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Thumb Nailer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With my recent order from HF, I am going to start having some clamp storage problems. I was wondering what the best way to store clamps (without a special built bench with that nice slot for clamp storage that is...) would be.

I am anticipating getting in the following bar clamps...

6 6 inch clamps.
4 12 inchers.
2 24 inchers.

These are in addition to...
4 @ 36" bar clamps
4 @ 1/2" pipe clamps, typically set up with 48" pipe, but I have pipe joints from 24" through 10 feet.
2 @ 4" C clamps.
1 @ 3" C clamp.

I am not really worried about the C clamps as they are housed in my mechanics tool box, and their typical use is to clamp metal together, or to drive a brake caliper in during a brake reline. (Yes I do my owm mechanical repairs...)

Also, I was wondering about shelving for the garage. I keep a LARGE amount of sporting goods (Camping / hunting / fishing type stuff) in the garage, and I have the 18" deep Plano plastic shelves from Walmart. I am VERY disappointed in them...

Home Depot carries Workforce branded 24" deep x 48" wide x 72" tall shelves. I was wondering if they were even worth considering, or should I spend the $$ and the time on the lumber and assembly to build in wooden shelving for my stuff to clear out the floor for usable shop space...

I am finding that space is a HUGE issue with such a small workshop area, ESPECIALLY when my other hobbies have to live in there as well... (I REALLY want a dedicated shop building, but this stupid tiny lot my house is on isn't big enough...)

Anyway, any help you guys (and gals) could offer as far as suggestions for getting, and keeping things organized, would be a huge help in getting me productive in the shop instead of doing a dance around my tools, and the bbq, and ... You get the idea.
 

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Space is a very common problem I would think. I'm constantly trying out new things, and rearranging stuff. I'm always experimenting with different ideas. Those shelves from HD are almost $40, but in the end they are cheaper than building one. They are light and easy to move around empty. I probably have 4 of them. I keep my clamps on a cart with wheels. It's about 50" tall, so 4' clamps just fit. I hang the clamps all around it and use the lower shelves for biscuits and glue and wood blocks for the clamps. When I'm gluing up. I roll it next to the work bench. When I'm not using it, I roll it out of the way. My real long clamps I hang from the HD shelves.
Chris
 

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Thumb Nailer
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not a bad idea. I was hoping for something that would use zero, or less floor space for the clamps though. My "Utility cart" is also my router table, and the deck height on it is a comfortable 40". It's not pretty, but it was not designed or built to be. It was designed and built to be sturdy. I am working my way up to building the workbench on www.bobsplans.com


My garage / workshop is far from orderly enough to complete such a project, and my kitchen cabinet restain project is too far along for me to stop now... But I figure the Bobsplans bench will eliminate the router cart / table entirely, as well as give me clamping / assembly surface, not to mention more tool storage.

The wall behind my current workbench needs a total redo I know. I figure I will pull the 36" legs off the back of that bench, notch the top, and run 2x4s 84" up to the top, cross them over with 2 more Strong Ties, bring them forward to make a shelf, knee brace that, and hang 2 of the floursescents from that. Mount a 4x8 sheet of peg board on that, and move the plastic small parts boxes to the wall next to the bench. Using pegs I should be able to mount EVERYTHING I need to instead of using nails and hunting for studs...

I figure on one end, off of the shelf, I can hang the clamps. The new shelf will afford me some extra storage as well.

Those HD shelves really do look good. And I figure if I can get 4 of those, I should be able to compress what I have on 6 of the narrower Wal Mart shelves, and get the smoker against the wall like it used to be. That should free up enough space for me to effectively work.
 

