New Shop - from the ground , up. #17: Building a lumber rack

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Blog entry by curliejones posted 08-19-2016 01:56 PM 1002 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Shop lighting - alternatives and Safety Recall that probably affects some Lumberjocks Part 17 of New Shop - from the ground , up. series no next part

I’m big into re- or up- cycling and some of the materials on hand are getting their 3rd or 4th use. There is a point, though, where storing the old material is more headache than it is worth.
I built a drop shed long before building the new workshop and now I must organize that drop shed to accommodate firewood, building materials, barbeque grills, etc that were housed under the old boat and firewood shed.

I’ve seen folks build lumber racks using 3/4” conduit stuck into holes on 2×4s and decided that would be easier than ripping wood into sticks to support lumber. The shed getting this lumber rack is only about 5 years old and is merely a shed roof on posts spaced 10 ft apart. Adding a lumber rack to the south wall will require much more substantial framing than just a wall to support sheet metal so it’s back to the ground.

I decided to put two posts in between two of the ten ft spans so the rack is supported to ground every 5 ft and I will use 15 ft of the available 20ft keeping the lumber rack 5 ft away from an open end of the shed. I put in 4×4s (from the old workshop) horizontally in this 5 ft span and then placed a 4×4 atop that giving a vertical support approximately every 2.5 ft. The 2×4s were drilled and then screwed to the 4×4 and 4×6 posts (original shed framing). When the drilled 2×4s are screwed onto the framing, be sure to use a string line for level and to keep the 2×4s all in the same face plane.

The 3/4” conduit can be cut by any method you choose but I wanted to keep the ends uniform and the raged edges to a minimum so I used a tubing cutter which pushed the burr from cutting inward. A couple of tips here: Use rubber gloves to get a good grip on the pipe when cutting, wrap the pipe in a second rubber glove to increase the diameter and make the pipe fit the hand better, and use a spritz of WD-40 to lubricate the cut once you start a groove with the tubing cutter. Have a box hand for the cut pipe to fall into. With std lengths at 10 ft, eight pieces at 15” each works out well. I cut 42 pieces to have six different supports per vertical member times the 7 members.

I used my drill press table and shimmed on side to create a slight angle so the pipes holding the load would end up slightly inclined upward. Since there would be lots of waste coming from 7 2×4s each with six holes I clamped a shop vac hose to the drill press table next to the point of entry on the 2×4s. My 2×4s are 5 ft long and I drilled the holes 2-3/4” deep, leaving 12-1/4” sticking out to support the load. A 15/16” spade bit was a perfect fit for the conduit.

Since the rack is located outdoors, I wanted to plug the outboard end of the conduit to keep insects from nest there. I bought a 7/8” dowel and rolled both ends to created a taper about 7/8” long. I cut the two ends off at 7/8” and used a wooden mallet to drive them into the conduit. One word of caution here: I had a burr created on the inside of the conduit from using a tubing cutter. This burr had to be removed with a round file on each pipe, but only on the end receiving the plug. With the burr left in place, the metal cut the wood and once past that burr the plug was then smaller than the inside diameter of the pipe. I spray painted the plugs after passing the assembled pipe/plug over the belt sander to smooth the edges, hoping to discourage any boring insects.

I had the framing material on hand, left from other uses so I only had to buy 5 sticks of conduit, a $25 purchase.
Though this rack should easily accommodate a couple of tons of material, I’m hoping that it doesn’t fill up too fast and gives me a short-term spot to store material brought in for projects.

-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"

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1013 posts in 1386 days

#1 posted 08-19-2016 04:41 PM


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