144 – Racking My Brain – Lumber Rack

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Why Bother?

The lumber rack is the unsung hero of the woodworking shop. Its responsible for holding our raw materials safely, securely, and in an organized fashion until we’re ready to use them.

Let’s face it: we are all wood hoarders when it comes down to it and most of us over-buy lumber intentionally. So if you plan on amassing anything that can be called a wood “collection” you need a sturdy place to store it all.

How it’s Made

This lumber rack is made entire from 2×4 lumber and 3/4″ shop grade plywood. The uprights are bolted to the wall studs and the bracket supports are screwed to the vertical uprights. The sheetgoods and cut-off storage is tucked away underneath the lumber rack and swings out on casters for easy loading. In fact, I have mine positioned right by the front door so all I need to do is back up my truck and slide the sheets right in.

The Design

The design is very adaptable and can be customized to fit your personal preferences and shop needs. The inspiration for this project came from two folks: my buddy Aaron Marshall and Chet from the forum. Oddly enough, when researching for this build, the most useful and promising information came from our own forum. Gotta love when that happens! If you decide to build this rack or some variation of it, send me some pictures or post them in the Wood Talk Online Forum!

Downloads

Right Click to Download the PDF Plan
Right Click to Download the SketchUp File

Categories: Projects, The Shop

Comments

  1. Very nice!!!

  2. Lori April 10, 2011

    Great video…I just knew you were going to make the “stud” joke..and I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t. :-) Really like the sheet good/scrap cart. You made the cart look so easy. I wonder if adding locking casters would help to stop the cart from rolling out, or did you find that it stayed in place better once the cart had wood in it to weigh it down. Great video and thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  3. Jacob April 11, 2011

    Great Video!!!

  4. Dale April 11, 2011

    Well done. JUst a quick question, Why did you build the wood ‘shelf’supports and not just buy metal ones? I am about to build a rack in my new/old shop and I was thinking about just using the $2.00 shelf brackets.

    I’d appreciate your thoughts

    •  

      Primarily because I wanted an “all wood” solution. And also, any heavy duty shelf supports with 18″ capacity that I have see were well over $2.

      • Dave H May 7, 2011

        I got super lucky and got the heavy duty steel stuff on closeout from one of the big box stores… I am going to copy that sheet goods rack though. I desperately need to solve that storage problem!

      • Hi Marc,

        Just watched this video – and will probably put one of theses in my shop – do you have an idea of the weight capacity per shelf (as designed) – I have several cherry and white oak boards 12″x2½”x10′ that I am currently tripping over… and would like to get them on the shelving. My general test is at 180lbs if I can hang from one bracket and there are 4 then the capacity is approx 4×180 (not very scientific)
        thanks

        •  

          I wish I had some real numbers for you but I don’t. I have seen others apply this design to their shops and stack way more wood on there than I ever have. So it can take what most of us would be able to dish out. But as for specifics, I really don’t know.

  5. Tammis April 11, 2011

    nice work!
    You should use those small wheels wich have foot brake, so it will not run away all the time.

  6. Matt S April 11, 2011

    Thanks for the inspiration! One of these will be going in up in my shop very soon.

    As a fellow science nerd you may appreciate this–I got tired of trying to find the right combination of scraps and such to prop items up (as you did for the sheet goods rack) so I bought a couple used 6″ square, 12″ rise lab jacks and find them to be tremendously useful around the shop. After leveling and installing an item I can crank them down if they got wedged in a little too tight. Set on top of a 4′ step ladder they are great for setting an upper cabinet, I use them as side supports for very long items at the chop saw or the benchtop drill press, and they are nice for aligning long pieces while attaching one end (again, like your assembly of the sheet goods cart).

  7. Jeremy Bridges April 11, 2011

    Thanks Mark. I’m actually in the process of dismantling my current lumber storage sled on which I store lumber as well as sheet goods. Pushing it around feels like an event at a world’s strongest man competition. Your ideas have really helped with my reorganization.

  8. Is it wrong to get this excited about a wood Rack? Cause if it is I dont wanna Be RIGHT! Beautiful design Marc.

  9. Mike April 11, 2011

    Love the shop projects! These generally become the most helpful episodes cause of the little tips and ideas that get used every day! I don’t need a lumber rack but the plywood cart idea is amazing!

