Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 9: Clamp Down and Rack 'em Up
By now you have several hundred dollars squirreled away. With the addition of another paycheck's budgeted amount, you'll have enough to purchase a tablesaw and then begin accessorizing it. But first, add a set of clamps. Woodworkers joke that you can never have too many clamps. As you begin building projects, you may find yourself agreeing. So expand your collection with a selection of 24" and 48" aluminum bar clamps. Read our review of these budget-priced clamps at ReviewATool.com.
Aluminum bar clamps work well for panel glue-ups and carcase assembly. Because of their light weight, they make it easier to move or reposition an assembly. Although you probably won't be gluing up panels yet, bookmark this page for lots of great advice on preparing stock for glue-ups and tips on assembling narrower boards to make wider ones. This free video walks you through panel glue-up start to finish.
The wall-mounted clamp rack organizes one-handed bar clamps, spring clamps, your new bar clamps, and future clamp acquisitions. We hung ours on interlocking beveled cleats (also known as a French cleat). This article shows how to make this simple hanger that we used extensively in Idea Shop 5. It allows easy repositioning of wall-mounted fixtures, a great advantage for a growing shop.
After stashing your clamps on the rack, begin shopping for a tablesaw. That purchase comes with the next check, so read this article to learn more about what to look for. Then head to ReviewaTool.com to find a saw that fits your budget. The clamps, and materials for the clamp rack use all but about $15 of this check, so sock that away in your savings jar. You'll need the jar contents for Paycheck 10!