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Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be given some really nice laminated MDF. Like any reasonable person, I took as much as my car trailer could possibly hold. I stacked it in the middle of my garage (this makes my wife less than happy). Over the summer I have been pulling sheets for random projects. But pulling sheets means sorting through it to get to the stuff I want. Incidentally, I now have sheets leaning up against the walls and shelves in the garage, plus some still remains stacked on the floor.

This last weekend, I had to get some stuff from the shelves behind the six or seven sheets leaned against the shelves. I pulled the wood back, holding it upright as I reached around behind it to get what I needed. I'm sure you can see where this is going… The wood tipped further back than I expected, and my natural reaction was to get in front of it to try to catch it. As heavy as it was, I didn't stand a chance. It came down and I barely got out of the way. It scratched my chest and stomach pretty good and it was a real eye opener about safety,not to mention how out of control this pile has gotten. I need a way to properly store this.

I have seen some basic wood carts that will hold a few sheets, but I have 20-30 sheets of this stuff. Plus, some of these sheets are bigger than 4×8. Is there a good design for a wood cart that can hold this stuff on it's side, allow me to sort through it and pull sheets as needed, and be sturdy enough to not risk it falling on someone? Ideally it would be mobile so I can move it where I need to either store it or pull wood from it. I'm willing to make more than one to hold this stuff if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe something like this vertical storage rack? Instead of the horizontal shelves on the right for the partial sheets, you could perhaps split that difference with a second vertical support.

- JayMnKato
That could work, but I worry about the possibility of it tipping. that's a LOT of weight to have standing upright like that, especially with the weight of the MDF. Maybe I could do something similar, but have the wood lay on it's side and make the whole thing long and skinny.
 

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I have a lot of plywood cutoffs that are stored vertically and need to build some sort of a rack. Vertical is my plan.

Flat is indeed the best storage but it's impractical for most home shops. It's also a PITA if you have to get to a piece on the bottom. On the vertical storage rack in the link, I agree it looks pretty unstable. I'd widen it a bit and lose the wheels. Probably attach it to a wall (corner for the most efficient space usage).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Best protocol is to store it flat. Storing it on edge
short-term is okay but anything long-term should be
flat to minimize warping.

Awkward, I know.

- Loren
That was my initial thought, but like philba just said, it's not terribly practical. What ended up happening is that I always needed a sheet from the middle or bottom of the stack. As such, I end up picking up sheets and leaning them against the wall or a shelf to get to the sheet I need. It's so heavy and awkward to work with, I just end up leaving it leaned up there at some awkward angle, maybe only supported by one corner. So the likelyhood of the wood getting damaged is much higher with all this moving and leaning and what not. Plus it's MDF which I suspect will be more resistant to warping, especially in the dry climate that is Northern Nevada. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I feel that proper storage will be best for the wood, at least in my situation.
 

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I saw something once where a guy had made a sort
of press, with moving jaws, to store ply on edge and
clamp it flattish. He could open the jaws and flip
through like a card file to pull what he wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the idea of clamping it together! I searched around google and found a forum on LJ that looks similar to what you are saying.

Unrelated question: Is there any reason people seem to store their plywood vertically instead of horizontally? I can imagine it saving space, but it seems far less stable
 

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I think you should build a storage cart that uses 25 of the sheets and then only have to store 5 so it makes it easier. I only say that because I would like to get 30 sheets of something for nothing. Not sure what I would do with all of that MDF though, not a fan. Laminated definitely helps though.

Good find and good luck.

PS, I think vertical would be ok for MDF assuming it's thick stock.
 

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Lol, yes sell them if everything else fails. I would highly recommend the idea of a vertical storage shelf too. However, if you are afraid of it tipping over due to the MDF, then perhaps build one that can be attached to the wall? Or make sure the shelf is leaning against the wall when you are putting the sheets in. Another idea is to build 2 of the same shelves and place them side by side. This way, their individual weight can support each other.
 
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