  10. Todd April 11, 2011

    Great design Marc. Thanks for the video.

  11. Nice Rack, Marc! ;-) Missed that one, eh?

    I’ve been looking at lumber storage for a long time. Unfortunately, I don’t have any studded walls yet. So, I’ll be picking up more than a few 2bys when I get there.

    Thanks for the video. I always pick a little something up in them.

  12. How difficult will it be to get boards on and off the higher shelves? I ask because I have a high shelf with so much stuff in front, it becomes a major hassle to get to the wood. You look like yours will be clean, but I still have an issue with storing 12′ x 8″ oak on a high shelf.
    Figuring out how to hoard wood and have room to move is a constant battle in my shop.

  13. Scott April 11, 2011

    garage floors are poured with a slight grade, usually 1/4 inch per foot or so. I wonder if that’s causing any of the rolling issues.

  14. Danielmatic April 11, 2011

    Almost looks like you need some washers on those caster’s screws.

  15. Toby April 11, 2011

    Thanks for the great video! If you were to do it over again would you just go with the lag bolts you decided to add?

  16. BarryO April 11, 2011

    Good tip on the “shop” ply. I was very glad when I discovered it at my hardwood dealer; it’s great for things like this. Nice design on the sheet goods cart.

    One thing I’d change, for situations where’s it’s feasible, would be to run the vertical members to the floor, or provide some support between them and the floor. That way, vertical loads are carried directly to the floor, rather than it all being carried by the screws in shear. It seems like here the foundation may get in the way, though(?) No biggie, just and incremental change.

    •  

      No doubt the floor is a good way to go. There are a few reasons I didn’t go that route. First, I wanted as much height as I could get using that particular length of 2×4. Starting 16″ up from the floor helps me take advantage of the extra headroom. Second, the floor slopes a little and I really wanted all my vertical supports to be even with one another. Obviously a few shims would solve that problem. So as a compromise, the horizontal cleat serves the same purpose as the floor. Each one of the vertical supports is sharing the load with the cleat, which is attached to every stud along the length of the rack. Its also nice and level so each stud can simply be dropped onto the cleat and screwed into place.

      So its not quite as strong as having the floor acting as a support, but probably strong enough for my purposes.

      • BarryO April 12, 2011

        Ah, yes. Those concrete subs are limited it how level they get things sometimes. ;) With those lag screws, though, things should be just fine.

    • Beechwood Chip April 13, 2011

      Probably not a problem in AZ, but in PA I’d be worried about the end grain wicking moisture up from the concrete floor.

  17. Needs a WW logo underneath the pull handle. Otherwise nice Rack!

  18. Chuck McGuire April 12, 2011

    Why not have longer 2×4 vertical members, that sit on the concrete shop foundation, allowing the fasteners to only be loaded in tension, rather that installing a ledger, and then the screws and lags have to handle bending loads too?

    P.S.
    I am not a structural engineer, but I was a Combat Engineer for several years. : )

  19. John Hixon April 12, 2011

    I noticed an tool advantage that readers might appreciate. My impact driver is Makita, and the LED fades out a few seconds after the driver quits. That would eliminate the “strobe” effect that you get with your DeWalt. That would be annoying to me, especially in a dark environment, where the LED would be the most helpful.

  20. Alan M April 12, 2011

    hi there
    love the rack. must build one soon.
    you bcould put shorter 2 by 4s under the ledger to and extra strength and have both advantages. this would take the weight off of the screws

  21. DEBO April 12, 2011

    Nice Pee-Wee impersonation with the scorpion!

    I liked how you put the supports together and installed on each vertical beam. It seems to be a great way to add more width for greater weight capabilities.
    My only question though…is there a reason why you only screwed in from the sides and not up from the bottom at an angle as well? Or would that have been overkill?

    Thanks for what you do!

    •  

      No reason in particular, other then you have to stop driving screws in at some point. :) I just didn’t feel driving a screw up at an angle was going to make much difference. But I certainly have nothing against overkill.

  22. James April 12, 2011

    Marc,
    When you were laying the top sheet on the bin you said, “Be careful” and then laid the ply out by extending it with your arms, and thus you back. Way back when, I was shown to lift ply straight up, place the bottom edge on the surface, and then let the ply fall towards me by hand walking down and at the same time sliding it into place. I use this technique on the table saw any time I am going to extend by back.

