Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Home for the Clamps

I decided to tackle a relatively easy but rather important project to upgrade my garage workshop. While I am tight on space in the garage, my clamp storage left a great deal to be desired. I was hanging them on a 2x4 that I screwed to one of the roof rafters. It actually worked out pretty well until I built my cabinets. Once the cabinets were done, the clamps were actually in the way and I needed a better solution.

I looked up several clamp storage options, and I decided to go with the New Yankee Workshop option of having a mobile cart that's built using A-frames. I had a fair amount of plywood left over from building my outfeed table, so I used up that to build my clamp cart.

The construction details of it were pretty simple - lots of simple butt joints that are glued and screwed together. This project did provide me with justification to go and buy a pocket hole jig, and that works out great. While I am still working with learning more traditional joinery techniques, I know that the pocket holes can really save me up some time when I'm trying to build some other stuff where the joinery isn't so critical.

Assembling the cart was a little bit of a challenge since the finished cart is almost as tall as I am and my garage ceiling is a little low. I was able to get everything together without much incident, though. 

I put cleats on it to accommodate the clamps I have right now, and there's plenty of room for new clamps. I also drove a few screws into the side to hold my levels. I'm probably going to add in some center cross pieces that will help tie the center partitions together, and that will give me more hanging space. I want to find a place to hang my framing square too.

I'm thinking that with enough extra real estate and lots of room down on the bottom for more cleats, this should be able to hold all the clamps I'll be needing for any future projects. I even think there's going to be enough room somewhere for me to hang my tool belt so it doesn't have to lie on the floor.

I need to buy more clamps...
 With this, I'm pretty happy with where I'm at with my garage workshop so far. I'm going to have to do more organizing in my garage so I can gain some extra space. I foresee a run to the landfill to throw away a fair amount of stuff in the near future.

I also need to start organizing my cutoff bin. I have tons of plywood scraps...many of which I should probably just throw away since I probably won't use them for anything. I have to start thinking about upgrading my chop saw station and putting that on a mobile base with extensions. I realized I could stand to have a little more cabinet storage, so I'll have to take that into consideration when I design the piece.

I know there's a lot more work before I can say my garage workshop is truly properly equipped, but at least I know that I have enough space and good enough tools to build some decent furniture and stuff - it's just me learning the skills I need to make good woodworking projects.