Lumber Rack made from 3/4" pipe

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Project by Adrian A posted 10-23-2012 07:37 PM 66667 views 27 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I figured it was about time to start sharing some of my projects around the shop. Here’s a recent one.

4×4 Douglas Fir (Home Depot – $60)
3/4” Galvanized Pipe (Lowes- $100)
Spax Lag Bolts & extra 2×4 (Home Depot $20)
Total Cost $180 before tax

I originally had a lumber cart that I had made from plans, the popular one with plywood on one side, scraps on the other, and wood down the middle. It worked great, but I wanted to save some floor space in the garage. Im trying to setup my shop less mobile, and more stationary. So I sold it to make this one.

Started out by marking each 4×4 every 12” down the center and making a pen mark. This is where I would drill the holes for the pipe. Since 3/4” Galvanized pipe has an Outside Diameter of 1.05” I wanted something just under. I tried 1” forstner bit, but it was just too tight to hammer in the pipe. I went to woodcraft and found a 26mm bit at woodcraft which measures 1.02. And this was the perfect tightness.

Drilled those holes at a 4degree angle on the drill press. I setup a fence on the drill press to make sure each hole would be done exactly the same on each 4×4 post.

I bought 10 foot sections of pipe at lowes, and they were nice enough to cut them into 17” lengths. After pounding 3.5” inches into the posts, this would give me 13.5” of lumber rack space. I could of gone longer, but my garage door was in the way since i wanted it close to the corner of my garage.

I went home and took out the hammer and started banging them in… after about 3 went in I decided I didnt want to pass out in exhaustion. I went next door and borrowed a sledgehammer. Took about 3 hits, and they were good. Then marked out where the wall studs were so I knew where to hang the posts.

I used a car jack to hold them in place while i lag screwed into the top and bottom plate. and also 2 other lag screws in the middle of the posts. I did the first 2 posts that way, but when I got to the 3rd post I pushed the post to the ceiling and the pipes didnt line up horizontally. I was using a long level to check they were even across. Well I forgot about the tilt in my garage floor, and didnt properally give me a little slack on the first 2 posts. So I had to REALLY use my car jack to raise the next few posts so it would all be level. This of course made my ceiling raise a little in that corner, but luckily its just attic space above my workshop so it didnt matter, and you cant visually see. So remember to leave slack on your first few poles.

I finished it off by putting a 2×4 across the top screwed into the posts, and into the ceiling joists for cantilever support.

It is crazy solid, maybe a little overdone, but it works great!!!!

Thanks for checking her out :)

15 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3169 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 09:19 PM

That type of wood rack is the best in my opinion,

-- Joel

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3790 days

#2 posted 10-23-2012 09:37 PM

You are a GENIOUS!!! That is a strong and awesome lumber rack!!!

I built a very similar one. I used 1/2” black pipe (it was FREE), 4×4 PT posts (they were FREE, even the white paint was FREE). I covered the pipe with foam pipe insulation to prevent the black pipe from staining the lumber (it was FREE)(picture taken before the foam was installed). I did have to buy lag bolts & hardware, total cost about $20.00. I placed holes every six inches for adjustability & made extra lengths of pipe.

I would say; “Great minds think alike!!!”

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3305 days

#3 posted 10-23-2012 10:10 PM

great lumber rack adrian.thanks for sharing how you built it.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View buckeyedudes's profile


155 posts in 4243 days

#4 posted 10-24-2012 12:50 AM

Yes – here – here; Nice rack Adrian!!!

-- Before you louse it up, THIMK!

View mloy365's profile


448 posts in 4245 days

#5 posted 10-24-2012 01:42 AM

I like it! So many way to go with this one!!! SOG, way didn’t you post this about a year and a half ago?

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View copcarcollector's profile


256 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 10-24-2012 03:22 AM

NICE! That garage floor slope will get you for sure – had to do some major shimming on a cabinet install in my Moms garage.

Nice lumber storage

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4403 days

#7 posted 10-24-2012 01:46 PM

Great idea I need a new bigger one. Thanks for the info.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View ptweedy's profile


75 posts in 4508 days

#8 posted 10-24-2012 03:14 PM

When I built mine using 4×6 dunnage I covered the pipes with plastic pipe and a plastic pipe cap on the end of the metal pipe. works well. I should have done my layout like yours. I snapped a level line at the bottum and near the top of the wall and drew a line near the top on the 4×6s. I marked the stud locations, predrilled the lag bolt holes, and ran them in with my air impact wrench. I then drilled the holes for the pipes, big mistake, should have clamped them together on the floor and used a jig to get the correct spaceing and angel. next time.

View Adrian A's profile

Adrian A

169 posts in 4017 days

#9 posted 10-24-2012 03:38 PM

DIY; I do love the sound of free.

MLoy; My bad. hehe

ptweedy; I recently purchased a mini lathe to begin turning, so my first project will be turning little round wooden caps for the metal pipe. I knew this was a must since when I was lagging the posts into the wall i hit myself twice with the end of a pole. Once in the tooth.. so glad i didnt lose it. :)

All; Thanks so much for you nice comments

View Jeff's profile


17 posts in 3168 days

#10 posted 10-27-2012 04:44 PM

Perfect….. I’ve been fence sitting trying to decide how to store my lumber and your idea is the one I’m going to use in my shop. Can’t wait to get back to my shop and get started. Thanks..

-- Muskoka Jeff

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3890 days

#11 posted 10-28-2012 01:43 AM

Super idea and in fact I have thought about doing something similar. For those that interested in building something like this in a basement shop you can use the floor joists to bolt 2×4s to. I used plywood for the shelf supports but pipes have a smaller dimension which allows more storage space. I thought about using 1/2 pipe drilled into the edge of the 2×4s which would probably be strong enough for a shelf less than a foot deep. Wood works great but it take up space. My shelves are “over kill” a two inch piece of 3/4” plywood is more than adequate!

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3401 days

#12 posted 10-29-2012 07:01 AM

Looks good. I need something like that but I’d be afraid the wall would fall over with that much weight on it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Adrian A's profile

Adrian A

169 posts in 4017 days

#13 posted 10-29-2012 05:12 PM

Mork: Nice rack. All the wood rack designs similar to yours and the one woodsmith has all lose space with the brackets. Even some of the premade metal racks have angle brackets. That was one of the main reasons i went the pipe route.

Russel: No chance of it coming down. It has 3 main anchor points, and 1 attachment point. 1) Its anchored to the floor through the bottom plate of the wall studs (which is anchored to the concete floor) 2) Its anchored to the joists by top plate (which is tied to the joists) 3: If you look at the pic where I have the posts on the wall but no lumber, you will see a 2×4 thats tied into the joists and into the posts, to further help carry the load on the joists and not the wall. Then of course lag bolts into the wall studs is my attachment points on each stud.

So with those anchors you have moved the force down to the floor, and not out from the wall.

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3115 days

#14 posted 10-11-2016 08:25 PM

Very nice. I’d like something but I have an OLD house there is a ~5’ brick basement wall that slopes inward. Walls are about 70 or 80 degrees instead of 90 degrees. Then on top of that is a roughly one foot deep little dirt shelf, then about 2 feet high wall that is the inside of the house’s foundation wall. It makes any kind of organized storage a real pain.

-- Ted

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1890 days

#15 posted 10-11-2016 08:30 PM

Any thread about lumber racks will contain spelling at a 4th grade level.

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