This document is to help you quickly understand how
Hanging Clamps work. This document also explains
Mobile File Centers and how they work in regards to
Hanging Clamps that
clamp and hold blueprints (or any large document) are very nice to have and use.
They keep sets of drawings organized and readily
available for reference. Hanging Clamps have also
been known to be called "Drawing Sticks",
"Plan Clamps", or "Plan
Sticks" by those that work in the AEC
(Architectural, Engineering, Construction) Industry.
Understanding Hanging Clamp Sizes
Selecting the size of hanging clamp you need is very
simple. Hanging Clamps do not adjust their length,
they only squeeze a set of drawings together to hold
them together much like a binder would do.
Hanging Clamps do clamp to the thickness of drawings
(for example, you can clamp one drawing or 100
drawings in a clamp and the clamp itself will
compensate for the thickness). But a hanging clamp
will not adjust its length. Customers
must purchase hanging clamps in the length that they
plan to use. The size clamp you order is what you get, as the
clamp will never adjust in length so consider the
size of your drawings that you plan to clamp before buying any
The size of your drawings that you plan to clamp is what
drives the decision on which length clamp to
purchase. Hanging Clamps come in lengths of 18",
24", 30", 36", or 42". If you plan to clamp a
drawing (or set of drawings) that are say 24" x 36" sheet
size dimension, you should consider buying a 24"
hanging clamp and clamp the drawings from the 24"
side of the drawing and let the 36" length of the
drawing hang down towards the floor. Or, purchase a
30" hanging clamp, clamp the 24" side of your
drawings, and leave some extra clamp overhang, meaning
more clamp than you really need but you can also
hang 30" drawings and 24" drawings on the
clamp. Many people buy 30" clamps, and then hang 24"
drawings, and 30" drawings from the same clamp.
One of the most popular size hanging clamps are the
30" clamps. The 30" length provides some extra room
and "play" on each end when hanging a 24" side of a
drawing. It also gives you the ability to hang
various drawing sizes on the same clamp since a
drawing or set of drawings do not have to fill up or use the entire
length of a clamp.
Please note that most hanging clamps from any
store are sold in cartons of six (6) clamps per carton. If
you want twelve hanging clamps, then purchase 2 cartons.
(2 cartons x 6 clamps per carton = 12 Hanging
Clamps). Please double-check the quantity as "most"
are sold in cartons of six, not all.
Click here to browse our selection of Hanging Clamps
Understanding Hanging Systems
Hanging Systems, are also known as "Blueprint Racks",
"Blueprint Stands", "Hanging File Centers",
and "Mobile File Centers". They are what hold and organize
hanging clamps. Some hanging file centers have caster
wheels so you can roll them about your office and
relocate them closer to the person thats using the
drawings for the day. Most mobile file centers hold
about 12 clamps maximum, some hold 18, you have to
read the description on each to make sure. Mobile
File Centers are nothing more than a rack or rails
that hold hanging clamps. Gravity holds the hanging clamps on
some mobile file centers and some centers have a
clip and the clamps snap into place. Please note that there's multiple
types of file centers. Mobile centers are just that, as they
have caster wheels to roll them with, and lock to
keep from rolling. And some systems which do not
touch the floor at all and are wall-mounted which are stationary.
There's even a file
center that hooks and hangs over a cubicle wall.
But, the idea of a file center is the same, they all
hold hanging clamps and keep your drawings off
the floor and allow your drawings to hang vertically
keeping them within easy reach and quick access.
This is one bit of information that you should
understand about Mobile Stands: Some Mobile
Stands will only hold
one size of hanging clamps and others will hold
varying sizes of clamps. The stands that
will only hold a single size of clamps are the type
that have two rails, one on each end that hold the
hanging clamps up. The other type of mobile file
center holds the hanging clamps by one end only, and
these types of file centers will hold varying sizes
of clamps all on the same file center.
Once a mobile stand is
adjusted to a particular length of clamp to hold,
that is the distance you leave it unless you
re-adjust the stand to a different setting to hold
another size later on.
Please understand that a hanging clamp can hold
different size drawings all on the same clamp since
a clamp is nothing more than two lengths of metal
that squeeze together when you twist the two wing knobs
tightening the tee-bolts.
But, some hanging file systems will
only hold a single length of clamps. For
example, some mobile file centers assemble so that they are set to hold only
one length (for example 36" apart) of hanging
clamps. Since a file centers rails are at a certain
length apart, they will only hold one length of
clamps. If a hanging file center is set up to hold
30" clamps, then it will only hold 30" clamps, not
24" as the 24" clamps are short enough to fall
through the two rails of a hanging file center. Same
goes with 36" hanging clamps, they are too long to
fit onto a hanging file center that is set up to
hold 30" clamps. Please note that only some
hanging file centers are built like this. Some
mobile file centers will accept multiple sizes of
hanging clamps, you just need to read the product
descriptions and it is of our recommendation to get
a firm understanding of how this works before making
Click here to
browse our selection of Hanging File Centers
There you have it, an explanation of how Hanging
Clamps and Hanging File Systems work. Basically, there's
two parts to this, you buy a Hanging File System, find a
place for it to be located in your office (either on
the floor or wall depending on which type of system
you buy), then buy one or two cartons of hanging clamps.
Some people even buy multiple hanging systems, one
stand for each
project if you are a large firm and have many
documents related to a single project. Once you have
your system together, you can easily get organized
and file your drawings and documents within quick
and easy reach. If you want a more permanent or
secured type of storage, you should consider flat
file storage cabinets or building a plan file room,
which are outside the scope of this document.
Disclaimer; By reading this guide on
our website, you agree to not hold anyone
responsible for any misuse or misunderstandings that
you may make. EngineerSupply.com does NOT assume any
responsibility with providing this information.
The EngineerSupply.com Product Team