    •  

      In most cases, I would absolutely agree with you. Unfortunately in this instance, that was a necessary evil of working alone. If I slowly leaned the piece forward, my plywood pieces would all fall over as the piece came down. The only way to avoid them falling over was to drop the large piece from above. Even then it was a little tricky. Obviously the smart thing to do would have been to construct more sturdy supports but as we all know, laziness has a way of overriding the smarter choices. :)

  23. Ryan April 12, 2011

    Please tell me that was a nintendo game system you used to prop up the hinge end of the swing-out sheet goods cart!

  24. SignWave April 12, 2011

    Thanks for the video.

    Is it possible that adding a shim to the lower hinge (on the wall side) would get the sheet goods cart to stay against the wall?

  25. Chris April 12, 2011

    Marc-
    Great quick video!
    I have a stupid question…
    I had a wood rack similar to yours, but had to disassemble during some renovations. I recently rearranged my basement and in the process I hung some shelf brackets on some exposed studs to use as a lumber rack. I did this as more of a time saver while I worked on other things, but I guess my question is, besides possible weight restrictions–is this a stupid way to go?

    These are the generic brackets I used:
    http://www.homedepot.com/Tools.....ogId=10053

    •  

      I definitely wouldn’t say that’s a stupid way to go. Its just one way to do it. I would recommend going with beefier shelf supports though. While those will probably hold quite a bit of weight, its a good idea to get the heavy duty versions just to be safe.

    • Ryan April 12, 2011

      I worked at Home Depot, I wouldn’t use those dinky shelf brackets for much weight. There is a heavier duty bracket option at the depot, its white and has a cross member that connects the edges of the bracket (thicker metal too). This will dramatically increase the amount of weight you can put on it. This bracket should be very near the brackets you got. Even though you got the large sized brackets, I personally wouldn’t trust them to hold up too many pieces of lumber. Hope this helps!

  26. Tim April 12, 2011

    Marc-

    I saw your void in your MFT to turn yours into a router table. I was thinking about doing the same thing with my MFT. How do you like it? Did you modify your table top in the shop or is that something you purchased?

  27. Kurt Capehart April 13, 2011

    I like the sheet goods rack. I think I will build one for my shop. Thanks for the cool idea.

  28. Jeff Wenzel April 14, 2011

    For those with small shops, there is an opportunity to use the vertical space between the studs that are mounted to the wall. I store longer skinny scraps in that dead space. The scraps are accessible when the cart is swung out away from the wall. To prevent the scrap from falling forward when the cart is swung out, I installed screw eyes near the leading edge of the studs and use bungy cords.

  29. Jeff Wenzel April 14, 2011
  30. Brody April 14, 2011

    Excellent design, Marc.

    One question from a novice: Is there ever any concern for eventual sag with the shelving supports? I suspect that the beefy wood supports you designed will likely not encounter any sag, but is it worth installing at, say a 5 degree angle? Or is that just overkill :)

    •  

      Well its wood and its supporting a lot of weight. I suppose sagging is always a possibility. But I won’t really know until a couple years go by. Of course I’ll be watching for signs of problems so I can address them before anything goes too far.

  31. Dogwoodtales April 16, 2011

    Hey Marc,
    I have been a fan of yours since your first video. First time posting a comment though.

    I like this project. I have a similar system going on in my shop, but with a fixed sheet good rack. I don?t have the available floor space for a swing out. If only I had a shop large enough for a swing out sheet goods rack! … Also, like Jeff said, that dead space between the studs is handy for storage of cut-offs etc. And since I have a low ceiling and concrete walls (basement garage/workshop) I have a pressure treated bottom plate on the floor with a header at the top and the studs are secured in between. I found it necessary to only adequately anchor it all to the ceiling at the header as the floor carries the weight and the resulting center of gravity holds it against the wall.

    Anyway, I couldn’t help but notice that while you beefed up the bottom for the caster screws to have extra wood for the screws to bite into, you did not do the same for the hinges, nor even mortise them. These will carry sheer weight as opposed to compressed weight at the casters. Hopefully this will not become an issue for you.

