Building a no-tools-needed firewood rack

A stable, strong, easily-movable, cheap firewood rack is a thought-provoking project. This is what i have used for years and it works extremely well.

It easily holds a face-cord of heavy, wet wood with no problem and is very stable.
This is what you need:
2 or 3 concrete blocks
2 landscape timbers
2 2x4s - 8 or 10 footers cut in half.
total material cost about 20 bucks

I think the pics say it all but some tips:
- place 2 concrete blocks holes up on a stable surface, 3 if support needed in center (not often).
- place timbers across outside edges of blocks with all width of each timber completely on block.
- place 2x4 uprights in holes in blocks. If on dirt put a few
small rocks or pebbles in holes first to help drain water from 2x4' ends.
- its designed so the 2x4's are leaning out at the top. it's
very strong like this. if you find the 2x4s are spread too wide, you
can tap them closer together on a full rack as there is not that much weight on them. the last pic shows my new double rack. one more block but 4 less 2x4 pieces and stronger because of center blocks. if you enlarge the last pic, you can really see how much weight this set-up will hold. and i could put a lot more on it but its over my head..hahah
If you have any doubts about whether or not this works like i say, just read a few comments from other members, real people just telling it like it is.

I cut a piece of plastic tarp about 4' wide and 10' long to cover wood... i take a couple of holed bricks and tie light 3' rope from one to the other and lay over tarped ends to keep tarp on in wind. all of this works really well together. rack gets stronger with more wood and is very stable. everything comes apart to move to another spot or put in storage (or use for other projects). Rack is high enough off ground to blow leaves from underneath or spray for bugs. Its nice to be able to easily move a woodrack as sometimes the ground under it becomes unstable and the rack will lean. Or sometimes you just find a better place and moving individual pieces is so much easier than moving the whole rack at once. One more thought: if you use 8' 2x4s, if you cut them in half at a 45 degree angle, you get more length and also the angle will help them drain at the top.

Anyway, once you have set this rack up and used it a bit, its one of those things that you just grin each time you look at it and wish other things you make would work as well. Enjoy

