Compact Clamp Cart

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Is it possible to simultaneously feel as if you own too many and too few clamps? If your clamps are piled more than a few steps away from your assembly table, then you already know the truth behind this woodworking paradox. When a glue-up goes smoothly, lugging clamps from one end of the shop to another (and cleaning them up at the end of the job) can feel like an endless chore. When things go south, the seconds lost searching for a few more clamps can result in disappointment, or even disaster.

This roll-around clamp caddy will clean up your clamp collection and may even tidy up your assembly operations. Despite a surprisingly small footprint—about 3-1/2 sq. ft.—the cart’s main rack can hold more than two dozen panel or bar clamps. Spin it around, and you’ll discover two 36"-tall compartments offering shelving space for storing other assembly essentials, and my growing Festool collection. A pair of side racks attached to one side provide convenient storage for an arsenal of F-style, pistol-grip, and C-clamps. The remaining side can be accessorized to accommodate all sorts of clamping and joinery essentials, such as mallets, squares, and hardware.

The basic cart can be assembled in a weekend. After hanging your clamps and stocking the shelves, you can spend a few more hours building custom hangers for your most-used tools.

Like the Mobile Assembly Cart that appeared in our April/May 2014 issue (#58), this project’s success hinges on its smaller stature. At 16 × 32 × 53", this caddy is easy to steer around a small workshop and through doors, but it’s not well-suited for clamps longer than 60". My collection of extra-long clamps are kept on a sturdy wall-mounted rack that appeared in our Oct/Nov 2011 issue (#43). To download PDFs of both projects, go to woodcraftmagazine.com and click on OnlineExtras.

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