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 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

<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: http://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!
<p>yeah man, glad you are giving it a try..its easy, solid and gets stronger as you add wood to it.</p>
Wow! Very impressive! I bought a metal rack, about 10 years ago when I bought my house, but I don't think it will last much longer. Will definitely give this a try. Love the idea!
So I have a full cord of wood arriving soon and wanted to ask how many of these will I need to hold the entire cord of wood?
hi one man...since a face cord of wood is 2x4x8...one rack should get er done...or very close.
<p>Thank you for the information. I (a 61-year old woman) was able to make a firewood rack, using your instructions. I spent $17.20 at Lowes. I already had sand to help level it and the concrete blocks, so all I needed was the 2x4s and the landscape timbers. So much cheaper than buying a metal one that may or may not last past one season.</p>
<p>hi sue-ann, looks like a good job to me! and i see your helper checking everything twice...hahah. i never have had any of mine wear out over many years. i have ten of them going now so am ready for winter...and now you too!!</p>
<p>Living in Florida, this will probably last me more than a year. I have a fire pit and a fireplace. We do a fire on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so this will be easy to get to the wood.</p><p>I had Lowes cut the 2 x 4s (10 feet long) in half, but they would not make a 45 degree cut. I told him it wasn't a deal breaker.</p><p>Now I will have to get a tarp and figure out how to keep it on, since we get a little wind.</p><p>Thank you so much for posting the instructions as I was able to do it myself, and it was so much cheaper than purchasing a metal one.</p>
<p>hi sue-ann. yes, keeping a tarp on in some wind is tricky. what i do works really well and lasts forever. get 4 holed bricks at lowes...you know, the bricks with three holes thru them...take a piece of light rope and tie between 2 bricks with about three feet of rope in between. make two sets. put tarp on pile and drape line over tarp with brick hanging on each side and line holding down tarp. one set on each end just inside each 2x4. works great even in high winds. bricks are cheap, heavy enough to work well, and light enough to move or remove easlily. i find that a tarp that covers and hangs down each side about six inches is all you need and lets the pile dry well. if you put one taller piece of wood on top center of pile, the tarp will angle down from that to each end and drain rain. good luck and you did good!</p>
<p>Excellent design and thanks for the great idea Clasof56! I modified your dimensions to fit a half chord that had to stay below a 32&quot; high railing on my apartment deck (grumpy landlord). I ended up only needing four 2&quot;x4&quot;x12' s (split in halves to form four 6' beams) and one 2&quot;x4&quot;x10' s (quartered to have four 30&quot; arms), and three cinder blocks. I purchased them all at Home Depot for around $25. I then hung two tarps on the side of the railing, stacked the wood and the covered with the tarp. Originally I had purchased and set this up for a full chord (doubling the above) but decided on a half chord. So I used some of the leftover 2x4's to hold the tarp down on the deck. </p>
<p>hello ray...looks like another good job to me. and the nice thing about wooden racks is that you can make them fit your needs, which you sure did...happy burning!!</p>
<p>here it is more full.</p>
<p>wow, now thats a serious bunch of wood...good job!</p>
<p>This looks great, but I have one question. How well does it handle high winds when you have a tarp over it?</p>
<p>well, i only have a tarp over the top and maybe 6 inches down each side. its held down with a couple holed bricks with a light line holding them together. i have never had an issue with wind.</p>
Stacked 3 deep and 3 wide used 21 cinder blocks 18 timbers and 3 2x4s<br><br>Should hold 3 cords easy Super sturdy <br><br>Under $100 in materials and better than anything sold in stores.
<p>hi charles, great racks!! i always love it when one takes it to another level. i just put up another one as i had my oaks trimmed and enjoy cutting and stacking. put up another pic when they are full...will be impressive!</p>
<p>Love this idea. Set one up in the back using pallet parts for ends. I got a cord on it. I realized I needed to out some blocks in the middle for support. My wife likes the fact that it hides the trailer that's behind it. I will be putting another on the other side of the yard soon.</p>
<p>Great and simple design. We just got a new place, and I needed a temporary wood rack for near the house. This design was a perfect fit. I had some leveling issues with the patio, and used some E Grade shingles to do it. Works great. </p>
<p>hi outoforder2day, glad you are giving it a try. you will find that it gets stronger and more stable as you add wood to it. good luck.</p>
Hello! It was simple to make and sturdy. I was able to fit a whole cord of wood. Thanks for saving us so much $$$!
<p>hi lianag1, glad you are having success. one thought: your end 2x4s are turned the wrong way. it might work that way but is stronger the other way.</p>
Super easy... Thank you so much. Gonna make an 8 footer this weekend... Dirt cheap.
<p>I have a question about the 2&quot; x 4&quot; end supports:</p><p>I have noticed that some are cut at the 45 degree angle and some are just cut straight. What are the pros and cons to both. They both look very stable, so is it just an aesthetic preference? Also, if you go with the 45 degree angle cut, is the part in the concrete block also cut at a 45 degree angle? Thanks for your answer.</p>
<p>hi briget, i cut the 2x4 tops at an angle just to keep water off. the bottoms are not cut. but i really dont think it matters much.</p>
I made 2 12'x6' units

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