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Forum topic by Matt posted 03-28-2009 07:50 PM 4227 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt's profile


181 posts in 2791 days

03-28-2009 07:50 PM

I am working to finish my garage/shop conversion and I have all this dead space above my garage door. The area I have to work with is probably 18 inches high and approximately 15X8 feet. What I need is some good proven suggestions for suspending a rack from the ceiling. Above the drywall are 2X4 studs on 24 inch centers. They run from left to right as you can tell by the screws in the drywall.

So, what do you think? I was thinking about using 2X4’s to build rectangular frames approximately 5 feet wide. That would let me stick some sheet goods as well as boards. My concern is that I don’t want any of it to fail and come tumbling down on me, my tools, or the kids.

If you can draw it on a napkin or whatever, that would be great. I just don’t want to jeapardize anything with this idea.

Left side:

Right side:

Thanks in advance!

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

11 replies so far

View papadan's profile


1166 posts in 2787 days

#1 posted 03-28-2009 09:37 PM

You already have the weight of drywall hanging there. With only 2×4s to hang from, I would be afraid to hang anything from them. How much room do you have above the drywall? If you have room up there, put in some cross braces to support lumber in that space and have an access panel. I know, should have been done before the drywall was installed.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3197 days

#2 posted 03-28-2009 11:02 PM

If you do anything in the attic space do not cut your trusses. They are designed to carry the weight of the roof and ceiling and any added load caused by snow/rain. If you cut a truss to create a larger opening in the ceiling you shift the load to the next closest trusses on either side which may not be designed to carry the extra weight and you could end up with a sagging roof or ceiling. Never do it unless you have an engineer design, draw, and certify the alteration and you keep the documentation forever. If you sell your home and a home inspector notices that a truss has been altered, you may have to pay an engineer and contractor to fix the problem.

If you decide to hang a lumber rack from the ceiling, figure some way to spread the load across as many trusses as you can. I really don’t recommend hanging lumber from the ceiling because of the weight. A single sheet of 3/4” MDF weighs close to 100 lbs if my memory serves.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 2820 days

#3 posted 03-28-2009 11:25 PM


i don’t know about from the ceiling, but you have space on the wall above the door. A friend of mine bolted 2×4’s to the wall and used angle iron (from an old bed) attached to it, to make a rack that holds a fair amount of wood.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View EEngineer's profile


1054 posts in 3032 days

#4 posted 03-28-2009 11:45 PM

2 X 4’s on 24” centers? Not a good recipe for load-bearing! No matter how much you spread the load, I think you’ll end up with the ceiling sagging. I would first consider adding vertical members from each 2X4 to the roof trusses (which should be at least 2X6 to support snow load).

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View odie's profile


1690 posts in 3258 days

#5 posted 03-29-2009 12:43 AM

You crack me up. Here’s my exact solution to your problem. I did the same thing your asking about, but I have only 8 inches of clearance. I used the plywood sides for strength and to line up with the trusses that I anchored the whole thing to. I attached lags to every truss.

In your case I would definitely beef up what you have in the attic. You could use plywood gussets to tie your rafters and joists together thus making a truss

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View 8iowa's profile


1540 posts in 3179 days

#6 posted 03-29-2009 04:34 AM

Another disadvantage to storing wood on the ceiling is that it takes up the space that could be put to better use for lighting. This is not a good trade off in my opinion.

I’m refurbing a small shed enclosure on the back of my garage to hold wood and I plan to have a modest size bin in my shop to vertically store and climitize the wood slated for current projects.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View papadan's profile


1166 posts in 2787 days

#7 posted 03-29-2009 04:39 AM

I have one of those prefab plastic sheds that I use for lumber storage right outside my garage/shop.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View pitchnsplinters's profile


262 posts in 2856 days

#8 posted 03-29-2009 06:14 PM

Nice solution odie.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 2791 days

#9 posted 03-30-2009 04:00 AM

Thanks guys. This was more of an optimization idea rather than a necessity. I think I will skip this ‘bright idea’. LOL! You guys are awesome. I’m reading some good stuff on storage with french cleats. Lots of possibilities in my shop.

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

View hootr's profile


183 posts in 2765 days

#10 posted 03-30-2009 01:19 PM

if you have wall space available there’s a plan in Shopnotes magazine, issue #93, with 5- 15” shelves, french cleat hanger
built from 1 sheet 3/4 plywood
works great for me
i’ll see if my daughter knows how to copy the article and e-mail it to you if you want
she’s more computor literate than me

good luck

-- Ron, Missouri

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3819 days

#11 posted 03-30-2009 03:47 PM

Good luck on the storage design. My ceiling is 16 ’ up and so i won’t be putting anything there. But I did put hanging hooks on the wals and i use then to hold bandsaw blades, rope, air hoses, etc. I use an extension rod to reach them. Always able to be found.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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