    Also, looking at the positioning of the sheet goods rack – it points towards the door. This looks like it would make it easy to load it from your truck with the trade off of making it less efficient to unload for shop use ? perhaps necessitating having to swing it out further to unload full sized sheet goods. (Hard to really get a perception of depth and available space from a video or pictures.) Do you think this will be a problem for you? Just asking.

    Great site. I really enjoy it.
    Raymond

    •  

      Hey Raymond. Thanks for making your first comment. :) The rack can swing out far enough that it shouldn’t present any problems for me in terms of getting things off the rack. Ultimately, after picking up sheetgoods on a hot summer day, I want the easiest system possible for getting those sheetgoods in place. By the time I am actually using them, I am usually in a better mood and won’t mind having to swing the rack out to remove the full sheets. So if I have to choose where to make things more convenience, it would definitely be on the load-in phase of the process. :)

  32. AJ Peck April 17, 2011

    Hey Marc, looks great. My shop has concrete block walls, and I was wondering what your thoughts on attachment was? I’m going to go all the way to the ground to have the concrete pad support the vertical load, and I was thinking of taking 3″ L brackets and screwing those into the 2×4′s and then bolting those into the wall using concrete scews, approximately 4 per 2×4. Other than that, I really like the plans and it should work out great for my space.

    •  

      I think you’re on the right track AJ. I don’t work much with masonry so I am hesitant to make absolute recommendations in that area. But you are pretty much doing exactly what I would do if I were in that situation.

  33. Scott April 17, 2011

    Hi Marc,
    Just finished watching the video for the third time. I have one bone to pick with you. You built the rack in the wrong shop! You were supposed to build it in MY shop not yours. Next time please get it right.

  34. Chris April 20, 2011

    I had a similar rack for sheet goods in my last shop, but haven’t gotten around to it yet in my current one. However one addition I has was a hunk of PVC tubing cut in half length-wise to make a slick bearing surface at the loading end of the sheet rack. It seemed (admittedly non scientific, certainly non-rigorous testing) to make it easier to slide the full sheets into the rack.

  35. Bob April 21, 2011

    Hi — Curious about the “low cost shop grade plywood” you mentioned. Can you expand on that. You said it was 11 veneer (or 7, can’t recall), which certainly puts it in the better grade quality. I have not seen anything like that around here (east coast/New England). When I asked for “shop grade birch ply” I was show what I would call CDX (it is probably better than that, but certainly 5 veneer fir core for “3/4″ ply) with a THIN birch veneer on the face. That does not seem to be what you were describing. Thanks for any additional leads on sources for good quality shop grade ply. Bob

    •  

      At my dealer, they sell what would essentially be C or D grade plywood and that typically refers to the face quality. The stuff is no better looking on the face than the material from Lowes and Home Depot, but it is nearly always more stable. The material I picked up just happens to have 11 internal plies so you have to inquire about what cores they offer at your local shops. I can’t always get the 11-ply stuff.

      I used to even use a D-3 grade of birch ply that had a combination classic and mdf core. Love the stuff and it was only $40 a sheet. I actually made quite a few cabinets from the stuff and the faces were furniture-quality. I was always surprised that this material was graded at D-3.

      Ultimately, I suppose there will be some differences in terminology and materials from one place to another. But the stuff you see in the video is what I get when I ask for shop-grade ply as opposed to A1 cabinet grade.

  36. Erol April 21, 2011

    Hello Marc,
    Great video. Quick question. What was the mindset behind not putting casters inboard, closer to the hinges? Seems like an inboard set of casters would dramatically lower the loading on the hinges. Just a thought.

    Keep up the good work.

    EY

  37. Ruhi April 23, 2011

    Simple but elegant design….
    Is there any chance to have the SketchUp plan in Version 7 as well. Version 8 is not backward compatible and requires Intel based Macs. Thanks.

    •  

      I just converted it to version 7 and emailed it to you. Let me know if that works. But honestly, I think this is a great excuse to upgrade to a new Mac. :)

      • Ruhi April 23, 2011

        Thanks again. Got it. I may use this is as an excuse to retire my five years old PowerBook. :)

      • Rick April 26, 2011

        You’re worse than the guys at the Apple store!! I was looking for a cable for my 3-year old iMac, and he suggested a new MacBook Pro instead of the older mini-dvi cable!

        I have a very similar design in my shop, and was scrounging looking for pics, but couldn’t find any. I put mine on all studs (16″) because I was going to load it up, but I DID do the 5-degree.

