Clamp Cart

Other Versions
Shop-made carriers for clamps. December 26, 2004

I want to take my considerable collection of clamps off the wall and put them on a cart so we can move them to the work rather than lugging clamps back and forth. Has anyone built such a cart? What did you do right? What would you have done differently? Drawings or photos would also be much appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
We use an old shopping cart. It has worked quite well for a number of years for pipe clamps. You can find one at any salvage yard.

From Sam Rogers:
Here is a shot of my clamp cart. There isn't much to it. It is just 4/4 poplar (chosen because I had a lot of scrap) glued and pocket screwed together. The base is a square of angle iron with casters attached (chosen because it was laying around the shop not being used for anything else). It will hold up to a six foot clamp. I really wouldn't change anything. I have been using this for about three years. This wasn't my idea - I saw something similar in a shop in one of the trade magazines.

Click here for full size image

Click here for full size image

From contributor S:
I like that scrap rack you have behind the clamp cart. Capacious but small in footprint. Real good idea!

From contributor L:
I built a cart similar to the one pictured. Only wish I had used bigger, better wheels. A cart full of clamps adds up to a lot of weight. Other than that, it works well.

From contributor T:
Jeez contributor K, you been peeking through my shop window? I just wanted to add that a heavy base is a good idea because of all the weight up high. My base is a box with about 100lbs of sand in it. Yes, big wheels are a must. I started out with 3". Now I have 5" and can actually move it.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from Sam Rogers:
In addition to the images below, here is some information about how I made my clamp cart. Included are the Materials and Cut List and also the Tool Setup.

Item Qty Component L W D Material Notes
A 1 Base 24" 24" " Plywood *
B 2 Base support 24" 5" " Plywood * used to stiffen base
C 4 Base siding 24" 4" " Plywood * cut long to trim miters
D 4 Frame boards 5' 6" 4" 2" Pine just dimensional lumber
E 2 Top support 24" 4" " Plywood *
F 4 Casters 3" Polyurathane
G 16 Pan head screws " Stainless #14

** Notes **
1. Plywood is 3/4" or 1/2" Baltic Birch
2. Everything else used for this project is all scrap, at least for me.

Tool Setup

Set your sliding T-bevel...

First things first: Clamps are heavy! If one tries to keep this thing square to the base, by the time the clamps are loaded, it will simply fall over. Setting an angle on the frame boards drives the head weight of the clamps to the center of the cart. The steeper the angle, the more the weight approaches the center and the more stable it becomes.

So, grab a sliding T-bevel and set it to 5. This is an arbitrary setting and it could just as easily be 7 or 10. Even at just 5, one can see from the picture at left how quickly the frame boards will slope away from the edge of the base over a 6' run. Just remember that as the angle increases, the tops of the frame boards will be driven closer to each other. And, for every degree of angle increase, cart stability will certainly increase as well. But, increasing the angle may also mean that either the base size or length of the frame boards will have to be adjusted accordingly to compensate. Regardless of the angle you use, set your T-bevel and lock it in. You'll be using the T-bevel for tool setup on the table and miter saws throughout the project. We'll be using 5 for the remainder of the project detail.

Click here for full size image

Click here for full size image

"The images in this article are provided by Sam Rogers. To see all of the steps to completing this project, visit his Clamp Cart link. Many thanks to Sam for his contribution to WOODWEB'S Knowledge Base.