log [drying] racks #2: finished!

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 06-11-2009 02:34 PM 10298 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: the initial build Part 2 of log [drying] racks series no next part

I got the last 2 of the 5 sections built last week, sans the corrugated roofing. Here’s how I did it, at warp speed:

This marked the first use of my new truck, for 2×4s and small ply panels from Home Depot. What a joy!

2x4s and plywood in my new truck

As an aside, when I cut this particular 2×4 to length…

2x4 cut on miter saw

...I made a new friend. I think it’s a fat bird.

fat bird appears in 2x4 and reflection

As another side, whenever I stack up cut 2×4s like this, I get a terrific urge to build a deck, or workbench:

2x4s stacked and ready for the build

If you need any more asides, read the description I put under this image at flickr as to why so much of the green Douglas fir I’ve been getting from Home Depot lately smells strongly of lemons when I cut it.

Enough asides. On to the updates!

Last week I was all finished, sans the roofing…

sections 4 and 5 done, but without roofing yet

Home Depot only had the corrugated plastic I picked up previously in 8’ lengths in 12’ lengths this time. Now I know a bit more about the dimensions of the new truck (12’ from windshield to tailgate):

corrugated plastic rolled up and shoved through rear window in new Toyota Tacoma

And there it is with the roofing. It was just not quite long enough after cutting the 12’ into 4 3’ sections, so I used 2 pieces of scrap like shingles in the middle to patch the difference, and nailed everything down. You can’t tell when you’re out there. It just looks like one long solid piece, unless you’re looking for joints.

roofing finished

Other angle:

log racks finished

log racks finished

The keen observer may have noticed this switchbox in a previous image:

switchbox on log racks, but why?

This is the first bit of electrical doodadery I’ve ever wired up. I mentioned at the end of the previous (and first) post in this series that I was adding something ‘quirky’ soon, and this is it: rope lighting!

rope lighting in new log racks

Specifically, it’s 4 24’ sections, which fit rather perfectly across the 20’-wide shelves, with 2’ available at the ends for wrapping around the 2’ depth. Rope lights aren’t too expensive. I thought I’d find nothing appropriate, or something close enough, but not outdoor-rated, or I’d only find 5’ sections, or it would be $50 for 10’. However, it was only $15 for 24’. They had 100’ at a savings over buying in shorter sections. Knowing now what I knew then, I’d go for that, as I redid these to all chain together in one long 96’ rope with a single plug anyway.

rope lighting in new log racks

The roofing wasn’t in place on the last 2 sections when I did this, but now everything’s hidden on this end properly:

rope lighting in new sections of log racks

This is also before I zig-zagged things – a decision made when I decided to wire up my own switchbox and use a single outlet and switch to throw all ropes on at once – but it shows that the ropes run along the top edge of the front 2×4 shelf supports, via the included clear plastic screw-in C-clips:

rope lighting inside front edge of 2x4 shelf supports

So fun! It’s like a refrigerator, and I admit it… I got a little hungry the first time I plugged these all in and lit them up :)

ambiently lit logs in log racks

I’m also reminded of bakery display cases. This is not helping my diet.

logs lit ambiently by rope lights in log racks

The whole thing is such a beautiful mix of warm ambient light bouncing off of warm wood textures that it immediately made me feel calm. I’m a computer nerd usually, inside reading things on the net in a reclining office chair, never going outside. However, the first night, and at least one other night since, I’ve just gone out, flipped on the lights, sat on the ground and just relaxed, petting the loudly purring neighbor’s cat who likes to visit me a few times a day now.

It’s a real joy having these, and shows me how great it can be to add some aesthetics into a project. It just makes you want to be around the creations a lot more, and raises quality of life. This somewhat dreary corner of my yard is now one of my favorite places, and I like to find excuses to go check on things, or shuffle them around, and in that, I think it will help me make my projects everywhere else better, hoping for similar feelings from them.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

13 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8653 posts in 4980 days

#1 posted 06-11-2009 04:27 PM

looks great, the lighting idea is terrific.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View stidrvr's profile


40 posts in 4806 days

#2 posted 06-11-2009 07:36 PM

That lighting is Awesome!! It make the wood look like a bakery rack

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4666 days

#3 posted 06-11-2009 07:50 PM

Gary the spiritual wood dryer. Sounds about right. Enjoyed the time lapse photos. I love work, especially watching someone else doing it. Looking forward to your next blog. Nice truck by the way. Congrats.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 5052 days

#4 posted 06-11-2009 08:07 PM

Man, you must be worn out after all that work. I can only imagine that you sat down and had a beer when you were out of the frame in the video…you’re a speed demon when there’s woodworking involved. Nice rack…of wood. Can’t wait to see the projects from that stash.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4713 days

#5 posted 06-11-2009 09:15 PM

rob – Yeah, but you make actual money! I’m just tinkering with a fun hobby for now.

Purp – thanks!

stidrvr – I know! Makes me hungry. That’s probably why I think it’s so pretty.

Mike – thank you! There definitely is a kind ‘one with the universe’ feeling to woodworking.

kenn – I’m just getting started! Actually, I’m posting a few things soon that have worn me out much more. I’m talking drenched in sweat, out of breath, laying down on the ground until my heartbeat returns to normal stuff. I’m excited to resaw some things and get them drying, and make some green bowls, too!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4917 days

#6 posted 06-11-2009 10:39 PM

There are families in mexico live in houses worse than that.Sad but true. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5154 days

#7 posted 06-11-2009 11:01 PM

Gary, this is pretty neat. It will be interesting to see if you can fill it up with more of your clandestine log operations. :)

The lighting looks really good and I am sure your possum friends will enjoy finding these new digs.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4713 days

#8 posted 06-11-2009 11:24 PM

Alistair – Sad indeed. No access to quality lumber, or money to afford it even if they did.

Scott – I actually have enough wood laying around already to fill this, and probably most of another whole 5-sections :) I’m going to have to go outside the bounds and store some things on the cement patio in the back (already a bunch there), and probably squeeze things into some other places, too! I need to start using up some of the supply.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View bowyer's profile


340 posts in 4728 days

#9 posted 06-12-2009 02:13 AM

First off Gary great job! The lighting is awsome. I watched the video twice and got tired both times! I even had to go get a beer for me to cool down1

-- If at first you don't succeed...Don't try skydiving

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23262 posts in 5008 days

#10 posted 06-12-2009 02:34 AM

The wood looks so pretty, I could set out here and watch it dry for hours. Much better than a campfire, no smoke in your eyes.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4890 days

#11 posted 06-12-2009 03:09 AM

Great looking wood rack. Now let’s see what you make out of all the green wood…...................LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4713 days

#12 posted 06-12-2009 06:18 AM

bowyer – Haha! You’re very empathetic. Actually, my body is built for action, but my mind is built for sloth. Physically speaking, I’m just loving these workouts. I go in feeling totally worn out, but great all over. Mentally, well… I’m resenting all of it! I should be surfing the internet :)

Topamax – agreed! It’s been so nice to just stare at it. What a great time-waster!

Jerry – Wait a minute… now I have to MAKE something? Nevermind. You can have all of it ;) I think I’m just going to glue it all back together into a really eclectic tree.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 5142 days

#13 posted 06-12-2009 03:19 PM

Great idea Gary! I love sitting outside at night to relax and this would make a great night light!

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

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