        Caution, guys – I found it was easy to slip on keeping the arms tight against the vertical supports. I have a couple that are barely slack, and I can see it in those arms now, having had it up for about 6 months.

        I have been traveling for work, so it was after having been gone and “visiting” home on a weekend that it stuck out. Now I have to find time on the weekends I’m home to fix it!!

        Great job, Marc!

  38. John Davis April 24, 2011

    Well, I was about to go out to the garage (workshop) and start the sheetgoods rack when a storm suddenly swept in and attacked us. I lost almost half of the siding on the south-side of the house and quickly cut up my 4×8 3/4″ plywood to make a temporary floor in my attic so that I could cover the large air vent opening. It got sucked up in the wind along with the aluminum siding. Well, I guess it is back to Home Depot for my plywood Monday.

  39. That’s a great project.
    I’m sure your hinges are more than beefy enough, but if you mount them on the other face of the stud (so that the hinge is opened up 180 degrees) then the hinge wont be trying to pull the screws out. This is how gate hinges are intended to be installed (something I found out on This Old House).
    Fixed casters are usually better in this application as the swivel gets in the way when you switch directions plus they usually cost less.
    You can also line the floor of the plywood rack with a thin strip of UHMW plastic which makes sliding the plywood in much easier.

    • Jeff Hewitt December 1, 2011

      I just finished my sheet goods rack. I went with five casters and you are correct, the rigid casters would have been the better choice.

  40. Ed Rule (http://N/A) May 2, 2011

    Hello Marc, at around 10:30, you use a saw with vacuum attached for cutting plywood. Just curious: Was the vacuum on? Your stuff’s great! Keep ‘em coming, Ed

  41. Tasha Russell May 3, 2011

    Great video, I just wish I had a workshop big enough to build such a beauty! However, I will use some of the plan to reinforce my shelving system in my small humble shed :)

  42. David May 8, 2011

    My shop has exposed studs. Is it necessary to add the upright 2×4, or can I attach the shelf supports directly to the studs?

  43. Rob H May 11, 2011

    Very simply but functional rack, I like it. However, your stud finder is broken and I’m sure an exchange should be clearly uncomplicated. Just repeat the demo at HD :) (J/K)
    I agree with Sarit’s post, place a fixed wheel perpendicular to the rack’s long axis and it will move much easier (and never jam or wear out), and if you put another perpendicular at the other end you could use a cheap pair of hinges since they would no longer be load bearing.
    A scrap of formica countertop material cut into strips could be glued to the bottom of the cart to make sliding the long stuff easier.
    My only question is: Where the heck do you mount the flat screen man?
    Add a couple cup holders and I think it will be complete. ; )

  44. Rusty May 11, 2011

    A really great lumber storage solution, Marc, but I’m curious why you didn’t somehow incorporate the vertical sheet-goods ’3 veneer press screw’ design you had in your old shop to keep the plywood from bowing/warping etc.

    //at around 7:30 http://www.thewoodwhisperer.co.....is-castle/

  45. Thomas May 15, 2011

    I don’t think this will fit in my shop, but I plan on looking into the video again, because I think there is always something to learn.

    Thanks

    How do I get my picture next to my name???

  46. That really is a great setup! I don’t have that much room in the garage, and I don’t think I have the room for the cart portion, but I may have to give the rack portion a go for my lumber storage.

  47. Curt F May 19, 2011

    I really like this lumber storage. I need to build me one some day.

  48. David May 22, 2011

    Hey,

    Sorry if this is a little off-topic. I notice that when you use the festool track and plunge saw, you seem to lay the ply directly on the table. Are you putting a kerf in the table, or am I missing the spacer pieces underneath?

    Thanks,

    David

    •  

      Yes, the piece is cutting a kerf in the table. That’s actually very intentional. The top of an MFT is sacrificial. You don’t want to cut any deeper than you need to, but the MDF provides a nice zero clearance for each cut.

  49. Graham May 27, 2011

    Cool Racking System going to make one of these for my garage. the one I have at present isn’t really working as I have everything vicky-virky.

  50. Jim_WoodWarden May 31, 2011

    Well I am using this plan as inspiration for my own build of the lumber rack (that I am quickly trying to finish so I can get on with the Adirondack summer guild build).

