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Bessey F-Style and Parallel Clamp Rack

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Project by cmmyakman posted 04-04-2018 02:57 PM 3552 views 13 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I became frustrated with my nice F-Style Bessey Clamps either hanging from a hot water pipe in the basement (not a good idea) and my parallel clamps leaning against a wall where I invariably tripped or knock them over.

I had been thinking about building or even buying a clamp rack for a long time. But so many of the designs waste precious wall space by only hanging them next to each other versus out from the wall. I searched the Internet for ideas for a clamp rack and my favorite design was by Brad Rodriguez of “Fix This Build That.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcuvGe7Ghzw&feature=youtu.be Later I saw Lumberjock’s Luis M, who took Brad’s design and in my estimation improved upon it http://lumberjocks.com/projects/351082 I liked what Luis did with his design, but instead of putting small F-style clamps underneath the parallel clamps, I decided to make some small shelves where I could place the Bessey clamp accessories (such as the clamp extender and the pivoting jaw pads) so they don’t get lost or separated from the clamps.

I obtained the parallel clamp and F-Style clamp CAD files from Bessey’s website. I have 3 different Bessey F-clamp’s sizes, but I could only find one CAD file for that type. With just a little bit of scaling in different directions I was able to manipulate the F-Clamp CAD file so that it closely matched the dimensions of my 3 types of F-clamps.

To get the 2nd shelf located underneath the clamps, I had to cut that wood at an awkward angle (32.8 degrees – don’t ask me why, I’d make it 45 degrees if I were to do it over). I made a table saw jig that did the work for me quite well using the leftover cut pieces, but that just dramatically added to the work required to complete the project.

The shelves are dadoed into the racks to form a box-like structure, so they are really strong by themselves. I sanded the back of the box-like structure on the table saw surface so they would be flat when attached to the back of the carcass. I pre-drilled the holes for screwing the box-like structures to the carcass. I glued wood blocks to the carcass just under the line of where the top shelf of the box-like structure would be located. The bottom of the top shelf of box-like structure was then glued to that block as well as the carcass. Screws were fastened from the back. Then another wood block was glued to the carcass and top shelf of the box-like structure to make sure it didn’t move when the weight of the clamps were applied.

The rack sits on a french cleat system and is very stable. I look forward to moving the clamp rack in the next couple of months to its permanent home and the french cleat makes it very easy.

This is a project that I have wanted to get done for a long time and now that it’s finally accomplished, I’m pretty satisfied with the end result. However, I recommend that you just get Brad Rodriguez’s design for $5.00 and make that version. Why do that? Because Brad’s version is much simpler to build and my version took a lot more time and material than I thought it would when I started the project.

Further pics of the project can be found here:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/toqousj9Kkj1irN82

Note: The rack is showing some Jorgensen parallel clamps, don’t buy them as IMHO, they are terrible compared to the Bessey clamps.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.





14 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6466 posts in 2742 days


#1 posted 04-04-2018 03:34 PM

That’s a really great looking set up. Looks like it saves a lot of wall space.

View Luis M's profile

Luis M

79 posts in 3107 days


#2 posted 04-04-2018 03:58 PM

Good job with the clamp rack. It’s great that you modified to fit your needs.

-- Luis

View cmmyakman's profile

cmmyakman

241 posts in 3133 days


#3 posted 04-04-2018 04:18 PM

Thank you BurlyBob for your comments & Luis M for posting your clamp rack earlier.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View Brrman's profile

Brrman

65 posts in 3149 days


#4 posted 04-04-2018 05:17 PM

Nice rack! lol. I agree with the Jorgensens. I have both brands as well and find that the Jorgs stick more often.

-- "Being a perfectionist does not make one perfect..."

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3343 days


#5 posted 04-04-2018 08:19 PM

This is a wonderful clamp rack and will be a great addition to your shop.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

3411 posts in 2645 days


#6 posted 04-04-2018 08:25 PM

View cmmyakman's profile

cmmyakman

241 posts in 3133 days


#7 posted 04-04-2018 08:29 PM

Thank you Brrman for your comment re: my rack, but do you know what my eye color is? I remember hearing that Burt Reynolds got a second date with his eventual wife, Loni Anderson, because he could answer that question and he was apparently one of the only ones that could.

