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Lots of Work - Minimal Results

Before I start, if anyone has any suggestions to make my blog more readable, please let me know. I spend about an hour on each entry and I still feel that they are severely lacking. I can't do much about the topics since I only blog what I'm working on. I try to include photos too. I may be a bit long winded though. Any criticism would REALLY be appreciated.

I debated whether to post today because it doesn't look like I did much, although I think I did lots with few visual results. I committed to blogging this project through to the end since I think I can finish it on my week off, so I guess I should do it right. I should take one moment to say that my wife has been very good about taking care of our daughter during the day so I can work on this, but there is one catch. My daughter's playpen shares a wall with the garage. We are also trying to get her used to afternoon naps, so anytime it looks like she might zonk out, power tools have to go off. Inevitably she is ready to sleep anytime I finish laying out my cuts and have just put on my safety equipment. I spent 5 hrs working today, but probably could have done this in 3-4 if I was on my own schedule.

In the morning I ran some errands and one of those errands was to get 3" screws. That allowed me to firm up the base that I had just nailed together the prior day. I decided diagnal bracing with 2×4's wasn't necessary because of a couple design modifications (covered later).

Now that the base was nailed and screwed, I needed to add my wheel supports. These came from a 1'x4' piece. Here is is marked for cutting. Hopefully you can see the 8 triangles.

After cutting them I tried to double them up with glue. I know the clamping pressure is not sufiicient for that much surface area. I thought it would make it easier to assemble everything, but changed my mind after the first two.

Now I've got somewhere to attach the wheels once I decide which to use. Here is what I've got

4 of these:

or two of each of these:

I've still got a day to think about the wheel choices. Now I flip over the base so it is right side up and start working my way upward. Here is the first change I made. I realized that while my design modifications would be fine for long lumber storage, I kind of need a floor to support the upright shorts. So, I'm swapping out a 2×4 from the original plans with a 1×6 to be used later. Now, the 2 pieces of 4'x6" plywood I cut yesterday are going to become part of the base. Here you can see it glued up. IT will serve as a floor for the cutoffs and will give an edge for the "A-frame" type structure to push against.

I also decided I'm going to use some scrap shelving to make a floor for the plywood. I'm certain that I could store the plywood across the exposed 2×4's but it might do some damage to the edges, particularly when trying to load and unload the 3/4" pieces. This is my 3rd cheat (1st was using old pegboard, 2nd was swapping out a 2×4 for a 1×6 (although the 1×6 was even cheaper)).

Now I need to start in on some of these large sides. I layed out the windows on the plywood support side. I plunge cut with the circular saw. This did scare me a bit because it feels like I'm cutting on a table saw without a fence or miter gauge. I'm not sure what the difference is except for maybe h.p.m but I guess it worked fine. here are the pictures

Once all is done, it looks like this:

So here is what I still need to do.
1 attach wheels
2 Attach the MDF to the base for the plywood storage side.
3 Attach the cleats
4 Cut the shelves to width and angle the edges to match the slant of the sides (the sides will be 18" apart at the base, with 3 subsequent shelves being 16", 14", and 12".
5 Attach the shelves
6 layout the dividers (unless you guys think my plunge cuts came out perfectly straight)
7 attach dividers
8 attach the front of the cut-off bin
Great progress.
4,013 Posts
Now it looks like a lumber rack

Well, I've got some bad news for the 3-4 people reading my blog. This is going to be the last post for a while. I was hoping to finish everything during my vacation, but it won't be done in time and I've got a few other things I need to do over the next few weeks.

The good news is that I'm just about done. The last few steps will be kind of time consuming with minimal results, so I don't think anyone will be dying to see the next few posts. I will blog them when I do them though, I just don't know when it will be. I'd really like to get a parking space back for my wife and that requires some serious cleanup. Here are the pictures for today though. Sorry again to those who have been keeping up. Before I get into the build, heere is a sneak peak at the results.





That's just pressure treated junk. i don't want it with the good stuff, so it doesn't count.



I know, the last photos are the same in the before and after. I told you I didn't finish! So, you thought you'd get a sneak preview of the project? nope. keep reading for those pictures.

