Introduction: Build a Lumber Storage Rack Out of Fencing Scraps

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Here's how to use old pieces of fence post to create an a-frame lumber storage rack, holding lots of material in a small amount of floor space. This is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying a commercial lumber-storage doohickey (here's the $140-ish unit i based my design off of).

Step 1: Pick / Refine Your Design

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having frequently been frustrated from my lack of planning in projects, i decided to try a bit more planning. the picture below is what i ended up with, vaguely to scale thanks to trusty graphing paper. doing this made my project turn out substantially better (and get completed quicker) than it otherwise would have: a bit of planning goes a long way, apparently!

Step 2: Salvage Materials, Gather Tools

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i'm a big fan of building out of garbage: who cares if you build 10 beta versions before getting it right if all your materials were bound for the dump?:) because i had a bunch of old galvanized tubing from a chain link fence i tore down sitting around, this became the material used for my lumber rack.

for tools, my main instruments were:
-circular saw with cut-off wheel
-marker, or something else with which to mark pipe
-tape measure
-welder (battery-based will do finely; I used a flux-core, 175-amp setup) and associated safety gears

Step 3: Cut Vertical Supports

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this is the part you want to get accurate, or at least approximately equally inaccurate. your vertical supports are the outsides of the 'a,' and you'll want 4 of them (2 per end). via the wonders of high-school geometry, you can calculate the length of these based on desired frame height and width (length of vertical support = sqrt ((desired height)2 + (.5*desired width)2).

Step 4: Add Horizontals

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Join your verticals together at the top of the 'A' as well as with each of your horizontal supports. exact length isn't important on these: just make them big enough to stick out past the verticals on each side of the A enough so you'll have room to store lots of stuff. experiment on some other scrap with power settings on the welder; for me, power of b and feed rate of 4 seemed to work well.

Step 5: Cross-brace, Reinforce, and Stop Slippage

Picture of Cross-brace, Reinforce, and Stop Slippage

3 other types of pieces are added:
1. cross-braces: running between your 2 A's, these pieces make the A's stand up into a lumber-holding structure. I welded 1 piece straight across the top and 2 diagonally near the middle of the A's.
2. reinforcements: just a couple of inches of fencing pounded flat, these pieces let me make stronger connections between the A and the horizontal support at its base
3. slippage stoppers: ~6-inch sections of tubing welded vertically to outside of horizontals keeps material you're storing from rolling off.

Step 6: Strength Test, Load It Up...

I got really sophisticated with my strength testing. Or not: knowing I'd be storing metal pipe at most, I bounced up and down on each horizontal support. force equaling mass times accelaration, I'm now comfortable with at least a couple hundred pounds of static force per shelf.

Load it up with all the (s)crap lumber you can find ; consolidate from your yard, and revel in your newfound organizational capacity:)

Comments

shocksystems (author)2010-04-14

Nice project.

FYI to others who might consider this project.  I have heard that you should make sure you have plenty of ventilation when welding Galvanized materials otherwise you might get sick (no long term impact, but short term impact is like the flu).   Happy welding.

darwincam (author)shocksystems2010-09-01

IF when welding galv...and you begin to feel sick...head for the milk jug....a small glass will clear the queasies right up.

Weissensteinburg (author)2009-01-24

I wish we had space for one of these! I'd probably keep the middle open for plywood.

Er...maybe one side would be for plywood...middle wouldn't work so well.

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