Regarding the Jorgensen clamp issue, please refer to these
2 photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/f5SKaXjptqzFB4Tz2

The first photo shows how the clamp has a disc and the disc is supposed to rest in a notch. The second photo shows the disc has come out of the notch. This issue crops up again and again on 2 of my Jorgensen clamps. I have only 4 Jorgensen clamps total. I have many more Bessey clamps and they have not once caused me any issues whatsoever.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

4757 posts in 4071 days


#8 posted 04-04-2018 10:42 PM

Nice job, I dig it

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

14905 posts in 3344 days


#9 posted 04-06-2018 06:55 AM

Nice and clean -good feeling just to look at it.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View TangoFox's profile

TangoFox

60 posts in 616 days


#10 posted 04-06-2018 07:58 PM

I need this. Badly. I also need more clamps… But don’t we all?

Like you, I’m torn on whether build a cart or a wall-mounted rack. If I ever finish my current project, maybe this will be next.

Cheers!
TF

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1297 days


#11 posted 04-07-2018 11:10 PM

Nice rack… the only “issue” I can see is that it will be inevitably too small… Serves today’s purpose, but tomorrow you’ll be tripping over your new clamps… one can never have enough clamps!


..... I m torn on whether build a cart or a wall-mounted rack…...
- TangoFox

When you reach that mile-pebble, and you most certainly will, a set of wheels under the next rack would make it a simpler ”move-to-the-job-task”... as I’ve very seldom built all my projects next to my clamp rack… but then again that was my bad design.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View cmmyakman's profile

cmmyakman

241 posts in 3133 days


#12 posted 04-08-2018 01:46 AM

Thank you for all of the positive comments.

I agree with you LittleBlackDuck, one can never have enough clamps.

I figured when I ran out of room with too many Bessey parallel clamps that I would just make another clamp rack down the road. But now you and TangoFox have me thinking that maybe it would be better to have the clamp rack on a movable cart. Most cart clamp racks are severely angled so the clamps don’t “walk off” the rack when the cart is moving. I may be able to get by with this design and only a slight angle, say 5 degrees or less.

I have 2 other F-Style clamps, Columbian (Yellow handle) and Denali (Black handle). See example photos in the link below:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/YW5LGANWaWe7rGa92
I got the Columbian’s on eBay for a song many years ago (the price doubled a month or so later, otherwise I would have purchased more). The Columbian’s aren’t too bad, but they pale in comparison to the Bessey F-Clamps. The Denali’s I got on Amazon + 6 years ago, a whole bunch of them for a great price (Qty 30 in various sizes for $125). But the Denali’s bar’s bends when significant torque is applied, so I would never recommend them, yet I will still keep them as they were so inexpensive (they have their use from time to time).

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View TangoFox's profile

TangoFox

60 posts in 616 days


#13 posted 04-18-2018 03:02 PM

I have such an odd assortment of clamps – it seems like I’ll be 2-4 every time there’s a good sale on Amazon, Rockler, or wherever. Trying out lots of different styles and brands. I’ve only come across one that turns out to have been a bad purchase, and even that one was pretty cheap so I don’t feel bad!

-Ian


I have 2 other F-Style clamps, Columbian (Yellow handle) and Denali (Black handle). See example photos in the link below:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/YW5LGANWaWe7rGa92
I got the Columbian s on eBay for a song many years ago (the price doubled a month or so later, otherwise I would have purchased more). The Columbian s aren t too bad, but they pale in comparison to the Bessey F-Clamps. The Denali s I got on Amazon + 6 years ago, a whole bunch of them for a great price (Qty 30 in various sizes for $125). But the Denali s bar s bends when significant torque is applied, so I would never recommend them, yet I will still keep them as they were so inexpensive (they have their use from time to time).

- cmmyakman


View cmmyakman's profile

cmmyakman

241 posts in 3133 days


#14 posted 04-18-2018 05:06 PM


I have such an odd assortment of clamps – it seems like I ll buy 2-4 every time there s a good sale on Amazon, Rockler, or wherever. Trying out lots of different styles and brands. I ve only come across one that turns out to have been a bad purchase, and even that one was pretty cheap so I don t feel bad!

-Ian

- TangoFox

I know what you mean Ian. Looks like I need some of those new Micro Jig clamps with the dovetail connections (view the video at this link to see the possibilities…):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EACLQW4/

I like this offering from Dubuque which comes in multiple lengths (of which I don’t have any yet – but someday will):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0037MAMC4/

I saw in one of the woodworking magazines that Bessey redesigned their Revo. One of the major advantages of the new design is that you can use a hex head to apply torque to the handle, refer to the 1:29 mark at the video below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09be2BrNONY

I’ll be getting a batch of those new Revo’s when the price drops and I can afford it.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

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