    My garage is in middle of re-arrangement to get access to the wall to do this (used to be where lawn/garden equipment and boxes of wife’s ex-husband and her stuff had been stored when we first moved into house – I finally got two of them to sort it and get rid of it and haul his boxes out of garage.

    Anyway the ledger board and verticals are all up and all the arm pieces are cut except for the tapers on the plywood arm brackets. I came up with a good idea to make a quick taper jig from one arm bracket by leaving a portion behind to form a hook and then I can cut that hook off once all the other tapers are cut. Doing this because I have to unbury the band saw to get at it if I were to cut these the way Marc did and the table saw is out and available and I can cut the jig quickly using the handheld jig saw. Can’t wait to finish this and put my shop back together and get the lumber up off the floor.

    My only modifications are dealing with the shorter ceiling so making the lumber rack take up a whole 22′ wall with the plywood bin at one end (to be built latter – don’t have but two half sheets to store right now). and the other end will have my radial arm saw bench (inherited the radial arm saw otherwise I would probably own a miter saw). The other modification I plan to make is to use some of the left over 2×4′s to make a 3 1/2″ ledge on top of the ledger board (the horizontal board) and cut two 6″ x 8′ plywood strips to run along the vertical support (horizontally) behind the plywood storage bin to allow for a bit extra storage of cutoffs between the vertical studs behind the plywood storage bin. I should have this all done just in time to go buy my lumber for the guild build by mid-week and have a place to put the rough lumber as well as the stack of lumber already in my garage.

  51. Jon McGrath May 31, 2011

    I have returned and watched this a few times – the simplicity is what works better than anything else – i expect to have completed with just a few alterations. Mainly i am going to set up the front side so I can (with Festool Plunge) do some tracksaw action and breakdown on the actual rack prior to milling to final on TS as needed. Otherwise – a WHOLE lot like this one – thanks Marc.

  52. dczward June 2, 2011

    I just built your lumber cart in my garage shop. I used a fixed wheel, not a swivel, but other than that I did it the same way. I worked out great, awesome solution. Thanks!

  53. John Walker June 5, 2011

    Hi Mark,

    Good solution for a wall rack. I work from a single-car garage. So I don’t have spare wall space. All my machines have to go against the walls! I use a ‘rafter-rack’, just high enough so my up and over door can open and close without fouling!

    With your horizontal supports though, I might have notched them into the upright supports for extra strength., Although maybe I am just a ‘Victorian over-engineered’ kind of guy!

    10/10
    JW

  54. Mike G June 18, 2011

    Nice job, Marc!

    Just what I need for my shop.

  55. Bryan V June 30, 2011

    I love the pull-out lumber rack for the sheet goods, I think it works better then when you were first in the same shop space.

  56. Monroe (http://n/a) July 4, 2011

    Regarding “Racking my Brain” One word “Awesome” I’m very impressed. Just joined this forum, and have been pleasantly pleased that my expectations were more than satisfied. In watching the podcast, I had a couple suggestions that have already been addressed by others, but if I can offer just a small tweak may I suggest, when cutting out the support outer pieces that attach to the vertical 2×4′s. I noticed that you cut each one separately. I would have cut two parallel cuts, then made the angle cut between the two ends. Then you would cut off the flat part represented by the area that goes on the 2×4 if you wanted to, otherwise you could just leave that part and have a larger area to nail into. scrap you throw away is a little less, but the biggy is you only have to make one diagonal cut for each support instead of two. I’m a penny pincher and like to save every inch of wood possible, but like I said, making one diagonal cut instead of two, saves you half of time required to cut two, If I didn’t make myself clear, let me know and I can send you a sketch if you would like.

    I have already seen many of your videos and am I ever so glad that I made the effort to join. I see that my shop is all wrong and I’m going to be making some changes, thanks to you.

    Again, Awesome site. I’m about at the age to retire and If I had found this site earlier, I might would have already been there.
    Thanks,
    Monroe

  57. Mike Pugh July 12, 2011

    Great video, I’ll be building one of these soon in my garage… but that’ll mean I’m officially hooked on wood working and I’ll have to permanently eject one of my cars from the garage. I think the Honda needs to get more fresh air anyway.