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Something on casters is the best way to go. That way you can move the clamps to where you are working, and when done you can get them out of the way. The Rockler idea looks good, but you can build something yourself much less expensive, I would think. I have all my clamps on a rack about two feet square, four feet high, with casters under the base. The rack has four shelves, and the shelves have slots in them to accomodate the bars on "F" style bar clamps. This way I can place all my F clamps vertically. The shelves also have edge lips on them, so I can put my spring clamps along the edges. On one side of the rack I put two pieces of plywood about four inches wide, and with holes for pipe clamps drilled through on the top piece, and stop drilled on the bottom. I can put about 18 pipe clamps vertically in the rack.
I don't roll the rack around very often, but it sure is handy having all my clamps in one portable location.
I have not yet mastered the magic of the digital camera, and posting pictures, or I would take some pics and post them.

Gerry
 

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Thumb Nailer
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I clamp most of my clamps to the ceiling (floor) joists in my shop. They take up no space, but are always handy when I need them.
I wish I could do that. My garage is sheet rocked in, with no insulation... I never could figure out WHY anyone would sheet rock in a wall without packing insulation in... Didn't the architect know eventually SOMEBODY was going to want to use that as shop space?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I saw that magazine SOMEWHERE. But I have NO idea where... I remember leafing through it... Any idea where to buy that? I guess I should be asking fellow Texans that question huh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
... and you have NOT learned ANYTHING from him... Right? :eek:

:laughing: :thumbsup: :laughing:
I didn't say I haven't learned from him. He just makes it look so easy it makes me mad... And I am seriously jealous of the shop / tools he's got for that show...

Of course it is how the guy makes his living...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay I threw something together on a for now basis. 2 scrap hunks of 2x4 cutoffs, 1 2x2 routed and stained that was laying around (long story), and studfinder. I got 3 screws into the studs, but for some reason the upper right just won't go in. I need longer screws...

I double checked the MFGs on the clamps I have. (the 4 36 inchers not the pipe clamps), 2 of them are Jorgensens, and 2 are Craftsman. (I KNOW I bought 4 Jorgensens, I have done lots of projects with friends, I think a buddy of mine ended up with a pair of my Jorgensens and I with his Craftsmans... Either way. I now have the following clamps.

2 Jorgensen 36" with Craftsman clamp pads. (They did NOT come with them).
2 Craftsman 36" with Craftsman clamp pads (I added them along with the Jorgensens).
6 Pittsburg 6"
4 Pittsburg 12"
2 Pittsburg 24"

4 Pittsburg 1/2" pipe clamps (currently AWOL. Need to check my friend's truck again...)
2 Jorgensen 4" C Clamps
1 Jorgensen 3" C Clamp
1 Craftsman 6" C Clamp. Bent, and hoping that Sears will warranty it.

The bar clamps from Pittsburg / HF are different in quality than the pipe clamp in that the finish quality seems to be better. My pipe clamps came with a cruddy dull finish, but everything else seemed okay. The bar clamps from what I can tell, are every bit as good as the Jorgensens, with a slight edge to the quality of the finish (both look to have a baked on enamel finish, but the Pittsburgs do NOT have any runs in the finish...)

The only issue I can see with them is the wooden handles aren't 100% straight, and I am concerned these might be a weak point for these clamps. But I am the creative sort. If the handles fail. I will make / attach new ones!
 

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Sounds like a good starting clamp collection. Of course, you'll soon find that you can never have too many clamps. If you add more pipe clamps along the way I would go with 3/4 inch as opposed to 1/2 inch. They are considerably stronger.

Gerry
 

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My shop is in a barn with a low ceiling / second floor, with exposed 2"x10" joists overhead. I just nail some cross pieces across the joists and store my 4' pipe clamps in one of the joist bays. I hope they never fall down on my head...that would hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Uh, yeah. OUCH!

I never thought there would be that much difference between 1/2 and 3/4" pipe clamps as far as wood working is concerned... But I know 20' joints of pipe sure show you the differences!

I called my friend that has my pipe clamps, he also has my other 2 Jorgensen 36" clamps... (go figure). They are kind of tied up right now with a glue up he is doing. I hope to get them back this weekend...
 
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