Lumber Storage Rack (and plan!)

Published Monday, March 20, 2023 by Bryan

Now that I'm starting to be able to use the lumber I had milled last summer, I needed space to bring pieces inside to acclimate to the conditions of my shop. It's the middle of winter, and my forced-air heating system fighting to stave off the single-digit outside temperatures drives the inside humidity very low. So, bringing lumber inside also provides a double bonus: it dries a little faster, and my living spaces get slightly less dry.

The easy solutions for lumber storage involve bolting metal shelving to the wall. I hate puting holes in external walls, though - especially basement walls that have otherwise never leaked. And why would I go buy metal shelving when I have all of this lumber on hand?

Red oak lumber rack, loaded with some older, drier material toward the top and in the back, and some younger, wetter material toward the bottom in the front.

So I designed and built some free-standing red oak racks. There are two separate units in the picture above, but they're built to the same dimensions, to provide support every two feet over a span of six feet. I will likely add a smaller support in the gap you can see at the right, to extend some of the support span to eight feet. My lumber ranges from eight to ten feet long, so they'll fit this space nicely.

The six shelves (including the feet) are at heights of 6, 21, 36, 48, 59, and 70 inches. The top three are 3 inches thick, the two below that are 4 inches thick, and the foot is 6 inches thick. That gives stackable heights between them of 8 to 11 inches. One rack held me doing a "chin dip" easily, and they haven't complained at all after loading them up with what you see in the picture.

Plans are available on my woodworking-plans site.

When I shared the completed project on Mastodon, some folks expressed interest in building their own. I felt like my whiteboard sketch was impossible for anyone else to decypher, so I set about adding creating a proper model. It's now on my woodworking-plans site, with dimensions converted to metric to be more globally accessible:

I think the plan and the instructions are still a little rough. If you have suggestions for improvement, please submit them to the github repo.

Categories: Woodworking