Lumber Rack, Double-sided Cantelever, Mobile

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Project by Ocelot posted 11-24-2013 09:02 PM 4605 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first actual “project” I’ve posted on LJ. I started it almost 2 years ago and finally got around to posting some pictures of it.

The rack is just shy of 14’ long and stands over 8’ high. With 6 levels of storage, it should theoretically be able to store about 4000 bd ft of lumber if the lumber is 8 or 16 ft long and the rack is stacked tight to the ceiling. Shorter lumber uses the space less efficiently, so it should store only 2500 bd ft of 10’ lumber. Unfortunately, the day I finished it I had some lumber delivered and didn’t have time to take photos of the finished rack empty.

There are a few things I would do differently if I were building another like this. The top level, in particular is not secured as well as it needs to be. If the lumber were loaded only on one side, I fear that the top level of the rack might fail. I need to add a few bolts to make that level more secure.

I’ll post more constuction details and photos if there is any interest in it.


12 comments so far

View hoss12992's profile


4068 posts in 2039 days

#1 posted 11-24-2013 09:10 PM

This is really cool and I def need to build me one of these. Great job and thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#2 posted 11-24-2013 09:11 PM

More details…

The rack consists of 6 “trees”.

Each “tree” stands on 2 swivel casters which are rated at 1200lb each, and consist of 6” cast steel wheel with a yoke made of 1/4” steel.

The truck of each tree is basicly a tripled 2×6. The base is doubled 2×12 (cut down at the ends so that the casters don’t lift it so high off the floor).

The arms of each tree are 4’ 2×4s which are sandwiched between 2 2×6’s along with spacers which carry the load from each arm down to the base.

The trees are joined together by a top and bottom plate of 2×6 (14’ long) and diagonal cable braces. There also are some “outrigger” boards spanned the bases to give the rack more rigidity while being moved. The plates and outriggers are attached by 4” long lag bolts so that the rack can be disassembled if needed to move it somewhere by truck.

View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#3 posted 11-24-2013 09:13 PM

Thanks, Hoss.

I’d be glad to give any details and more photos.

One reason I made a freestanding rack is that my shop has a lot of windows and I didn’t want to cover any of them with racks along the wall.


View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10571 posts in 3178 days

#4 posted 11-24-2013 10:17 PM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Posting!


-- (Rick S.)... "Don't Worry About What People Think! They Don't Do It Very Often Anyway!"

View BusterB's profile


1970 posts in 2154 days

#5 posted 11-25-2013 12:43 AM

Now thats super lumber storage…and its mobile….sweet. Nice job

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2821 days

#6 posted 11-25-2013 12:56 AM

Have you tried to roll it yet? I built the A-frame type that you see with sheet goods on one side, shelves in the center of the A and pockets for shorts on the other side. I built the floor with plywood on the top of a 2×4 frame and closed the bottom in with OSB to keep the spiders out. When I finished I put casters on the bottom. These are about 4-1/2 inch diameter. These have polyurethane tires (machine shop casters bought new for this project). It doesn’t roll easily but I don’t move it often.

View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#7 posted 11-25-2013 01:19 AM

Thanks Rick & BusterB,


I have not rolled the rack since I loaded it somewhat. I’ve got maybe 1000 bd ft of mostly cherry on it. I have pushed it a little to assess the resistance to rolling. I plan to rotate all the casters first to allign them with the direction I want to go, then push the rack down low.

The casters are hard steel, 6 inch wheels.

They are not crowned. My understanding is that crowned wheels will be easier to roll, since they have a smaller contact area with the floor.

I’ll have to try it sometime soon. I want to rearrange things a little in the shop.

The casters are very heavy. This is the way the box of casters looked when the UPS man dropped it on my porch.


View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#8 posted 11-25-2013 01:49 AM

Since LJ’s policy is that only complete projects can be posted, I began discussing it in a blog almost 2 years ago.. Here’s a link to that.

View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#9 posted 11-25-2013 02:43 AM

One of the challenging parts of the build was figuring out how to drill 45-deg. countersinks for the nots on the very large eye-bolts used for the cable bracing.

I made a jig to enable me to lay my tiny drill press on it’s back.

A big job for such a little drill!

View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#10 posted 11-25-2013 03:37 AM

Here’s some more assembly photos.

I tacked on some scrap to fix the diagonals while assembling it on it’s side.

Here I’ve bolted on the top and bottom plates and have yet to install the cable braces and outrigger boards.

View oldguy2's profile


197 posts in 1573 days

#11 posted 06-03-2015 11:52 PM

Hey Looks like you are ready for some projects with this wood….I replied about the cherry blanket chest. about the time you were building this giant rack I was making a smaller one behind my shopsmith in the one car garage workshop. check my home page and workshop for some interesting read. my rack has 6 wheels and ladder style center, garage door access on one end and now 4 buckets for anything 3 ft and under on one side. panel pieces on the other. its 30 inch wide…and finally I had to add a wall rack also. I had one of those” deals ” come up for more oak lumber. you know.. You did some great planning on this rack and it should do the trick. Nice big shop by the photos.

View Ocelot's profile


2076 posts in 2784 days

#12 posted 06-04-2015 01:26 PM

Thanks for the comments, OG2!

I’m rethinking the idea of hoarding lumber. We have a very nice local source of kiln-dried hardwood at reasonable prices. it would cost less (and save loads of space) to just buy the lumber I actually use. ;-)

Oh, that’s Hobby Hardwood.

Right now, I want to build a couple of garden benches. The only wood I have on the rack that’s suitable for that is eastern red cedar, but I’m thinking of buying some sassafras from our local supplier at $3.50/bf and save the ERC for something else.

I still own 1000bf of cherry that I bought and paid for almost 3 years ago that still in the old gentleman’s barn. He’s remarkably patient (he sold it for the money, not for the space), but I need to get it out of there, but first I have to reorg the lumber on my rack to make space for it.

Oh, yeah, the shop is 28’x40’ but it also stores some old furniture and all the outdoor power equipment and upstairs a ton of yarn and fabric and “stuff”.


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