Free-Standing Wood Storage Rack

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Project by DustyMark posted 01-07-2015 05:27 AM 4668 views 6 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m putting the finishing touches on my basement shop. In previous shops I built open racks about 12” deep that I attached directly to the studs and installed above my large cut-off table. However, I had an insulated concrete form home built and I don’t have a lot of confidence in the holding power of the 20-gauge straps that I would need to screw into with that design. I’ve got plenty of space in the unfinished basement, so I designed and built this free-standing storage rack.

Dimensions and Materials
The rack is 12’ long, 32” deep, and 4’ tall. I used twelve 8’ x 1” x 4”, three 12’ x 1” x 4”, and two 8’ x 2” x 4” pine boards for the frames. Menards was out of the better quality boards, so I opted to use the twisted ones rather than wait. Some of those boards were tortured straight with 50 pound barbells and finally being screwed to plywood. (If somebody is near it when a screw lets loose, they’ll probably get knocked out!) I used 1 1/2 sheets of 3/8” ACX plywood for the back and it does a great job of eliminating any racking when screwed to the frames. I used 3 sheets of 5/8” ACX plywood for the shelf surfaces that further reinforce the rack and make it easier to slide the wood in from the end.

Final Thoughts
I think this will work out well. I have plenty of room to load and unload the wood from the end. I typically top off to 250 bf of rough lumber when I stock up. This rack will hold that easily on the lower two shelves. I can store the current project wood on the very top.

-- Mark, Minnesota

9 comments so far

View DonB's profile


591 posts in 3930 days

#1 posted 01-07-2015 11:49 AM

Nicely done. Very functional. How I wish I had a basement.

-- DonB

View SgtRich's profile


59 posts in 3049 days

#2 posted 01-07-2015 01:07 PM

great idea. I too have a basement shop with concrete walls. with room to spare, I think I may copy this idea.

-- Every day is another opportunity to create something great. [email protected]

View doubleDD's profile


10691 posts in 3281 days

#3 posted 01-07-2015 02:27 PM

Very functional. I have something similar but not quite as big and nice. Wish I had the room.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View DustyMark's profile


519 posts in 3308 days

#4 posted 01-07-2015 03:59 PM

Thanks! If I ever finish the other side of the basement, I could lose my load/unload area. Even then, the simple solution will be to line up the future guest bedroom door with the rack opening…problem solved! That’s at least six years out, so it’s all good for now.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2633 days

#5 posted 01-07-2015 04:21 PM

Nice project , and very efficient and functional. I see that long top doubling as a very splendid chop saw bench. That basement space looks a lot like my own, except that I have managed to build 2×4 framing around most of it in a very snail-paced finishing venture.
I hear ya about the twisted and cupped 2×4s. They can be quite the adventure!

-- Ed

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 4305 days

#6 posted 01-07-2015 06:58 PM

I built a very similar rack, though I used twisted 2×4s and carriage bolts to hold it together. It’s still perfect for my needs, 20+ years later. I believe your rack will serve you well!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View sampavman's profile


3 posts in 2473 days

#7 posted 03-30-2015 10:06 PM

Hi there, first-time poster long-time lurker here. I am looking to build basically the same thing in my garage and was just curious what kind of joinery you used here. Just glue and screws or something more involved? Only wondering since it’ll obviously need to support quite a bit of weight. Thanks!

View DustyMark's profile


519 posts in 3308 days

#8 posted 03-31-2015 02:36 AM

Just screws and glue with 1” x 4” stock. It stiffened up real nice with the plywood back and the solid boards that tied each section together across the front. 2” x 4” would have been stronger, but I believe my rack is plenty strong for the amount of wood I’ll store in it.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View Ocelot's profile


3386 posts in 3876 days

#9 posted 03-31-2015 04:12 PM

I think you’ve got it about right. I went with the hoarding mentality to build my free-standing rack, which is a tall double-sided side-loading cantilever rack. Now that I know we have a good local source of reasonably priced hardwood, hoarding doesn’t seem like such a good idea. But I’ve got more than a couple thou bf already.

I’ve got a lot of my shop full of rack. In addiition to the shop-built rack I’ve another steel double-sided cantilever rack.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

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