Freestanding Lumber And Plywood Rack

I cobbled this rack together from

2x4s and plywood offcuts. Strong and inexpensive to make, it holds hundreds of board feet of lumber and as many as nine sheets of ^4-in.-thick plywood.

I use two of these modules (see drawing) to provide uniform support for lumber up to about 10 ft. long. You can add another module or two to extend the rack's length.

To fully access the back side, you have to set the rack a couple of feet away from the wall. If you don't have that much room, you can just put the rack against the wall and use the back side for long stock—loading and unloading it from the end.

I place a strip of plywood across the top arms to hold short pieces. A 1x8 through the center of the rack forms a floor for sliding sheet goods in and out.

Choose kiln-dried, straight-grained 2x4s for your posts. A rack that twists as it dries won't keep your lumber flat. And wet lumber doesn't glue well cither.

I glued and nailed the arms, end gussets and feet to the posts, but you could glue and screw them instead. I relieved the underside of each arm to provide maximum stacking room.

Screwing rather than nailing I the side gussets makes module j assembly easier. The number of ? fasteners may look excessive, but 5 I can't risk hundreds of pounds § of wood crashing at my feet because my rack racked.—P.A.

If there is one problem common to all woodshops, it's lumber storage. If you're not careful, the volume of raw materials for your projects can grow to epidemic proportions.

We treasure our accumulated wood, but it can become a monster, usurping shop space and getting in our way. Haphazard wood storage can create safety problems and frustrate your search for that special piece of stock you're sure you stashed somewhere.

Lumber and sheet goods demand ingenuity. They need to be out of the way yet accessible, and they need to be protected from warping caused by careless stacking and uneven support. If you want to keep your lumber flat and straight, you have to stack it that way and keep it off of cold, moist floors. Sheet goods are especially prone to warping if they're not kept flat, and they also present special space problems because of their size.

Every shop presents its own particular wood storage puzzle, but fortunately there are a number of solutions. This article provides a peck into the shops of a few woodworkers who have come up with some clever racks to bridle their burgeoning collections of wood. You can adapt these ideas to suit your own needs. The measurements in the drawings provide general guidelines.

Whatever type of rack you build, try to provide support at least every few feet to prevent lumber from sagging. ►

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