I didn't get a shot of me ripping the shelves to length, but basically they are 12, 14, and 16 inches wide by 7 ft long. It was the last piece of large plywood I had left. once they were ripped, the trick was to get them into place. I was basically leaning the two sides against one another, then prying them apart to try and slide shelves in between. At one point, I had all the shelves resting on the cleats, but the assembly wouldn't stay balanced and upright. I was stuck…. Literally….

Thankfully, after me standing there holding them for about 15 minutes my wife came down to ask me something and I jumped at the chance for a hand. She kept it balanced while I clamped everything up. Then I just snapped some chalk lines where the shelves would be and started predrilling holes every 8 inches. I applied some glue and also used 2.25 inch coarse thread screws to pull everything tight. Here is a shot of me about to screw in the last shelf. It was in so tight after attaching the top two shelves that I didn't bother to glue it. I hope I don't' regret it.

You can see the screws sticking out. I gotta say, this is one more time where my corded dewalt drill really came through for me. I have abused that thing so badly over the years, and it still runs like a champ. normally, it is one of my most under appreciated tools, but projects like this remind me what a solid piece of machinery it is.

Once all the screws were in place it was time to start loading it up. First, here is a shot to give you an idea of how much storage is in here.

Time to start loading up the plywood. I think that will be a good test since it will put a lot of weight on the assembly without stressing the shelves. here is a shot of the plywood in place (and some scraps of pegboard and drywall).

I'd estimate there are about 500 sq feet of sheet goods on there. Probably 200 of 3/4", 50 of 1/2" and the rest 1/4". I think that works out to about 250 board feet of wood right there. So far so good. It isn't making any noises or flexing and I can still easily move it with one hand.

I guess its time to start adding lumber. Now or never right? I'll admit I was nervous. Here are hose shots.

As you can see in the last photo, there is nothing on the one side of the project. I've still got the material to cut dividers and the pegboard you saw earlier will be used as a wall to hold it all in. I'm hoping it allows me to hang a few small clamps from it, but I don't know if that is a great storage location. they may get knocked off too easily.

Another change I plan to make is that I don't plan on having the cutoff bins go all the way across. I think they will sit in the middle and I'll have clamp storage on the flanks. maybe it will be vise versa. Any suggestions? Thanks to everyone for sticking with me this far. I will do more, I just work rather slowly.

PS - When I loaded all the lumber, I must have hit a tipping point. It suddenly became MUCH harder to move. I can still move it with one hand, but guiding it requires both and some effort. I am going to try and use up some of this material I've got before buying any more for a while. That is the plan at least. This thing probably weighs about 800 lbs right now. If that's accurate (just based on board foot calculations and my 35 lbs per 1/2 thick sheetgoods assumption) I could probably go to 1,000 lbs without problems. I'd like to get more wight moved to the bottom but I have a few more screws to drive down there.
Thats a neat idea.
4,013 Posts
A final descision on the sheet goods storage

I finally made up my mind about what to do with the lumber rack in the last blog post.

The theory was that the behemoth of a rack would sit in the right bay of my garage. When I wanted to do some woodworking, I'd pull my wife's car out, push the rack into her spot, and then I could work at my bench. I know you don't see it in the photo above, but the opposite side would hold tons of tools and clamps. That means that right behind me would be everything I needed at my reach.

Reality was very different from what I had envisioned. The rack ultimately ended up at about 1500 lbs and was difficult to move. It was also impossible to get anythign done if the car was still there.

I finally needed to make a change. As you've seen, I removed a triton lumber rack, built another of my own racks, and rebuilt the sheet goods storage. The first two items can be seen here:

The last change can be seen in this photo with the sheet goods upright. As a result of the rebuild, I got a lb of screws back and some scrap boards.

The sheet goods storage is satisfactorily stable, but I changed it to the wall just in case. I'll only unhook it when I need to get something off it. On the end I was able to some hardware storage (photo below) and on the back I leaned my pipes from my pipe clamps (no photo, sorry).

One final Bittersweet addition to the shop though. I've wanted a freezer for the longest time to lower our grocery bills while allowing us to buy some healthier food options in bulk. It hurts to give up so much shop space, but it is the only good place for me to keep it.

I hope you like the update. I will have a few more posts soon.
Nice update.
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