Lumber Storage

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Project by Mork posted 11-06-2016 02:53 PM 3403 views 4 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Years ago I made lumber storage shelves in my basement shop by hanging 2×4s from the floor joists (each with one 3/8” carriage bolt) and attaching 3/4” plywood gussets to the side (see last picture). This is a super easy way to create storage in a basement shop or any shop with open ceiling joists. That’s the “pros” but the Con is that the plywood gussets take up valuable storage space (about 3-inches per shelf in fact).

Now, back up a year – I had a saw mill cut a 28” red oak and air dried it in the back yard for about 8 month. I had it cut so that I got a lot of great 1/4 and riff sawn lumber but, thats another story… As with most shops, space is always hard to come by and this sudden abundance of premium lumber created a challenge!

The Cheap solution?

1/2” black water pipe and the 10×12 shed in the back yard! I set up a guide in the drill press and set the table at a slight angle and proceeded to drill 7/8” holes about 3-inches deep. There is only about 5/16” of wood left on each side of the pipe but this is still totally adequate. Then I used 5/16’ carriage bolts and bolted the pre-drilled 2×4’s to the side of the 2×4s in my shed. I then cut several 10-foot pipe section into slightly less than 15” pieces which gave me 8 shelves supports at 12-inches deep. This created a very strong shelf but having a support every 16-inches also made everything incredibly strong.

Now I need to modify the shelve in my basement shop… It’ll get done someday.

NOTE: Pipe is cheap but, if you go to the big box stores you will pay a premium, in fact over double the price!

18 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9293 posts in 3480 days

#1 posted 11-06-2016 03:06 PM

Sure wish I had more wall space for something like that. Nice job.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5267 days

#2 posted 11-06-2016 04:48 PM

A Very GOOD approach…

I wish I could do that… but wall space is being used…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View pottz's profile


20130 posts in 2199 days

#3 posted 11-07-2016 12:20 AM

mork you had a problem every wood worker wants to have,too much wood.your solution is great,if you have the wall space,another wood worker problem!great job.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View dshute's profile


221 posts in 3901 days

#4 posted 11-07-2016 01:10 AM

That’s a good use of space.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3990 days

#5 posted 11-07-2016 01:43 AM

Yeah… too much wood is definitely a good problem to have. For years I bought plane sawn oak at a premium price but several years ago a friend of mine that trims trees for a living volunteered to help me by deliver logs to an Amish saw mill. The first log was a huge white oak from a neighbors yard. I shared half of this log with the tree trimmer but still ended up with about 180BF.

The red oak was a bit smaller but I got all 3 logs from this tree. I saved all the quarter and riff sawn off the red oak and sold the rest. I basically came out with 250 BF of free premium oak lumber!

Now I need a little poplar for things like drawers. I love working with poplar. I’ve thought about cutting down the 22-inch poplar in my back yard. My youngest daughter brought it home from school one day about 20 years ago. If I cut this tree I’ll have to build something special for her.

View pottz's profile


20130 posts in 2199 days

#6 posted 11-07-2016 02:10 AM

mork really,with the meaning behind that tree would you even consider cutting it down!you can buy poplar all day but youll never have another tree your daughter planted.for the love of the tree, dont do it.peace.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3990 days

#7 posted 11-07-2016 02:22 AM

Haha… Perhaps you are right. I should have planted 10 more :o)

When you are young waiting 20 years for a tree seems foolish but in reality they are a low maintenance investment!

View jkread's profile


16 posts in 2613 days

#8 posted 11-07-2016 06:01 AM

Where is a place to get a good price on black pipe? You mention the box stores are high and I agree.

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4647 days

#9 posted 11-07-2016 11:27 AM

I never understand how you get the board on the bottom of the pile… ‘cause that’s the one you always need!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3990 days

#10 posted 11-07-2016 12:16 PM

jkreed: I bought my pipe at a locally owned plumbing and electric supply. I’m sure every town or city has there own. Watch where the contractors go.

ellen35: You are so right…. and if the bottom board inst the one you need you will dig down to it just to have a look. More pipes might help!

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4019 days

#11 posted 11-07-2016 12:35 PM

Very nice Mork. I think I would wrap some clear package tape or something around those black pipes. As with oak, there may be some chemical reactions into your woods. Just a thought.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3990 days

#12 posted 11-07-2016 04:46 PM

Roger, I didn’t think of that. I think if I was storing planed down or damp lumber it would be more of an issue plus the contact area is minimal. On the other side of the shed I have white oak which a planed to 7/8 but they are wood brackets. I was thinking about replacing them with pipe and I’ll do as you suggested. I cut the wood bracket width to 2” and they are starting to sag a little (white oak is heavy!). If I don’t do something I may come home to crushed lawnmower and a big mess!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10267 posts in 3624 days

#13 posted 11-08-2016 02:40 AM

Nice work and great idea with the black pipe as it takes up alot less space. Looking in my shop I can but drool for such wall space to store lumber longer than 6 feet. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3990 days

#14 posted 11-08-2016 12:25 PM

I feel fortunate to have the space but honestly I’d like to have about double the amount. My shop is 24×26. I’ve planned extensively over the years but never seem to get it just right. Honestly I’m not sure “just right” is even possible… there is always a compromise somewhere. Most my wood storage is in a shed in the back yard. Thankfully I have the shed or I’d be in conflict with my wife over the finished part of the basement! :o)

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4976 days

#15 posted 11-08-2016 01:25 PM

I leave rough sawn (Wood Mizer) boards ‘stickered’ outside for a year, covered with a tarp. This drys out most of the free water. Then the boards go up in my loft, stickered again for further drying of the bound water in the cells of the wood. After another year the boards are down to around 10% moisture content. Here in the Upper Peninsula the Winter humidity is very low, perfect for drying. In more humid climates this final drying may take longer.

But I’m not done yet. The moisture content in wood never comes to rest. I’m usually sorry if I take a board down from the loft, into the climate controlled shop, and immediately start cutting. Having the wood adjust to the shop climate for a couple of weeks is a good idea.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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