Super easy design, even a caveman can do it. I couldn't find the base timbers so opted for 4 4x4x8's which imo are stronger. I had quite a slope I was building on so took some time to level but came out perfect and a cord of wood fits perfectly!!<br>
<p>wow, good one. it amazes me how crafty people can continue to improve on a basic idea and make changes that are really impressive. nice work!!</p>
<p>I am clueless with home projects but I was able to put this 16 foot rack together without a problem. Cost about $35. Thanks for the tips</p>
<p>I went a little nuts with it. There are three 16ft 4x4's on the bottom and the whole thing is stuck together with 4&quot; deck screws.</p>
<p>hahah, amazing!! I guess there is virtually no limit on how big you can make this...wow! really big stuff for sure. nice job.</p>
<p>well, after 5 years, i have not replaced any part of this setup. timbers are solid, blocks are the same, 2x4's are just more seasoned. the only thing i have had to do is every couple of years i need to straighten it a bit as the earth underneath sinks a tad...a few handfuls of dirt and back in business.</p>
<p>I'm experiencing an issue with the outside concrete blocks cracking from either the weight of the stacks or the tension that the upright timbers possibly put on the blocks. Has anyone that has used this technique across seasons experienced this? Any remedies? Thanks.</p><p>I still love this stack, especially since it is easy to break down when not in use but replacing the blocks is a bummer.</p>
Don't use regular cinder blocks, use &quot;real&quot; concrete blocks from the plant, sometimes Lowes or Home Depot will carry them, they are much heavier and stronger.
<p>i have been using this sytem for many years and have never had any blocks crack or break. no idea what your problem is but i think its yours. i have stacked very high at times with great weight and never any problems like you describe. maybe you got some too-fresh blocks where the concrete was not cured or they used not enough concrete in the mix.</p>
<p>I made three of these. I used to store my split wood on what was essentially a wood ladder rack. But no matter what I did, the rack would always sink, tilt and eventually fall over. And I had to spend a fair amount of time criss-cross stacking the wood to keep everything stable.<br><br>These racks work as advertised. You just can't beat 'em for the price. If I did the math right, each one holds a bit over 1/3 of a cord if your wood is cut to 16&quot;.</p>
This was awesome! My husband and I put this together in 15 min. We just bought our house so money is tight. We were online looking at some that average price were 2-3 hundred. This design is not only frugal but brilliantly engineered! Thanks for sharing, we are waiting for our wood to be delivered!
<p>looks to me like a project well done. and you will like how solid it is once you get some wood on it. and what a nice woodsy setting you have.</p>
<p>Hey, we made one of these...and it works and looks GREAT!! Be sure to use the &quot;wood-colored,&quot; brown or &quot;rust&quot; pressure-treated wood, looks quite nice. </p>
<p>hi james, thanks for the honest comment. glad you are enjoying the rack.</p>
<p>Made another version with a rope in top to prevent the walls to tilt.</p>
<p>ah, i see you didnt use the parts list or put it together using instructions. landscape timbers work best as the base and they should be resting on the cement blocks for whole-rack stability. its a simple set up and works really good ....but good luck.</p>
<p>Yes, You're right. I did mine before I spotted Yours. I wasn't smart enough to figure that out from beginning :) So instead of taking all wood out again, I solved it with the rope</p>
In hindsight I should have built longer and taller. I ended up with 3x 4'tall by 8' wide. Will stretch it next year. Now I need to find an easy way to cover. Suggestions?
<p>hi tgiraud, i have found the easiest way to cover is with some blue or <br>silver tarp, using holed bricks with a cord tied between two of <br>them...drape over ends of tarp to keep on in wind and rain. cheap, heavy enough, easy, <br>and works very well. you really dont need to cover completely...just <br>the top and a foot over the sides is plenty. gives it air. good luck.</p>
<p>Looks awesome. Hey this might be a dumb question but do the 2x4's on the bottom move around a lot while stacking? How sturdy is this thing? I'd probbaly want to make one 16' long.</p>
<p>What lies across the bottom are not 2x4's. They are landscaping timbers. They are cheaper than (for me they were) or really close to the same price, but much more sturdy. If you use a 2x4, I would not trust it.</p>
<p>hi jason, you are absolutely correct. the bottom wood is a couple of landscape timbers...nice and solid. and little tweaks like you did with stones is always fun to hear about. no project is ever perfect from the get-go and hearing about changes is always good. thanks and enjoy!</p>
<p>Yeah, I filled the holes with stones so the 2x4's would have less give when there wouldn't be a lot of wood stacked on top. Also, this stacks probably about 1.2 chords of wood, when doing a diaganal cut.. My picture, no on this post, but another, is a whole chord.</p>
hi andrew...the 2x4's on the ends are just loose until you start stacking wood up against them. the more you stack, the stronger the ends get. on a full rack the ends are really tough and strong, but you can still tap them narrower or wider if you need to move them. if you build this on a stable base, its as strong and stable as any woodrack i have ever seen. i have found that length is no problem at all, in fact i like longer ones and i have a double that works perfectly.<br>the bottom pieces dont move at all.
<p>Super easy and quick. After I put the 2x4's in I also put stones all around them . Thanks. You saved me hours.</p>
<p>This design saved the day! I had one day to build a firewood stacker at my mom's cabin, an argument with her about the shed she wanted, a half hour before the lumber yard closed by the time we sorted it out, and no tools. Now all the wood I split is is safe - thanks so much!</p>
