Shop Projects #1: Copy of Jay Bates Conduit Lumber Rack

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Blog entry by Rob_s posted 09-12-2016 07:23 PM 415 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I saw this idea on Jay's page first, and have seen versions of it as well. I’m extremely happy with the results, and planning even to add some more to the adjacent wall with maybe 2 pipes at the highest elevation only, and small, single pipe, segments running over the window. I also need to find some kind of caps, plastic hopefully, for the lowest racks just for some added safety.

I decided to make one with my own twist(s) which include:
1) mine is attached to a CMU wall instead of a stud wall, so I used 2-3/4” Tapcons
2) Used the same hole for the tapcons to mount the 2×4 to the wall as the pipe sections
3) I used a drill in a Wolfcraft 4522 Tec Mobil Drill Stand instead of a drill press
4) I used a pipe cutter to cut the sections which meant I didn’t have to worry about sanding the cut ends as it crimps as it cuts.
5) I used a 15/16 spade bit to better fit the OD of the conduit

Before, with the mess.

Mess cleaned up, before the work starts

I cut my 2×4’s to 48” lengths, and cut five of them to fit on my 10’ section of wall. I stated 4’-9” above the floor to give myself room for plywood, eventually on a cart, below the racks. The combination of the starting height and 4’ sections makes the top rack higher than the top of the adjacent window so I can run longer sections across the top of the window if needed. I spaced the pipe sections at 10” on centers, and I cut the pipe sections 15” long to make the best use of the lengths of materials I had.

This is what one complete rack looks like. This was the first attempt, prior to building the drill jig, so the angles aren’t entirely consistent.

I have a drill press, but it’s junk and only travels about 2” when you’re using a spade bit, and I’m not sure the table is adjustable for angles. To get the appropriate embedment of the 2-3/4” Tapcons I was using I needed to drill a 2.5” hole to give me 1” of wood material and therefore 1-3/4” of embedment into the block wall. So I decided to use my drill stand instead.

I rigged up the drill stand into a jig, and set the angle to 7.5 degrees, approximately, to get some back-pitch on the piping for safety. I made up a jig out of some scrap 2×4s and plywood to allow the drill stand to be bolted down and to get me centered on the 2×4 material, and just generally speed things up. I drilled the 15/16” hole first, then chased it with a 3/8” hole for the 1/4” Tapcons I was using.

This shows a mockup of the jig to see if the idea would work. Later I attached a piece of scrap 1/2” plywood to the bottom of the outside 2×4s and then screwed that to my bench.

I spaced the racks at 23” O.C., which I wish I had done at 22”, but the idea was to be able to support 4’, 8’, 10’ sections of wood with the most number of supports. It seems to work to that end.

racks complete but un-loaded.

Loaded up.

cart with scrap plywood put back in place for now

2 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3126 posts in 3130 days

#1 posted 09-13-2016 02:50 AM


The rack looks really great. I do envy your high ceilings! You should go higher with your racks and build a library-type ladder system to retrieve your wood.

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View Rob_s's profile


30 posts in 39 days

#2 posted 09-13-2016 10:02 AM

Yeah,the ceilings go from 16’ above the rack to 18’ across the middle of the space. I’m hoping to eventual build a loft so I’m trying to keep things somewhat short. I did experiment with putting something up higher, briefly, but retrieving long pieces of lumber from a ladder isn’t terribly fun and gets really wobbly really quickly.

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