Sunday, February 21, 2016

Clamp and Tool Racks on French Cleats

I use French Cleats to hang the tool racks in my shop.  I actually moved these from my old workshop. French Cleats make it easy to hang different types of pieces and also allows them to be moveable.

Here is a basic diagram of how the cleat works.  The back of the cleat is slanted (usually 45 degrees) leaving a gap between the wall and the cleat. The clamp rack then has a piece on the back of it that fits into that gap and "locks" into place.

I have clamp racks to fit the different clamps that I have.  I cut a slot to hold each clamp. Some clamps have a wider neck, so therefore I have different widths of slots depending on what I want the rack to hold.

I made my racks out of maple, with plywood cleats.  The slots are cut on the table saw using the sliding cutoff sled that I made a few years ago:

You can also use dado blades set to the width of the slots, but this is just as easy.  I mark the width I need the slot to be and then clamp the board to the back of the sled and run it through the saw with the blade at the height I need to make the proper length of slot.  I then move the board and run it through again to widen the slot.  This photo might make more sense than my description:

As I said, I have a few of these for the different clamps I have:

I also have a rack for my screwdrivers.  It is the same basic idea except there are no slots, instead there are holes drilled in the horizontal top piece, for the screwdrivers to fit into.

Another cleat holds my pegboard:

It makes things go smoother when you have a place for your tools and you know where they are.  It can be so frustrating to spend time looking for a clamp or screwdriver right in the middle of a project, so I try to put them away after using them.  Of course it also keeps things off the floor!

Do you use French Cleats?


  1. holy moly look at that clamp collection! I'm quite envious...

  2. I have made French Cleats to hang my super large subway signs (6' tall)but haven't ventured into making them for use in the shop. "Piled up" seems to be my preferred method for tool organization. The fact that it doesn't and hasn't ever worked doesn't seem to deter me.

  3. I don't use french cleats... but only because I haven't had the need to. :)

    I hang my clamps for the rafters in my garage. I always know where they are.

    I have a small pegboard on my work bench, and there is a home for everything, and it always gets put away. I hate having to look for tools. I spend enough time looking for a lot of other things though....

    It's really coming together, so happy for you Julie!

  4. Oh, talk about things on the floor! I'm working on that. I don't use french cleats, without a table bench I don't know how to make them. They're awesome though.

  5. Hi Julie..!! I love your blog .. you have a new follower

  6. I just read through all your shop organizing are amazing! I am always scrambling for tools, I need to do some of these stat! I have used a french cleat before I used them to hand my family file systems, they work great!


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