Shop Shifting #7: Upgrade Lumber Storage

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Blog entry by sras posted 02-05-2021 04:57 PM 532 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Organizer Organizer Part 7 of Shop Shifting series no next part

This project is part of a sequence to enable a new tool in the shop. I had been struggling with how to get space improvements for quite a while. Then a few years ago my cousin was visiting and her husband suggested getting my lumber storage off the floor. Perfect! Here is where I started.

This rack has 4 shelves. They ended up being overloaded and I had to reinforce them with plywood gussets. The floor has all sorts of smaller pieces laying around. There is a plywood storage unit below the power outlet that holds all sorts of smaller pieces.

First step was to get rid of the plywood storage unit. A lot of the pieces I had saved were not that useful. More than half went into the burn pile.

Next up was to come up with a design for a new rack. I like to take my time so I can work out different options. I started out looking for something I could buy and install. All those ended up being too flimsy or too expensive.

I settled on a shop built design. I considered using pipe as several LJs have done . I decided I could get by with 1 1/4” dowels and save some cost. Here is what I came up with. I bought 4 foot dowels and cut them in half.

One of the changes from the old rack is I put a post on every stud.

The project required holes – lots of holes. I used a stop block for consistent spacing.

After the holes were drilled I narrowed the posts and put a large bevel on each side.

Next step was to clear out the old rack and tear it down.

Then fasten each post to a stud. I used lag bolts.

The posts above the dust collector cabinet were a bit tricky. Not a lot of room up there! you can see how I shaped the posts.

Finally I loaded the rack with my lumber.

All the lumber is on the top 6 shelves. The next shelf down has materials for projects that are under construction. Plywood scraps are on the next shelf down.

The top half of the dowels were sorted for a tight fit. They had to be driven in with a mallet. Most of them are NOT coming back out. I saved the undersized dowels for the lower levels so I can change configurations as I need.

An added side benefit is that end of the shop has not been swept out in years! Now with the floor exposed it’s easier to keep things clean.

Sorry for the poor photo quality. Looks like I need to clean the lens on my shop camera!

I posted this as a project here

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

8 comments so far

View lew's profile


13340 posts in 4813 days

#1 posted 02-05-2021 05:10 PM

Nice to have more storage selections. 4 or 5 shelves just doesn’t permit much sorting of the various species and lengths.

Nicely done, Steve

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sras's profile


5964 posts in 4186 days

#2 posted 02-05-2021 05:13 PM

Thanks Lew – I’ve learned that horizontal storage works best if there are not too many pieces on each level. Boards buried 10 layers down just get forgotten!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View pintodeluxe's profile


6345 posts in 3870 days

#3 posted 02-05-2021 05:46 PM

Nice improvement. Funny thing is, if I was loading that empty storage rack, I’d store lumber vertically. The cool thing about your design is it works both ways.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View sras's profile


5964 posts in 4186 days

#4 posted 02-05-2021 06:03 PM

Thanks Willie. I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right!

I have several planks that are too long to store vertically plus I need to clear the floor space. But if I need to I can always switch to vertical or even a mix.

Thanks for the idea!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View oldrivers's profile


2526 posts in 2624 days

#5 posted 02-05-2021 10:19 PM

That is good, this is one of my planned projects also.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View sras's profile


5964 posts in 4186 days

#6 posted 02-05-2021 10:31 PM

Thanks oldrivers – I wish I would have done it sooner!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


6957 posts in 1878 days

#7 posted 02-06-2021 12:05 AM

Nice improvement. Funny thing is, if I was loading that empty storage rack, I d store lumber vertically. The cool thing about your design is it works both ways.

- pintodeluxe

Agree with pinto about storing on edge… however, if you do, may I suggest some mirrors,

(cut to size plastic squares/strips can be sourced relatively cheap… I believe were $10Aust for 10… so 7 yankee $... come with a protective film) along the wall so you can see what is stacked vertically behind the first board (which is obvious is stacked horizontally)... Unless you stack wide at the back, but then its a bugger to get to… With all that new space, you could just about group according to width… Just my $64 worth.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View sras's profile


5964 posts in 4186 days

#8 posted 02-06-2021 12:37 AM

I thought about storing by size. Luckily I don’t have too much of any single species. I only need to dig down about 4 layers to get the the bottom of any level.

However, my plywood scraps are stored by size.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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