Workshop Renovation #1: Lumber Rack

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Blog entry by Brian S posted 05-16-2011 11:08 PM 3807 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workshop Renovation series Part 2: Tool Cabinet »

Hooray! This is my week off, friends, and I plan to spend the majority of it in the shop. I went out there today to get started on my next project (a shooting board), when I realized for the umpteenth time that my shop is a disaster area. I mean really, take a look:

I’ve been collecting hand tools for a while, and I have absolutely no place to put them. On top of that, there’s spare wood everywhere. So I put it in my head that this week will be “Workshop Renovation Week” (no need to mark you calendars, I don’t think this one’s getting on the national holiday list, unfortunately). You can see the pegboard I set up (and filled up) last year, along with my (also full) saw rack.

Actually, can you call a board with nails in it a “saw rack”?

On my bench is just miscellaneous stuff I’ve gotten recently. New chisels, two braces, bits, files, a saw set, two saws, my mallet, some hardware, etc. Stuff that needs homes.

Thus the plan: I need some cabinets. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but now I’m finally being spurred to action. I’m going to build two hanging tool cabinets (like JasonD's, but with drawers/cubbys beneath), a hanging saw rack (like oldwolf's, but smaller), and a lumber rack (like Marc Spagnuolo's, but fewer). I have four days off (oral surgery on Friday kind of kills the “week-off buzz”), so that’s one project a day.

I quickly drew up some plans this morning, put together a shopping list, and headed to get some wood. It turns out that you can fit a whole 4×8 sheet of plywood in my new truck, so for the first time ever I was able to bring one of these home in a single piece. The joy!

Anyway, despite my spending the morning deciding things and drawing up plans, I managed to finish and install my new lumber rack before the wife got home from work. I also managed to break down that sheet of plywood, which is good because it was taking up her parking space. Without further delay, here it is in all of it’s glory:

There are only two shelves, and I can fit 8 foot lumber on each shelf. This suits me fine, since anything longer than 8 feet is hard to get in the truck anyway (I know, I tested it today with 10 foot stuff, then discovered that I definitely do not have room to hold 10 foot lumber in the garage). If you are looking very carefully, you might notice that I didn’t attach the shelves evenly – the supports are not spaced right. That’s where the studs are, my friends, I didn’t build the house. Probably they adjusted them because of an interior wall or the door frame or something.

Right now, the shelves are just plain brackets, on which I rest my lumber, but I was thinking about putting some actual shelves on top of them – maybe 8’ long 12”-14” wide plywood? What do you think? Has anybody else ever done this? Suggestions?

Thanks for looking,

-- Brian

2 comments so far

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3190 days

#1 posted 05-17-2011 12:02 AM

I think if you cut the 2×4 in the plywood sandwich in half and trim a lot more plywood off, you can cram another 2 shelves in. The 2×4 in the middle of the sandwich is merely a spacer. All the strength is coming from the plywood. If you look at Marc’s version you’ll see the taper on the plywood is much less.
I would use the “chin-up” test to see if its strong enough after trimming it up.

Plywood works fine for shelves. The span could be a problem if you plan to put a lot of weight on it.
Try it and if it sags, just attach cleat to the underside to strenghten it, no biggie.

View Grandpa's profile


3260 posts in 2726 days

#2 posted 05-17-2011 12:03 AM

Good job. People that I know that use racks like this one all like them. I am sure you will also. Probably want to make more of them…...LOL

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