New Shop building! #9: ... Rack 'em up!

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 09-25-2014 03:01 PM 2771 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: ...AIR! Gasp! I need AIR! Part 9 of New Shop building! series no next part

This was the mess you saw when first entering my shop. (Notice the picture taped to the wall with blue tape)


Bonnie asked me what was that little picture taped to the wall for? I explained that this was the wall where I would build a lumber rack, and that was a print screen I stole from Jay’s Custom Creations to remind myself of what I wanted to do there.




Now it just so happens that I have been tripping over two 2” X12” X16’ boards that someone was throwing away at the local dumpsters. I couldn’t BELIEVE it when I saw them and scooped ‘em up, knowing that I’d find a use for them one day. Rather than have to BUY 2×4’s, I ripped these 2×12’s to use for my uprights.

Next thing was I priced the 8” lag bolts (YIKE$ !) to attach the uprights to the wall, and THAT was some $dollar$ that I knew I could save. So instead of bolting the uprights directly to the wall studs, I came up with a way to use some of the 4” deck screws, which I already have some of those. By doing it this way I can counter-sink the screws into the 2x’s and they’ll be plenty deep enough to grab hold of the wall studs.



The ONLY thing I had to actually buy for this project was the pipes. After searching LJs for a bit I decided to go with the 3/4” EMT conduit. (Do a search here for “lumber rack” you’ll be surprised at how much info there is to go thru!)
Drilled all the holes by hand and used a 15/16” Forstner bit which was the perfect size. I saw where some of you put the holes 4” apart, but I thought that once I set this up I doubt I’ll ever bother to change the pipes, so I set the holes at 2’, 3’, 4’, 5’, 6’, & 7’ (measuring from the floor up).

Once the holes were all drilled I bolted the uprights to the wall, then cut the EMT into 16” pieces. Used my grinder and wire brush to clean up all the sharp edges, and then pounded the pipes into the uprights.

Remember the part where I said I drilled the holes by hand? Yeaaah, big mistake ! I was just a bit too lazy to set up the drill press and figured I could “eyeball them” with my cordless drill. WRONG ! As you can see my “eyeballing” was NOT QUITE up to par, and some of the pipes are not at the same angle. They’re not “TOO FAR OFF” but they’re not quite right. Oh well, too late now. Live and learn as they say!


I also re-routed the 100’ extension cord I keep by the door so the cord wont get hung up in any of the lumber (plus it’ll be off the floor). That cord is actually clipped UNDER the pipes, and not laying on top of them so it wont get pinched by any boards.
As I started to put some of the lumber on the rack I realized that I do as many of you do, that is I save a BUNCH of small, short pieces for those “Just in case I ever need this” moments. I didn’t want to throw them in a cardboard box or loose on the floor so for now I used up the last piece of that MDF I had used on the air compressor shed doors. I made a “shelf” for the bottom row and I notched the board to slip into the uprights so it can’t slide sideways and fall off the pipe. Maybe this will help me to NOT keep so many small pieces if I can see how many I have.

The section of wall I’m using is 7’ from the wall to the window. So anything 8’ or longer will go on the uppermost rows. That way I can still get at the window to slide it open.

The best part of this project (aside from organizing my lumber) was that my total cost was only $22.16 for the EMT pipe. The rest of the stuff I already had.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

6 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


7777 posts in 2219 days

#1 posted 09-26-2014 04:46 PM

Wow, that looks great. I wish I had room for something like that. I may have to consider this in a smaller version.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1725 days

#2 posted 09-26-2014 05:10 PM

Joe, I thought that lumber rack style was a good idea when I saw it too. Nice job, keeps stuff off the floor.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2366 days

#3 posted 09-27-2014 11:07 AM

great looking rack.i’ve been thinkingof buiding one myself since i seen jay’s.nice work,thanks for sharing!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

258 posts in 1901 days

#4 posted 10-25-2014 12:17 AM

Nice Idea Joe,
It looks like you have a good start.
I have used the same idea in the past but drill my holes directly into the wall studs.
Then your rack holds wood tight to the wall.

Have a great Day, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 09-02-2015 11:46 AM

A nice tour from beginning. Wow!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


2050 posts in 996 days

#6 posted 06-05-2016 02:01 PM

Phew JoeinGA, read all your episodes and that’s one helluva saga for a birth of a shed. However, where’s the happy ending? From your other posts you seem to be an accomplished turner, story teller and picture taker… but still not too many pictures of your workshop. Any chance of a tour??

I thought things were costly here in Australia, but for $3,000 to connect the power I would have just forgot about it and worked in the dark.

BTW. You had me in awe when you said you drilled the holes by hand… thinking you’re my hero and then you went and spoiled it all buy mentioning that dang cordless drill.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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