LumberJocks

(Mostly) Freestanding Lumber Rack

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Project by garbonsai posted 02-08-2016 04:57 PM 910 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Nearly all of the wood I work with is rough sawn or reclaimed, haphazardly acquired on the cheap or for free. While this keeps costs down, it means storing whatever I get my hands on until it’s needed. For better or for worse, my entire house (save the laundry room) consists of finished space. My shop — a converted bedroom — is in the basement, where all the walls are drywall and furring strips over concrete block, and none of them offer 10’ of convenient, uninterrupted space. There are no out-buildings aside from a shed.

In short, in order to stop stacking lumber in the middle of the floor, I needed to put up a lumber rack that was mostly freestanding. I started fiddling around with different designs until I came across a bunch of 1” and 1-1/2” rigid metal conduit on steep (!) clearance at Lowe’s. This greatly influenced my final design, and I purchased the necessary construction-grade lumber, gave it time to dry, then got to work.

Each of the columns consists of three 2×6’s that I jointed and planed, then laminated together and trimmed to a final size of roughly 3-1/2” thick x 5” wide. The feet and horizontal supports are 2×4’s, again jointed and planed to a consistent size. Drilling the slightly-angled holes for the pipe was a little tricky — the columns are unwieldy, and I had to purchase a couple of oddly-sized Forstner bits (OD for 1” RMC is 1-5/16”, and 1-1/2” RMC is between 1-7/8” and 1-15/16”) to get the job done. I attached the feet to the columns using carriage bolts — I want to be able to remove this thing and take it with me if / when I move or decide I need a family room more than a gigantic lumber rack.

To secure the columns to the ceiling, I cut a sheet of 7/8” MDF (not my first choice, but I used what the Menards damaged-panel-goods rack had to offer) into 6” strips, then routed ~1-3/4” by 5” notches into one edge. By using this method, I could stack two of the MDF strips (technically four — a long and short strip were needed to reach the necessary length), lag bolt them to the ceiling, stand my columns in place, then capture them with another stack of MDF strips from the other side (see photos — they really are worth a 1000 words in this case). This turned out to be a little more complicated than it should have been, as the previous owners used furring strips on the ceiling as well. I ended up cutting holes in the drywall and putting spacers on the bottom of each joist to bring them flush.

Once that was done, I screwed the horizontal supports in place, cut the pipe to length, and inserted it into the holes. The only thing left to do was load the rack up. I fit everything I had on the floor, a bunch of oak from my rolling lumber cart (which had gotten so heavy it was nearly impossible to get rolling), and nearly two full logs worth of ash I’d been air-drying outside. As you can see, there’s room to spare.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. Thanks for looking!

Update: As promised, here’s a link to the SketchUp file. Please note that I didn’t bother angling the pipes in the model, but when I drilled the holes, I angled them roughly 4 degrees.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.





6 comments so far

View at anchor in Orlando's profile

at anchor in Orlando

46 posts in 692 days


#1 posted 02-08-2016 08:29 PM

similar problem, no wall long enough to put up a rack. Mine is also complicated by a newer construction home where they used sheet metal studs in most of the walls. I am making a rack similar to yours on wheels. Well done.
Now, tell me where you come across all that free lumber?

-- Jack "No plan survives contact with the enemy" (Helmuth von Moltke the Elder)... In my case, the enemy is often my lumber rack

View garbonsai's profile

garbonsai

150 posts in 1420 days


#2 posted 02-08-2016 09:03 PM

Well done.

Thanks!
Now, tell me where you come across all that free lumber?

Let’s see. My parents have ~7 acres of trees, many of which are maple. My dad produces maple syrup, and occasionally needs to take down a tree. Last time he did, he took a log to the local high school, and their trades class cut and dried it for a nominal donation. I took down 10 ash trees on my own property (Emerald Ash Borer), and my ex-girlfriend’s dad and I have been cutting them up on his sawmill. He also gave me a bunch of “wormy” cherry he didn’t have a use for. The black walnut? A friend’s grandfather had slabbed that up over 25 years ago, stacked it in his basement, and passed away soon after. When his wife (the friend’s grandmother) passed away a couple years back, he was tasked with clearing the house of decades of accumulated stuff. I gave him a hand with some of it, and he sold me the walnut for next-to-nothing.

As for the reclaimed wood, mostly pallets and the occasional Craigslist score.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

645 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 02-09-2016 12:40 AM

WOW, now that’s a lumber rack

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 531 days


#4 posted 02-21-2016 09:12 AM

Really like this – seems just what I need.
May I nudge you for the SU file? I’d love to see it.

Thanks :D


(I’ll post a link to the Sketchup file later this evening)
- garbonsai

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View garbonsai's profile

garbonsai

150 posts in 1420 days


#5 posted 02-21-2016 01:31 PM

@Ted Ewen: Haha! Sorry about that — I got to working on other things, and promptly forgot about the SketchUp file. I’ve linked it in the original post. Here's another link, just in case.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 531 days


#6 posted 02-21-2016 04:40 PM

Brilliant, many thanks. As an added bonus, I’ve finally upgraded to SketchUp 2016 :P

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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