I spend little time in the workshop during the summer, so each fall I seem to go through a ritual. I make a few small projects (this fall it was boxes) as a way of getting "in shape" and then I try to make a few shop improvements. This fall it was clamp storage.
My clamps have been stuck here and there around the workshop, mostly on shelves. This was inconvenient and sucked up a lot of shelf space. I wanted mobile storage so I could bring all my clamps close to the bench for glue-ups.
The logical way to go about something like this is to do an internet search for "images of woodworking clamp racks." When you do, you see all sorts of creative ideas that you can adapt. Sometimes, though, I just feel like improvising on my own, sort of like a jazz musician, and am partial to making things like this with scraps on hand. That's what I did here.
Since I wanted mobile storage, I started with an old mover's dolly I had. I thought that an A frame would be best, partly because it would take advantage of gravity to keep the clamps in place, partly to make the rack stable and partly to minimize the use of floor space. I started by attaching two used studs to a scrap plywood base and bracing them. I intended to make some sort of A frame like the ones you see in the images above, but then I tried something easier and it worked. I just nailed cleats in various places based on my clamp collection. Here is the result:
I am amazed at how much space this freed up, the rack is surprisingly stable and it moves easily. This was a quick project that really paid off. I think that if you have free wall space close to your bench, a wall rack would be preferable, but if, like me, you don't, a mobile rack is a good choice. Looking at the images after mine was already built, I see all sorts of more refined ideas if I decide to go to version 2. Although my pair of uprights seems stable enough, it occurs to me that just making a tall sawhorse mounted on casters would be a good, quick and easy, approach, sort of like this one.
So, now it's time for a project.