Picture of Firewood rack using no tools
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 15 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
  - place 2x4 pieces in holes in blocks.  If on dirt put a few
    small rocks 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 lite 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.
Update: i like to shoot pellet rifles and have a picnic table for shooting from and a nice rest. the end of the long firewood rack was in the way so i just put a "window" in it with a 2"x6" frame and now shoot thru the window 70' to my pellet trap...i love it..hahah
qwilltie made it!14 days ago

Excellent instructions and voila, I made one too! I put a mixture of pebbles and sand inside the base of the cinder blocks to provide better drainage for the uprights. The toughest part was sawing the uprights in half with a hand saw. I do not have a power saw. I have the wood pile covered with a slate gray tarp and we are ready for the rain and the cold!


Forgot to say, Thank You, classof56!

clasof56 (author)  qwilltie13 days ago

hi qwiltie, glad you had success. and i always appreciate new little tweaks to make this simple setup better...the gravel is a good idea. looks like you have plenty of room for more faaaarwood...hahah

bluidmidget1 month ago

I'm a single and 50-ish woman. Made three of these easy-peasy. Love it! Thanks for the great idea!

clasof56 (author)  bluidmidget1 month ago

you for sure are welcome. mine are almost full now and standing tall and strong.

RonS53 months ago
Grither7 months ago
Thanks for this awesome idea. Ordered a cord of oak yesterday then realized I didn't have a place for it! Found this online and whipped it together this am with some help from my five year old daughter! Was a snap to put together, despite doing it in -25 degree Canadian winter. Hardest part was clearing the snow from the space!
clasof56 (author)  Grither7 months ago

Hi Grither, glad you and your 5-year-old helper got the project done. And it sure sounds chilly there! Stay warm and enjoy the rack, its worth a grin each time you see it.

podom7 months ago

This is a great idea! I went out the same day I saw it and got materials to build two racks. I used 8' 4x4s instead of landscape timbers and didn't put any supports in the middle. Works wonderfully! I also laid out 4 bricks under each cider block to serve as a base.

The only change I might make is to buy 10' 2x4s instead of the 8' that I bought. You lose some length to the portion that's in the block. That's my fault, of course, since you mention getting longer ones.

clasof56 (author)  podom7 months ago

hi podom, yes, isnt it a pleasant surprise how nice this all works. and 4x4s do work great, just a bit more pricey. the bricks under the blocks is good for stability. i have very sandy soil so i also need to put down some flat slabs first so my racks dont lean over time. anyway, enjoy and keep on burning.

mollytricycle made it!1 year ago

Loved the versatility and simplicity of these firewood racks!

clasof56 (author)  mollytricycle9 months ago

Ah, nice pics...good job on the racks. nice separation. can i steal some of your little stuff? hahah

HitAnyKey9 months ago
exactly what I needed! Thanks a ton!
clasof56 (author)  HitAnyKey9 months ago

yeah man, nice double!

flagjeep made it!10 months ago

This rack is awesome! I've looked at so many homemade and factory made ones. Nothing compares to the utility and price of this. Super strong, stable, easy to tear down and move, and costs very little! Sets up in literally a few minutes if your ground is level. I bought 3 cinder blocks for $1.08 each and already had some 2x4's and I used 4x4's I had laying around for the bottom rails. I admit I was a little skeptical about the stability and strength before I assembled it. Not anymore! I went back and picked up more blocks immediately after I stacked this one. Going to make 4 more!! We have a lot of kids running around our yard and I can rest easy that it's not going to collapse (no playing/climbing on it of course). Plus I think it just looks neat :-) If anyone looking at this is hesitant about making one, just do it! You'll like it! Thanks for the idea, love it!

clasof56 (author)  flagjeep10 months ago
hi flagjeep, i appreciate the upbeat comment. i never buy a product without reading comments. and i pride myself in feeling that i can tell the "shills" from the real, honest comments, whether good or bad. yours falls into that "real" category. one can tell that you have built it and are really satisfied with it and excited that you have found something that works for you and you are ready for more. thanks again and really good looking wood!
Retneva10 months ago
Love it! Worked beautifully. Easy to construct. Very stable and looks neat!
clasof56 (author)  Retneva10 months ago

its an easy, fun project, isnt it! glad you are enjoying it. soon we will be taking wood off instead of putting it on...hahah

LStromes made it!10 months ago

Thanks for the idea, this is our first season having a wood stove and this was a great idea for the limited space we have to store the wood.

clasof56 (author)  LStromes10 months ago

wow! you did good. looks like you are ready for a toasty winter season.

LStromes clasof5610 months ago


KevinSeaquist10 months ago

Brilliant! Now I can spend more on wood and not a rack.

Are you using pressure treated lumber ? I thought for frugalness using regular untreated -- could be easily replaced as it rots (if/when that occurs) ?

SwordWord1 year ago

Loving these racks. I have just under two cords of green hardwood spread over 5 8ft racks (remainder of one of the cords is in a shed with another full cord). I placed three of the racks on the bottom of a hillside in my yard, which required some planning and foresight (and trial by error :-) to account for possible settling and leaning. The front one is 8ft, and about 2ft behind it, higher up on the hill, I have a 16footer.

I have three other racks, and these are on flat ground (one of the racks is awaiting some more wood that is coming soon). They are lined up together and I used the space in between them to store the smaller 'fire-starter' wood.

Because stability is paramount to us (too many small children running around the yard during family gatherings), we decided to use three cinder blocks for each 8 ft length (especially since our wood is very heavy and green hardwood). We also decided (okay, my wife demanded :-) to cap the height at around 4 feet, so we just cut 8ft 2 x 4s in half (eliminates wastage too).

