OSB for Lumber Rack Supports?

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 04-24-2014 12:44 PM 1906 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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394 posts in 3108 days

04-24-2014 12:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lumber rack lumber rack osb plywood wood whisper

Over the next few weeks I plan on finally building a lumber rack based on the Wood Whisperer’s design (plywood and 2×4’s). I was going to pick up the plywood this weekend but then I remembered I have six or seven sheets of OSB in my garage that were left by the previous owner.

My questions will the OSB work for the for the supports? For those that aren’t familiar with his design here’s a link:

144 – Racking My Brain – Lumber Rack

It sure would save me some money being able to use the OSB plus I’ve been trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do with them. I’ve really never used OSB for anything but what information I could find suggest it has great load bearing properties. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything!

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-- David

11 replies so far

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85 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 04-24-2014 12:56 PM

The OSB is definitely not as strong as the ply, but it should work as long as you don’t overload them. If, your shop is prone to high humidity, you want it to look good, or you want it to last 25 years, you may want to upgrade.

The weak point would be the screws he used to attach the bracket to the vertical support. The screws will pull through OSB. To increase longevity, use 1 1/2” construction staples He also used wood glue, but you will need to use construction adhesive.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2938 days

#2 posted 04-24-2014 05:09 PM

Structurally OSB has greater strength in shear than plywood. In some applications as much as two times as much.
I have built trusses for heavy roof loads using this material for the web. I would not use it for the chords, however.

If you have the 3/4” thickness you should be fine with the plans you link to. If what you have is the 7/16” sheathing material I would double it using construction adhesive to bond two layers together.
I would not hesitate to use it as long as it has been kept completely dry.

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3197 posts in 1955 days

#3 posted 04-24-2014 05:23 PM

If it were me, I would not use the OSB. The problems with hold power of screws and fasteners plus it degrades in moist area. If you do use it, you should inspect is very well and not use any areas near the edges. With the OSC you will need to seal it very well on the face and especially on the edges.

Will it work, yes…could it be a problem and more difficult to seal and finish….yes

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3210 days

#4 posted 04-24-2014 08:32 PM

OSB will work fine. On the swing out rack, I would run 2×4’s the length. Fasteners will be a problem. I would bolt the corners together using “dowel nuts” (picture attached). OSB won’t hold screws well. Sheet metal screws can be used for the casters. For the supports attached to the vertical 2×4’s, you should use thru bolting. Painting everything will keep moisture from affecting the OSB.

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3108 days

#5 posted 05-05-2014 12:38 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! I ended up just using some maple ply I forgot I had. A lot of it was in wierd shapes and sizes so this gave me an excuse to use it. i may use the OSB for some small lumber bins or shelves. Thanks again! I’ll have a blog/project up on the lumber rack as soon as it’s finished.

-- David

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2771 days

#6 posted 05-17-2014 12:37 PM

I wouldn’t trust osb to support a load which lumber will give it. At least not in this situation.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Wickate's profile


70 posts in 2760 days

#7 posted 05-17-2014 05:25 PM

I actually built this rack about 7 months ago and put an awful lot of wood on it. I used OSB leftover from the new home construction around me to save a ton of money. I doubled up on the OSB – making much of it almost 1” since it didn’t cost me any extra to do. If I get the opportunity tonight after work I’ll take a picture and upload it here for future reference should anybody have a similar question. Glad you were able to build it OK! I love mine – very happy.

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5622 posts in 2780 days

#8 posted 05-17-2014 05:47 PM

OSB will work fine, because it is sandwiched with 2x lumber.
Honestly tough, I would consider making it a vertical lumber rack. They are much easier to retrieve wood from. Horizontal racks require you to restack lumber, and the one you need is always on the bottom.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Wickate's profile


70 posts in 2760 days

#9 posted 05-17-2014 06:17 PM

I ran across these two pictures on my phone. I have the one of the rack empty and the other is about 3/4 of what’s on it now and I feel comfortable putting more on. I wound up not wanting to span as far down that wall as I’d originally intended so I used the leftover support in the seemingly uneven area there to provide a point with more support that I could try to focus the weight onto. As I say, it’s been holding well and I don’t have much concern.

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Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1915 days

#10 posted 05-18-2014 06:17 PM

Against what everyone advised I built mine from 1 1/8 MDF. It has 20”s of shelf space. And I hung it on a 5/4 french cleat. As soon a the battery charges in my camera I will get some pix.

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3108 days

#11 posted 05-18-2014 10:56 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! I really appreciate it. I ended up building out of 3/4” maple ply that I didn’t realize I had and they look great. It’s been loaded up with a ton of lumber for about two weeks with no issues. I’ve got pictures I’ve just haven’t got it posted yet. I’ve been busy working on a lumber bin for all the smaller pieces!

Thanks again. I’ll save the OSB for another day.

-- David

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