I learned a long time ago that there are many ways to do just about anything imaginable. Some work better than others – but the main thing is that they do the job. I’ve decided to write a brief blog from time to time describing something that’s ‘worked for me’ in my shop. If you have a better idea – that’s great! If you can glean something from my idea that you can use, that’s great, too.
I’ve decided to start with my lumber rack. Those of you who’ve taken a look at my workshop will have already seen a picture of it at a distance. Here’s how it looks a little closer.
My shop walls are constructed of drywall on 2” x 4” wood studs. Knowing the lumber I was storing would be pretty heavy at times, I knew it was important to hit as closely as possible to the center of the studs with the supporting lag bolts. To make certain I did, I located the studs as well as I could with a stud-finder – then searched for the stud edges with a 1/8” masonry bit. Once I’d found the center, I patched the small holes in the drywall.
In case you can’t tell from the photo, the dark strip against the wall is 1/4” tempered hardboard. While I knew it wouldn’t help a lot, I wanted something to at least partially distribute the load if a bracket began to fail and pivot. Besides, I thought they looked good.
The photo above shows a close-up of the 1-1/2” x 3” pine vertical ‘standards’, and the horizontal brackets. The center of the bracket is also cut from 1-1/2” pine, and is 1-1/2” high at the outer end, and 6” high where it bears against the face of the standard. The outer two layers of the bracket were cut from 3/4” Sandeply which are glued and screwed to the pine center. I used the screws mainly to serve as a way to clamp while the glue dried – and the Sandeply mostly because at the time it was cheap and didn’t have voids. As you see, the outer pieces extend past each face of the standards, and are fastened to it with through bolts. The brackets extend 16” beyond the face of the standards
I used 3/4” x 8’ MDF shelves so that each shelf could accommodate short pieces as well as long pieces of lumber. I also covered the strips between the standards with the same material to avoid small pieces falling through.
I’ve often had over a thousand pounds of lumber on the rack, and even though it’s been up over five years, it shows no sign of cracking, or yielding.
Works for me!
-- Dave O.