  58. Joe Scharbrough September 7, 2011

    Now that you have been using the plywood storage for awhile can you tell us how it is working for you. I often find that after a few months working with a jig or something like your pivoting rack that the project will show me an area that needs improved. I am curious as to how well it pivots when fully loaded and carrying a lot of weight.

    •  

      To be honest Joe, I haven’t used it much. I spent the entire summer working on my Adirondack chair and I am now finishing up some shop projects. Now that the shop projects are winding down, I’ll have to put some of the excess plywood away and that will be when I have to move the rack again. But so far the only issue is that I’m lazy and I tend to lean things up against the rack instead of putting things IN the rack, lol.

  59. Nick Fisher October 13, 2011

    I was going to build this, but ended up getting over 80 feet of 2×4 steel tubing 3/16in think for 10 cents a pound(only $70).(cheaper than the wood it would cost to build it). I figure if I build this out of steel, it will last forever, and will be the last I’ll ever have to build. My only thoughts are whether you like the hinge idea, or do you think it would work equally well with it being on 4 castor wheels instead? I like the idea of moving it to other areas of my shop when stacking wood(from the trailer etc.) What are your thoughts?

  60. Sal October 14, 2011

    Oh that’s super sexy.

    I’m makin’ it.

  61. Rob Hoover October 27, 2011

    I just finished building the lumber rack portion of this video. I’m worried about how much weight this thing will hold. I used the same plans as Marc used with one small change — my shelves are only sixteen inches instead of his 21 (or whatever it was). Otherwise, i followed the plan, using the same screws and also added lag bolts. I started loading up the wood and was getting scared about how much I was putting up there. I never even put all I had. I don’t really have a sense of how much the wood weighs, but I’m guessing there’s at least 250 pounds up there (the top shelf is nearly all hard maple). Can anybody calm my fears?
    Here’s a page with pictures of it http://watchmemake.com/kadoove.....umber-rack
    Thanks

    •  

      Well, I’m not sure I can calm your fears but I can say I have at least that much weight on mine and all is well. No sagging or evidence of problems yet. Do you actually see any visible evidence that something is wrong?

      • Rob Hoover October 31, 2011

        No evidence that something’s wrong. I just wonder about how much weight it can comfortably hold. So far, so good. I even added more up there.

        • Gordon December 31, 2011

          Those shelf brackets are good for at least a 100 pounds. And with 6 of them and 2 levels, You could put 1200 pounds up there. You would have a hard time fitting enough wood up there to stress the shelves.

    • Sal October 27, 2011

      I made mine out of 2×2′s, but only 12″ long and using 1/4″ plywood. I can hang off of any of the spokes (~180 lbs). You’re fine as you’ve spread the weight across many units, and if you used 3/4″ plywood like in the video, You’d pull the stud out before you lost the shelf.

      http://i29.photobucket.com/alb.....190942.jpg

  62. Jeff Swensen February 12, 2012

    Thanks for the design Mark! My attempt at building this rack came out great. Very efficient use of space.

    http://i.imgur.com/SJFbm.jpg

  63. Sue Reynolds April 17, 2012

    You have a code violation …

    You are missing a knock out in your electrical box. You might want to fix that real soon be. Other then that..
    I love your lumber storage rack!

  64. I already built my lumber rack using a slightly different design, but more or less the same. Yours is better, however.

    Also, I have to echo what someone above said; Is it abnormal to be this excited about a plywood cart? It’s an amazing design, and I can’t wait to build today.

    I, too, make use of the shop grade plywood for many projects. I primarily build custom frames for upholstered furniture, so the rigidity of that plywood vs yellow pine is perfect for what I do without the added cost of oak ply, which is totally unnecessary. I do, however, occasionally buy blondewood plywood at Lowes for these projects. Its about the same price as my local hardwood dealers shop grade ply and it never warps on me even after sitting for a few weeks.

    Again, thanks so much for the plans and the perfect design. Can’t wait to get that sucker into commission.

  65. Rick Roades July 14, 2012

    Marc, et al – Question – you mention you like to make the vertical supports one piece. The plan I followed a couple years ago had multiple pieces joined by plywood on the outside. The pieces were separated by 3 1/2″ (2×4) to create a mortise that you slide the lumber rack arm into. It was supposed to fit tight, but kept it level by the strength of the mortise. I’m getting ready to move mine, and I see that a couple arms’ mortise wasn’t quite tight enough to hold the arm perfectly. I’m looking to compare the strength of the two designs. Do you have any thoughts?

