Building a clamp rack

Create a wall-mounted home for all your workshop essentials

By Ryan Shervill

Photo by Roger Yip

Having a clamp close at hand when you need it can be a life- (or, at least, project-) saver. Take the time to plan your clamp-rack design based on the clamps you have. Although the size and spacing of notches for your clamps will vary from mine, one construction feature remains the same: the rack must be canted toward the back by 3º to keep the clamps securely in place.

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Build the clamp racks

To make the holder, cut a piece of MDF to length and width (8 3/4" long x 8 1/2" wide, in my case) and cut a bevel that’s 3º from square on the back edge to tilt the front edge of the holder slightly. Then lay out and cut the notches using a dado blade and mitre gauge with a sacrificial fence. On mine, these notches measure 1 1/4" deep (the depth of the bar) x 5/16" wide (the thickness of the bar plus 1/16"). Notches are spaced 1" apart.

Next, make the back plate. Cut another piece of MDF to 6" wide x the length of your holder, then glue a cleat section to it. Rip the top edge to 3º from square on your tablesaw.

Use more glue to join the two pieces together to form the rack. Pay special attention to the bevels! You want to ensure that the bevels match up so you have a nice flat surface at the back. Once glued, reinforce the joint by first predrilling countersunk holes every 2", and then driving #8 x 1 1/2" wood screws into both the backer board and the cleat.

Place the rack into position, drill a 1/4"-diameter hole through the back plate and into the wall cleat, then secure the rack in place with a #8 x 1 1/4" wood screw. Gather all the clamps you have scattered all over the shop, and put them in place in your rack.

Tools & Materials

Part Material Size (T x W x L*) Qty.

Top holder MDF 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 8 3/4" 1
Back plate MDF 3/4" x 6" x 8 3/4" 1

* Length indicates grain direction

Recommended Tools


Building a clamp rack

Illustration by Len Churchill

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