April 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
A favorite adage of the modern woodworker is, “You can never have enough clamps.” Sheet goods have helped facilitate the importance of clamps in the shop, as well as narrower stock that requires panels to be glued together from multiple boards. Handheld machinery has also created the need for clamps as countless jigs get clamped in all sorts of positions across the bench. The modern 18th century woodworker proudly makes do with a couple of hand screw clamps, a few holdfasts, and pile of drawbore pegs. But the rest us get busy cluttering our shops with all shapes and sizes of modern clamps. Pretty soon they are hanging on every wall, angled between the floor joists above, shoved in 5-gallon buckets, or propped up against a wall. About the 8th time we trip over them or bang our knee against a protruding handle, we may decide to explore some kind of clamp organization.
Some time ago I built the work table from the New Yankee Workshop plans. This was the table that largely replaced the classic Ulmia bench in the show (not a huge fan of that change). Included in the work table plans was also a design for a clamp cart. (In fact, the week of April 15, 2013, you can see watch the work table and clamp cart episode for free on the New Yankee website). I had ideas to build that same cart, and cut up the AC plywood to the required sizes. Other priorities took hold, and the parts and pieces sat there for months on end. (And when I say “sat there”, I mean to say they got put in one place and then moved countless times as I reorganized things). As I acquired more clamps I decided it was time to build that thing, but I no longer saw the need to have a big rolling cart of clamps. Instead I simply chopped the design in half and built it as a lean-to against the central support beam in the basement. I boldly predicted that it would be enough clamp storage for my one-man shop…
…and four weeks later I built a second one.
In my next post I’ll discuss the different types of clamps I have, and what I like and don’t like about each style.