  66. John Gonser July 21, 2012

    Thanks for the excellent design. I will be constructing one of these (with slight modifications, of course) for my brand new shop.

    Have you looked into the weight-carrying capability of the cantilevered arms? I made a similar rack years ago and had over 100 bd. ft. on each level. This one should do as well or better.

    •  

      Well if by “looked into” you mean put lots of wood on them, I sure have. :) I just disassembled the unit for the shop move and there were no signs of wear or sagging at all. So I’m pretty confident in the design at this point.

  67. John Hixon August 10, 2012

    I used your basic design, but with a slight modification in size. My plywood sides were cut 15 7/8 x 6 and the 2x4s were cut 15 7/8. That allowed me to get 48 pieces of plywood from one sheet and 24 pieces from 4 2x4x96. That’s 24 shelf brackets with practically no waste.
    The 2×4 extends past the end of the plywood by 3 1/2 inches.

    I would post a picture, but…

  68. John Hixon August 10, 2012

    ok Marc, I uploaded somewhere else… Maybe you can see these.
    the cleat http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp.....8;cat=1429
    the wall http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp.....8;cat=1429
    The reason:
    Kiln dried red oak http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp.....8;cat=1429
    Air dried red oak http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp.....8;cat=1429

  69. John Hixon August 11, 2012

    All that lumber was salvaged from trees removed from this property to build our house.

  70. Brian Thompson August 13, 2012

    Great looking project…
    I’m currently building an exercise room in my garage… was wondering about using the partition wall for the rack project. (10′ high trussed ceiling)
    http://s146.photobucket.com/al.....odworking/

    Do you see any problems doing this?

  71. Rex August 13, 2012

    Hmm, I have a question. I am currently replicating some form of this in my shop and I am making some modifications.

    I am unclear why you ran the 2×4′s down behind the sheet goods rack? with mine I am mounting it to the wall so it will be able to move in almost flus with the wall. I have a smaller shop, floorspace is precious. So is there a reason you ran the 2×4′s all the way down instead of putting the bracer board above the sheet goods rack?

    •  

      In my case, the concrete footer juts out a few inches. Additionally, I needed something sturdy on which to attach my hinges. So it just made sense for me to continue the 2×4′s all the way down. If your situation doesn’t require that, you can certainly re-gain a few inches of space by stopping them just above the sheetgoods cart.

      • Rex August 13, 2012

        Ahh, thanks. I was wondering if I was missing something structurally that would make it a bad idea.

        Great vid btw, nice choices in editing to show the good details without having to make me watch you cut 100 hunks of ply :)

  72. Mike Corwin August 15, 2012

    Hey Marc – I just installed your version of the lumber rack on my wall with both Spax and several lag bolts into studs. I noticed after screwing in the veritcal supports that there is some side to side play of the vertical supports and was wondering if this is normal/ok. Thanks very much for any info – Mike

  73. Dan Campbell August 28, 2012

    HI Mark,
    I am just finishing a new workshop/ garage (43′ x 24 with the shop taking 24′ x 24′).
    I have purchased the material for your lumber rack plan and will start building this weekend. I have gone over you plan design thoroughly and it seems to me that your rack design is stronger than most interior wall construction and if there is any weakness it would probably be in the wall studs. Your design is great and the only improvent I can concieve of is routing round overs on panels of the cart so as not to cause spintering the edges over time (also a little easier on you hands when trying to get to short stock. Thanks for the video and the plan,
    Dan Campbell

  74. Sean Rubino August 30, 2012

    I am going to finish/expand my rack this weekend and build the sheet goods/shorts cart. I had a much smaller version (2 verticals and 2 shelves) at my other house and now I will be adding another vertical member and 3 shelf supports. Is the 30″ high (plus the caster height) sheet goods cart necessary though? I imagine I could go with a 25″ high cart (plus the caster height) and save in material cost without losing any support other than how much the sheet goods lean. Was there a specific reason for the 30″ cart in terms of plywood warping?

  75. Robert September 13, 2012

    Hi Marc,

    I Love your Podcasts! I want to build such a rack myself. Could I also use OSB instead of plywood?

    Greetings,
    Robert

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