame keeps everything in check.

This project uses just a single sheet of plywood

So naturally, it started with breaking it down into more manageable pieces, first with the track saw

 

Long rips with the 1600mm track are a little tricky, requiring me to reposition along the the way. Eventually I’ll buy the connector and a second track.

 

And then switching to the table saw for the rips.

Once all the ripping was done, it was just a matter of cutting things to length and with angles at the mitre saw. Four uprights with 5° degree angles on both ends, 7 straight crossmembers that needed to be trimmed to length (~700mm), and four cross support pieces (two short, two long) with 5° and -5° ends.

 

For the upper stretcher piece, the length was scribed directly from the frame.

 

Assembly was fairly straight forward – a pocket hole jig would have made it easier, but clamps worked just fine. I used the 5 degree offcut pieces to act as spacers/cauls so the F-clamps didn’t slip.

 

With the frame glued up, it was time to add dados to the base for the frame to sit in.

 

This is the only real comparison shot I have of the old cart (which has been since dismantled) – you can see how much shorter it was, and the uneven spacing in the clamp slots

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