LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
Showcase cover image for Swing-Out Sheet Goods Storage

Project Information

Made of wood? No. Important to the functioning of my shop? Absolutely.

I originally designed my 1,000 sq. ft. shop as a place to store the family vehicles and indulge a hobby in my retirement; however, within a short period of time news of my work spread by word of mouth, and, long story short, the shop now houses a small cabinetmaking business (and only the occasional vehicle). That means that demand on tool space and material storage have increased drastically in the five short years since I've built it.

The closest wholesaler is a 3-hour drive away, so to minimize re-supply trips and the cost associated with them, I tend to store quite a lot of lumber. Generally speaking, I keep enough sheet goods and solid lumber around to build a small-to-medium sized kitchen.

One of the biggest struggles I've had is sheet goods storage, since it seems the sheet I need is always at the back of the stack. And, while shuffling 75-lb sheets of melamine like a giant deck of cards is good for the muscle tone, it's not that great for work efficiency.

So I made a deal with a rancher friend of mine who welds to create a sheet goods storage rack for me; in return, I'm going to do some door installation and trim work in his new basement.

These massive units are constructed of 2" square tube steel and swing out on industrial-duty casters. They pivot on wall mounted brackets, with the pivot point on the outside edge. There is some resistance as the casters swivel, but once that happens, they swing in and out relatively easily. I say "relatively" because we're talking about moving thousands of pounds of material here. Any effort I have to expend to swing them out now is many magnitudes less than what I had to exert previously to access a buried sheet.

This rack now completes my lumber storage solution. I had previously built an adjacent rack for solid lumber (last picture) which can house several hundred board feet. That rack is suspended from 2×3 vertical cleats lag bolted directly into the studs.

While the scale of these projects might not be what others are looking to mimic, I thought the overall design might be of interest to others who experience storage space issues.

Gallery

Comments

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Thanks for sharing, I'm always looking for good ideas for storing sheet-goods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Thanks for sharing, I m always looking for good ideas for storing sheet-goods.

- Jon Hobbs
Jon, if I had it to do all over again, I would add three feet to this end of the shop and build fixed racks that would allow sliding the sheet goods perpendicular to the wall. As it is, though, if I ever want to get my truck in this bay, I'm limited to about 22" of depth, hence the swing-out solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Great idea and a great deal you worked out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
Wow, that's a pile of wood. Great solution to a problem many of us have. Wood or metal, this project is why we are here. Nice job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
If copying a design is the shear form of flattery then, consider yourself flattered. I have a welding friend that wants me to install new windows in his house and he wants to trade. I couldn't think of anything for him to make for me. Now I know.
Calmudgeon, what a great idea. What was the weight rating on the casters. I did build my garage 26' deep so I am thinking as you said above perpendicular to the back wall and about 42" out so a 48" sheet will overhang by 6".
I already checked and if I extend out the 48" I still can get the vehicle in with room to spare.

Thanks
Marty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
If copying a design is the shear form of flattery then, consider yourself flattered. I have a welding friend that wants me to install new windows in his house and he wants to trade. I couldn t think of anything for him to make for me. Now I know.
Calmudgeon, what a great idea. What was the weight rating on the casters. I did build my garage 26 deep so I am thinking as you said above perpendicular to the back wall and about 42" out so a 48" sheet will overhang by 6".
I already checked and if I extend out the 48" I still can get the vehicle in with room to spare.

Thanks
Marty

- MinnesotaMarty
Marty, the casters are rated for 1,000 lb each. I used 6" casters from Princess Auto (a sort of Canadian equivalent of Harbor Freight) I used swivel casters, but only put a braking caster on the outside corner in case an uneven floor made the rig want to drift away from the wall. As it turns out, I didn't need the brakes, but better safe than sorry. http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/6-in-poly-steel-swivel-caster-with-brake/A-p2040288e

My thoughts on the perpendicular arrangement would have been a fixed rack, no casters, but whatever works for you. I put a 5/8" melamine insert on the bottom for reduced friction. Melamine is very slippery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,205 Posts
Nice, that will work great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,187 Posts
Wow! You sure have taken the extra effort to store your sheet goods and your lumber stock in a very efficient manner. That is what I call compact storage. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Wow! You sure have taken the extra effort to store your sheet goods and your lumber stock in a very efficient manner. That is what I call compact storage. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

- helluvawreck
Thanks, Charles. I was careful in these pictures not to include my off-cut bins (for longer pieces; the shorter pieces are stored in the the small spaces created by the arms of the solid lumber rack) and the rather large stack of sheet goods off-cuts which didn't fit in the rack. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Do you have any issues with the plywood bowing or warping from being stored vertically? Mine is,always nice and flat when I bring it home but takes on curves when stored. I live in Las Vegas so humidity certainly isn't an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Do you have any issues with the plywood bowing or warping from being stored vertically? Mine is,always nice and flat when I bring it home but takes on curves when stored. I live in Las Vegas so humidity certainly isn t an issue.

- VegasJohnnyB
I live on the Canadian prairies, so to say humidity is not an issue here either would be an understatement. I've always stored my sheet goods vertically to (a) conserve space and (b) make lifting and moving much easier. I would also add that prior to this I stored everything leaning against the wall, and I still didn't have much of an issue.

The only material that's prone to curving in our climate is a cheaper product we call "shop birch" but that's a function of the quality of the lamination in that product and not the storage method. I've never had an issue with cabinet-grade plywood, particle board core products or MDF.

I would say that if you're having trouble with material warping, it might be the material itself more than the storage method, OR is it that your air is that much dryer than the environment in which it was fabricated?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I saw this post and the first thing I thought of is the plywood warping/ bending when stored. Come to find out someone asked the same question from Las Vegas, where I am from.

I.find it odd you don't have this issue because I've had red oak and even Baltic birch, bend or warp on me once stored in my garage. I wonder if it has anything to do with the quality of plywood in general that supplies our local stores and hardwood dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
I saw this post and the first thing I thought of is the plywood warping/ bending when stored. Come to find out someone asked the same question from Las Vegas, where I am from.

I.find it odd you don t have this issue because I ve had red oak and even Baltic birch, bend or warp on me once stored in my garage. I wonder if it has anything to do with the quality of plywood in general that supplies our local stores and hardwood dealer.

- trevor7428
It may indeed have to do with quality, but another factor would be humidity. I live on the Canadian Prairies. We're as dry as the proverbial popcorn fart up here. Even more to the point, what we don't have are significant fluctuations in humidity. Before this, I stored sheet goods leaning against the wall and had few issues. 1/4" sheets may bend a bit, but I'm not relying on trueness or structural strength from 1/4" material. The 3/4" and 5/8" material remains true, with the exception I noted of "shop birch" which is notorious for warping no matter how it's stored.

It may also be worth noting that the majority of material I store is cabinet-grade, most of it G2S. Mileage with lesser material may vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Storing sheets could be a tricky situation especially when you lay them horizontally due to a lack of vertical space. They tend to bend and even break in time which would cause a lot of unnecessary wastage down the road. This storage handler can even swing out which would definitely help you to retrieve the sheets quicker and without much hassle. Thanks for sharing, I would definitely try getting my hands on one soon.
 
Top