This time I’m building some storage for my clamps on a new french cleat wall. Function over form!
When we moved into this house, I screwed a piece of scrap wood on the wall with some 2×4’s just to temporarily hold my clamps. To get started, I removed that rack and a bunch of other stuff that got piled in front.
I grabbed one of my pipe clamps and measured the thickness.
Using a scrap board, I sketched out roughly how I wanted the slot to be. The clamps will sit on the rack without having to clamp down on it.
I grabbed a bit that was just barely larger than the pipe and drilled out the hole.
On the band saw, I cut out the rest of the slot.
This is how the clamp will sit, but it was way too far in. I made another mark where I thought it should be and tried again.
I drilled out the whole and notched out the rest of the slot.
That fit much better. Then I marked out how close to the wall the camps could rest.
I cut to the line on the miter saw since it wasn’t very long. Then I flipped the piece and cut the two sides off. Don’t put your hand next to the blade. Notice how I used a long scrap to hold the tiny block down before cutting.
This was the final template, and it fit great.
Now I needed a nice long piece of plywood to make the final rack, as well as the French cleats. I headed to the storage shed and found a few contenders.
After bringing in the plywood, I decided to make the French cleats first. I ripped the wood down into 5 inch strips. These would then be cut in half with a 45 degree angle.
French cleats consist of two strips cut to the same angle. One is attached to the wall and the other locks into place from above.
Using the digital angle gauge, I brought the blade down to 45 degrees, but it really doesn’t matter what angle you choose.
I cut the strips right down the middle, leaving two identical pieces. One side is flat, the other has the 45-degree angle.
I took one of the strips to the wall and marked where the studs were.
I lined up all the strips to the edge of the table, and then transferred the lines to the rest of the boards.
I also roughly marked the middle of each board as a reference for where to pre-drill the holes.
I took everything to the drill press and used a bit with a counter-sink. Screws need to be countersunk so that anything you hang on the cleats sit flat.
I attached the first strip, making sure it was level before drilling into all three studs.
The rest were put up the same way, using a scrap board to keep an equal space between strips.
The French cleats were done. Now to finish up the clamp rack.
So these were the initial tests, which led me to this one.
I used it as a template to mark out a longer piece of ¾ inch plywood.
I took it over to the table saw and ripped it down to width.
I used some calipers to figure out the distance from one edge to the center of the notch.
Doubling that number gave me the distance from center to center. Starting from the first point, I measured out all the points, and marked them out with a pencil.
I also marked the distance from the front.
Back on the drill press, I drilled all the holes using a forstner bit.
And just like before, I made the two cuts to open the slots from the front.
I added some glue and drilled in a piece of cleat. I didn’t have a long enough one so I combined two shorter ones.
I also glewed and screwed a board to rest on the front of the wall cleat, which prevents the rack from tipping forward.
I attached three blocks to strengthen the top and prevent any sagging over time.
Once the glue was dry, I hung the rack on the wall and tested it with my full body weight.
I hung up all the bar clamps, finally getting them up and out of the way.
My Project Tools
IMPACT DRIVER & DRILL
DIGITAL ANGLE GAUGE