Document Hanging Clamps Explained - EngineerSupply

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Document Hanging Clamps Explained

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.

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 hanging clamp.

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 same 30" 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 a purchase.


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.




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Copyright 2005 - The Product Team

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