<p>hi chelyos, so glad you are finding the rack useful for mom. its a fast and permanent solution for sure. thanks for the comment on your experience.</p>
<p>This is absolutely brilliant! I bought all the parts from Lowes yesterday and will assemble it today. However, I have a silly question. First off, I'm a new firewood collector, so apologies in advance lol. If I have pieces of wood that are pretty small in diameter, do I still need to split them before burning them in a fireplace? <br><br>They are as big as the small ones shown in the pic uploaded in this post: https://cdn.instructables.com/FM4/R8RQ/IE7JB40L/FM4R8RQIE7JB40L.LARGE.jpg</p>
<p>i Iplus10....no, you dont have to split to burn. i used to work hard <br>splitting but with age have learned. if you look at my stacks you wont <br>see anything that is split. just give it time to dry. i use <br>pinelighter...the heart of a pine tree, split into small pieces to start<br> an oak fire with ease. three or four pieces the size of fat pencils <br>will start large oak pieces easily. when you stack your wood, its good <br>to keep one end small stuff and the rest big. then you will have easy <br>access instead of having the small stuff buried. i cant tell what kind of wood you have there...do you know?</p>
<p>I believe that this wood came from a maple tree. It has been sitting outside since November. I was going to move this batch inside the garage today to make room for some more fresh cut wood from my neighbor to put in its place. Is 6-months time enough to season it? I figure it can season some more in the garage over the summer.</p>
<p>hi, if its maple then its nice to burn but hard to split. remember, that to dry and season, the wood needs air circulation. inside a garage might not be the best place for that. there are places online that will tell you how good or bad different woods are for the fireplace. oaks are my favorite but i grab maple when i can as its so hard and does make a nice fire. good luck.</p>
<p>Sorry, not sure why the link didn't work. Here's a picture of my stack.</p>
<p>It took me some time to get this project started but I found all of the material at my home and on the farm, I also found and cut my own pieces to put vertical to help with support. Thanks again for the awesome idea and look forward to adding onto my stack</p>
<p>yeah man, nice start for sure. glad you like it. i will be out chainsawing today.</p>
<p>I love this and was wondering if you could make this as long as you need. I was thinking about making this 25/30ft long, just use some of the 2x4's in the middle to strengthen it?</p>
hi lovinlocust, i would think that length is no problem. several of the people who have built this have put up pics showing longer racks. as long as you have a good base to put it on and stack your wood straight, then a double or triple or quad should be fine. i think one builder did a quad.
<p>Thanks I am going to get started as soon I can get the material needed. I have been thinking of ideas for stacking in the timber where i cut my wood and just leave it there stacked and covered. This is the best and cheapest method I have came across..</p>
<p>What an amazing idea. Thank you so much for this. It def took longer to stack the firewood than putting it together.</p>
My wife and I made this rack out of lumber around the house! So easy and fast to put together. We even got two other projects done today! Great thinking on this one! Cheers!
<p>ah yes, the old &quot;run what you brung&quot;...hahha its always nice to be able to repurpose stuff thats just laying around and make it useful. glad you are enjoying your new rack.</p>
<p>Great firewood rack. I spent $17.10 on 2/06/16 and made it in less than ten minutes, it took longer to move the wood.</p>
<p>hi Tim, looks like a perfect rack to me. nice job. glad you are finding it useful.</p>
You said that sometimes the ground will become unstable and the rack will lean. Ever had one completely fall over? The most convenient place for my wood rack has it right up against a wood fence. A concern for any wood rack, store bought or otherwise, is it toppling over and causing property damage.
<p>hi Kowens, no, i have never had a rack fall over. but it all depends on what kind of surface you are building your rack on. if the surface is soft and spongey, then you might need to toughen it up with some gravel or whatever. sometimes at the end of a season, one of my racks might have a little lean to it. but then i just put some sand or gravel under it to level it and go from there. but overall, its a really maintenance free set up. good luck.</p>
<p>Thanks for the quick reply! If I had a perfectly flat area that wasn't my driveway or my deck, I wouldn't have come across this in the first place! Whatever I go with is going on the, currently, cold hard ground. I had purchased a metal rack from a hardware store, but realized that once I loaded the wood.. it was going to sink. On top of the initial cost, I was going to have to invest in some pavers to put it on. Concern about them cracking under the weight lead to a pretty brief Google search right here! I think I can counter a bit of the leveling issues/bowing of the timbers by adding more cinder blocks for support. It's the theory I'm running with, anyway! Thanks, again!</p>
<p>Very cool, modified it since we had pipes for the bottom, but your example was it, thanks!</p>
<p>Thanks for the great, simple design for not a lot of money....</p><p>https://www.flickr.com/photos/brownphotographic/23073733680/in/datetaken/</p>
<p>hi Britishrob and Snowberry, glad you tried it...have a happy burning season.</p>
Wow excellent idea, used a similar idea with pallets, but your method makes more sense. Will be using this for my selling wood next year. Thanks
Simple, affordable, and way better than some sheet metal assembly that is way too flimsy. Plus, in a year or two, it'll blend right in with my weathered fence. Thanks for sharing!

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