If you do much carpentry or woodworking around the home, you'll soon start to develop a store of lumber. The lumber, in turn, will soon develop an uncanny ability to get underfoot or in the way of roughly 85 percent of all your normal household activities.
The solution is some kind of lumber rack. Presented here is an idea that works well around my home. This rack is made entirely of ordinary 2-by-4s, and construction is strong, but simple.
First step is to find a place for it. One good spot is in the wasted space over the hood of your car. You should have room for a four-level rack in that area. To build the rack, start by cutting the support arms. I make mine 20 inches long, but you can choose your own length to suit your needs. Fasten these to the exposed studs with yellow glue and 1/2- by 3 1/2-inch carriage bolts. Use one bolt per support arm, and make sure the arms are perpendicular to the stud.
Space the arms about six to eight inches apart vertically. Once the arms are in, cut 2-by-4 blocking to fit tightly between the arms and glue and fasten these in position with yellow glue and 3-inch flat-head screws. This blocking will provide extra support for the arms and prevent them from twisting downward under a heavy load of lumber.
I like to put a rack like this on every other stud. This places a support arm every 32 inches, which provides good support to keep the lumber from sagging and developing a set.
The basement rack is similar but has a few differences. I build these racks on the floor, then hang them from the joists when they are completed. To build a rack like this, decide on a size. I cut my uprights 4 feet long, but you can make them shorter, or run them floor to ceiling.
To start, lay an upright flat on the floor. Glue and screw support arms and blocking to this upright, pretty much as described for the garage rack. Leave the top eight inches of the upright free, so you can bolt it to the joist later.
After all the arms and blocking are secured to this upright, lay another upright on top of the stack and glue and screw this one in place. This will sandwich all the arms and blocking between two uprights for a very sturdy arrangement.
Now you can slide the top of the rack up so it straddles a joist and hang it securely in place with a 1/2- by 5-inch carriage bolt. As with the garage rack, I like to put one of these racks on every other joist.
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