Lumber storage that I can drive my car under

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Forum topic by YouthfullMind posted 06-09-2020 03:09 AM 1046 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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81 posts in 1269 days

06-09-2020 03:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lumber rack storage

I landed a good deal on some black walnut the other day. I got 450 bf S2S for $1000! I initially was planning on storing it in my family’s barn. The more I thought about it the more it seems like a hassle not having my lumber closer to my workshop. My problem is I have an old mustang in my workshop and no place to put the lumber on the floor. I had an idea to build a platform over my mustang to store the wood. I’ve done a fair amount of carpentry, but I’ve never built a deck.

I was thinking something along the lines of 3 4×4s on each side for the posts, doubled up 2×6 or 2×8 girders connected to the posts with bolts, 2×6 joists either 12” oc or 16” oc, top surface of 1/2” OSB fastened to the joists with screws. The approximate weight is around 1200 lbs which would be distributed broadly across an 8’x8’ platform.

I don’t drive my car often, but would like to be able to drive it occasionally. My biggest concerns are bumping a leg of the platform while backing out or driving in causing a collapse, or having fatigue over time causing a collapse. If the platform is 8’x8’ it gives me over 12” of clearance on each side so I’m more concerned about fatigue over time causing a collapse.

It would be great to hear from someone that has done something similar or has knowledge in building a similar structure.

First world problem.

16 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


7132 posts in 2504 days

#1 posted 06-09-2020 11:08 AM

How about wall space? This lumber rack seems to get pretty good reviews. It looks identical to the Bora portamate which is much more expensive. There are many examples of similar DIY ones you could build from wood.

EDIT: One more reason not to store it in the barn is powder post beetles. It is a pretty common story around here that people stored some great lumber in a barn only to find that when they checked on it later it was destroyed by beetles.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View YouthfullMind's profile


81 posts in 1269 days

#2 posted 06-09-2020 11:56 AM

Thanks for the response. I don’t really have enough wall space anywhere. Most of the wall space in my shop is either taken by garage doors or my tools.

View HokieKen's profile


17904 posts in 2256 days

#3 posted 06-09-2020 12:11 PM

What you’re proposing will work fine. I would set the beams (girders) on top of the posts with post to beam brackets rather than bolting them on and then use joist hangers to put your joists between. 2×6 should be fine doubled up for the beams and used for the joists but you may want to check your local code or an online calculator to see what joist spacing and column spacing you need. I’m pretty sure 8’ spacing on the posts and 16” spacing on the joists will be sufficient so I imagine you can get by without the center columns which would make it easier to get in and out of your Mustang. I would use some post brackets anchored into the floor for the columns though since nudging them with the car could be an issue.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 3069 days

#4 posted 06-09-2020 12:12 PM

Store the car in the barn.

View farmfromkansas's profile


220 posts in 731 days

#5 posted 06-09-2020 12:40 PM

My solution would be to sell the mustang. Use the money to buy some nice woodworking equipment, and maybe a mini split AC system. It looks like a job to have a collector car, always needing work, brakes etc. I would rather build something.

View Kelly's profile


3568 posts in 4061 days

#6 posted 06-09-2020 08:19 PM

A handy trick:

Most of us have been in a place in which you couldn’t play a record and walk on the floor without causing a skip. The norm for firming up the floor is to sandwich (sister) existing supports for additional strength.

Another way is, use 1/8” strips of 1-1/2” wide strips of metal the length of the runs nailed to the underside with the nails about 4” apart. This can work as the equivalent of adding an 8” or 10” to, say, 10’ 2x’s.

The reason this works is, the metal will not stretch. It’s the same concept used to build bridges. Of course, it’d be really fun to sheetrock to.

Look into it, if interested.

View Ocelot's profile


3119 posts in 3755 days

#7 posted 06-09-2020 08:54 PM

All I can say is congrats on the lumber…

And Black Walnut, according to the Wood-Database is 38lb / cubic foot, ...

So, (38 / 12) lb per board foot…

So, (38/12)*450 = 1425 pounds.

But, you might buy more lumber (and who wouldn’t!),
so it might be good to plan on 1000 bf and go for 3200 lb capacity.

Just my 2 cents.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View YouthfullMind's profile


81 posts in 1269 days

#8 posted 06-12-2020 01:53 AM

Thanks for pointing out the lumber racks Lazyman. I didn’t think they would fit in my current setup, but I’m going to move a few things around to make them work. I ordered 3 of them. Thanks for the rest of the input from everybody else as well.

View hcbph_1's profile


98 posts in 431 days

#9 posted 06-12-2020 09:19 AM

If you have the vertical space, here’s a win-win solution, at least it would for me. Get a 4 post lift and put it in the garage. Build a platform and put the wood onto the lift and raise it, then park the Mustang under it. You can still drive the car, when you need wood then pull the car out and lower the lift.
I have a pair of older cars and if I had the vertical space I’d get a lift and park on on it and one under it.
Sounds like a good buy on the wood.

View tomsteve's profile


1169 posts in 2336 days

#10 posted 06-19-2020 11:38 AM

rule of thumb for spans:
2 by 4 spans 4 feet
2 by 6= 6 feet
2 by 8= 8 feet.

16 OC and 3/4 deck

some pics of the area would help a lot.

View JAAune's profile


1955 posts in 3434 days

#11 posted 06-19-2020 04:36 PM

Industry standard pallet racking is built for heavy loads and can span the width of a car with ease. But you’ll need enough ceiling height to have room for two levels of beams and/or fasten the feet of the racking to the floor.

Depending upon location there may be plenty of local Craigslist ads selling used racking. Be sure to check that the beams are rated for the desired load.

-- See my work at

View Peteybadboy's profile


3499 posts in 3067 days

#12 posted 06-19-2020 05:59 PM

Have you looked into Monster Rax? They are lag bolted to the truss system or joist system. I have 3. You can put a ton of material on them too!

-- Petey

View Peteybadboy's profile


3499 posts in 3067 days

#13 posted 06-19-2020 06:05 PM

Monster Rax

-- Petey

View Peteybadboy's profile


3499 posts in 3067 days

#14 posted 06-19-2020 06:06 PM

Monster Rax

-- Petey

View Kelly's profile


3568 posts in 4061 days

#15 posted 06-19-2020 06:51 PM

Keep in mind, trusses not be engineered to serve as a second floor fare no better having things suspended from them.

Too, a roof suspended storage is not going to be able to store the same amount a wall storage could. Even lag bolts can hold only so good (and better be dead center on the 2x), when all the weight is pulling them in the same direction they were installed. The sheer strength of same lag bolts is going to be far higher than the pull strength.

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