How do you store 4x8 plywood sheets in your tiny shop?

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Forum topic by Jason White posted 12-07-2009 01:19 PM 67157 views 4 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jason White

114 posts in 4005 days

12-07-2009 01:19 PM

Anybody got a slick system for storing plywood sheets that doesn’t take up any floor space?


19 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4457 days

#1 posted 12-07-2009 02:13 PM

Jason, Dadoo and I have similar method for storing sheet goods. If you look at Dadoo's shop picture 4 gives a pretty good idea of the plywood cart that he has put in his shop. I use something similar but instead of fixing it to the studs I have made mine free standing. It can hold 30 sheets but is almost impossible to move if I have it loaded with more than 10 full sheets. We both have sized our lumber racks so that the plywood cart will fit underneath the lumber storage area. As a bonus since the studs making up the supports on the lumber rack are exposed there is additional storage space available between the studs for offcuts.

In my shop the lumber and plywood storage project out 2’ into the shop’s footprint and I have extended it about 16’ along the outside shop wall in order to be able to store molding and long boards.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View khop's profile


134 posts in 4311 days

#2 posted 12-07-2009 02:44 PM

I have a vertical storage area in the corner of my shop. I built a raised platforn 4”high where I stand the sheets up and slide them in. It is very easy to pick one and remove it. I don’t worry about warpage because I keep the bin full including smaller pieces. Check out my shop pictures, it is left of the overhead door in image #4. This method has worked well for me.

-- How am I doing? Better than I deserve. Dave Ramsey

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4302 days

#3 posted 12-07-2009 03:10 PM

Nothing slick, but I stack sheets on edge right inside of the door. Keep the area clean in front of the stack. Have a 7 piece 4×8 grid, made of 2” plywood strips that fit together with half-lap joints. Construct the grid, drop plywood on it and cut to rough size. If I need a sheet in the back, just drop them till I get to it. Nothing fancy, just useful. K.I.S.S. methodoligy.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4625 days

#4 posted 12-07-2009 04:30 PM

Wow! Thanks for the kudos Scott! I’m getting ready to make mine wider actually, to accommodate more. Jason, the plywood will eventually start to warp regardless of what you do, especially if it’s some cheap grade (Chinese) or thin stock. The best thing to do is buy and use what you need as soon as you can. If ya got any questions or need more, feel free to PM me here.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3747 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 06:20 PM

Scott—brilliant idea… and on wheels so you can have storage behind…. just a great idea…. I will be filing away for future ref!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6835 posts in 3829 days

#6 posted 12-08-2009 04:20 AM

Here’s how I stack my plywood. I made a “riser” about 4” off the floor, and about 12” wide, and 8’ long.
I put supports every 12 ” apart for strength. It works really good, and the ply just slides right out.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View a1Jim's profile


117950 posts in 4212 days

#7 posted 12-08-2009 04:33 AM

Hey Jason
The best way to store Ply is to lay it flat up off the floor but most folks don’t have enough to room to do that so they find a way on edge ether upright or or horizontally if you do it that way you need to minimize bowing
by some type of compression to keep it as flat as possible.


View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3833 days

#8 posted 12-08-2009 05:27 AM

Guess i’m really going for the big time with the rack i’m about to build in the bowing stakes by standing 8 X 4s on the 4ft ends. Sounds like i’d better figure out some sort of compression deal as you say Jim. Maybe use something like this, it’s pretty much got a ready made bracket:

I’ve only got about 2 in clearance at roof height too, so i’m thinking of sheeting the bottom of the rack (floor) with PVC sheet over some 3/4 in MDF for ease of sliding.

Then a ‘keeper’ offcut bin hung off the front of it.

Mine is beside a set of large double doors so access is easy, and at the infeed end of my panel saw – but i think will have to be anchored to the wall for stability.



-- Late awakener....

View bunkie's profile


415 posts in 3782 days

#9 posted 12-08-2009 06:15 AM

My shop is about 250 square feet with minimal clear wall space. I built a mobile rack that stores up to 5 sheets of 3/4” ply on one side and smaller pieces on the other. My Saw is on a mobile base and I have a folding workbench as well as a ShopSmith Mark V with casters and DC3300 dust collector. The rack goes against one of my two long walls and the aforementioned items get pushed up against it. It’s not optimal, but it works for me. The biggest issue is that the thing is incredible heavy when loaded and takes muscle to maneuver it around.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3988 days

#10 posted 12-08-2009 08:22 AM

Mine doesn’t take up any floor space, zero, nil, nada. It’s in the garage hanging from the rafters, I built two of them and I can store about 30+ 3/4” 4’x8’ sheets. I used 1/2” galvanized pipe to construct it. (Just ran out the garage to take the picture, in shorts. It’s 24 degrees out. A bit cold I realized.)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18817 posts in 4311 days

#11 posted 12-08-2009 11:03 AM

Curt, are you sure the rafters will hold 30 + sheets?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4193 days

#12 posted 12-08-2009 11:10 AM

You’re right Topamax, 30 sheets would be a lot of weight for something like that.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3988 days

#13 posted 12-10-2009 03:25 AM

Well, that’s a good question and the answer is I don’t know and I don’t want to find out the hard way. :) I do have the room though but I really can’t see the need to have that many on hand.

I did beef up the rafter supports before I put the racks up though. If you notice the two vertical supports on the right side, the one with the metal plate and the one behind it. And at the other end and in the middle also, so I wasn’t just relying on the cross joists from side to side for carrying the load. So far the roof hasn’t sagged. ;)

The rack on the left which is the one shown has the plywood, the rack on the right (not shown) has dimensional lumber stored on it which I don’t think is as heavy.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 4124 days

#14 posted 12-10-2009 03:50 AM

I like the overhead idea, but how do you get them up there?

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View hunter71's profile


3488 posts in 3821 days

#15 posted 12-10-2009 02:34 PM

Saw a make-up bench that was a bit larger then 4×8. The guy had shelves where he slid in his ply. Worked for him.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

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