These racks are very, very stable, especially in this configuration. As Clasof56 notes, you can also stack it higher in the middle without losing stability. I've done that on the 16ft rack (shhhhh ... don't tell my wife) and it is still very stable and solid. I still have room on a couple of the racks for more wood, which as noted earlier is on its way.

2 hillside racks - 16ft and 8ft.JPGHillside racks.JPGFlat racks -one open.JPGFlat racks with fire-starter storage.JPG
clasof56 (author)  SwordWord1 year ago

Swordword, what a nice set-up you made. and a nice artistic flair makes it more than just piles of wood. so glad you found the idea and made it your own.

I made four of these racks 8' long and used 6' 2x4's for the ends. I put a 2x6 under the cinder blocks as the ground is fairly unstable. How far apart should the racks be? I only have a foot between them as I figure I'll empty the outside one's first. Is that enough space to allow air drying? So two of these the size I built would be a cord of wood correct? Thanks for this idea, it is so simple and can be moved so easily.

clasof56 (author)  schindelhofer1 year ago

yes, for a true sized cord 4x4x8 you would probably need two of these racks. maybe less as you have taller end posts. the main consideration is always the stablility of where you set them up so a 2x6 on the ground is very helpful. and of course access to your stacks is important. you can make single racks or double racks or racks at right angles to each other or racks radiating from a center point...all up to your room available and needs. i have a couple with a foot between them and they dry nicely. but i still like the double length ones as i have the room. glad you are having fun with them!!

SwordWord1 year ago

I plan to use these racks for at least one cord of wood, maybe two. A couple of questions: 1) about what portion of a cord can I expect to fit in one 8ft rack? and 2) related to that, what is a comfortable height for the stacking of the wood? Seems to me there will be a point somewhere when the rack is less stable the higher it gets. What is your collective experience. Is a third or half a cord reasonable for an 8ft rack?

clasof56 (author)  SwordWord1 year ago

well, a "face" cord is 2'x8'x4' so you should be able to get all of it on one of these racks. you can easily go over 4' high and the rack can be higher in the middle. if you stack it straight i have never had a stability issue. or you can make an extended rack which is longer than 8'. i have both sizes and kind of like the extended rack as it gives me more room to separate different size pieces so i can easily find the size i want at the moment. good luck!

christhi made it!1 year ago

I have done another one, for the big timber woods!

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christhi made it!1 year ago

Great idea! At first I have done it without tools. Then I have done some improvements to avoid the wood get wet.

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msteele6 made it!1 year ago

Took me longer to pick out the wood to use than it did to put together and stack the wood! Great solution to a problem I've had for a number of years. Excellent idea! THANKS!!!

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clasof56 (author)  msteele61 year ago

glad you found it useful. appreciate the comment. now a little tarp over it and you will always have nice dry wood.

Just made one yesterday for a facecord to beat the -7 weather. Great idea. Thanks!
mbryan71 year ago
Amazing. Design perfection. Someone could wonder for weeks and not come up with this, thank god for the internet.
jswap2 years ago
The author of this instructable is a genius. See my before and after pictures below.
My purchase list:
(three) cinder blocks at $1.46 each
(two) 4"x4"x10' treated landscape timbers at $12.97 each
(two) 2"x4"x10' untreated boards at $4.77 each
Took me about 2 hours to put together and only that long because I had to cut the 2 by 4s in half with a hand saw and then I had to move the old wood out of the way to make room for the rack.
clasof56 (author)  jswap2 years ago
Ah, you went from a mess to a slick-looking rack set up..nice job!!.... glad you found the ible helpful
isipwater2 years ago
Worked for me. The only challenge I had was not exceeding my car's cargo weight limit with the cinder blocks and the landscaping timbers. This is because I was making 2 extra large racks. Make sure to check your vehicle's cargo limits. A cinder block typically weighs 36 lbs each and the landscaping timbers are about 20 lbs each. This was a rather simple project. Thanks again for the good idea. See the photos my new firewood racks!
clasof56 (author)  isipwater2 years ago
Wow!! great racks. you took the idea to the next level....good job!
kwilson362 years ago
I saw this post last fall and finally got around to doing this project yesterday! It took longer to move the wood and clear the area for the wood rack than it did to construct it. I have to day at first I was skeptical but it works like a charm! Thank you sharing.
13, 12:20 PM.jpg
Excellent idea. That's a simple, elegant, cheap solution. I'll be giving this a try!
grillmaster2 years ago
Took about an hour to make 2 racks. Had the 2x4's, only had to spend $10 for the cement blocks. Worked like a charm and yes, as the wood gets piled on, the rack actually becomes more rigid.... my friend came over and he was totally impressed, thanks again.
clasof56 (author)  grillmaster2 years ago
ah, glad you found it helpful...never need another kind.
grillmaster2 years ago
Gotta love the KISS method. I've never seen anything so simple, congrats for the idea and thanks for sharing.
Farmer-Al2 years ago
areyouolsen2 years ago
Awesome. Thanks a lot! Just got done stacking a couple of cords of wood, having made two in the span of about half an hour. The perfect solution - simple & effective.

Many thanks!
vjdoro3 years ago
Thank you for this simple but very effective firewood rack.
Svenska vjdoro2 years ago
Brilliant, I had all the materials on hand. My 4x4's were salvage from Home Depot, so only 4' long. Added a cinder block in middle for support & worked great. Wish I had thought of it myself.
Jeanette563 years ago
Brilliant! I am so glad to have found this! I've pinned it on Pinterest so I can find it again this weekend (and so others can see it too!).
clasof56 (author)  Jeanette563 years ago
hi jeanette, thanks for the nice words. hope you get some use out of it sometime. i hadnt heard of pinterest and took a look. send me the link if you pin this, just put it here...thanks.
Here is the link to one of my Pinterest pages that has your tutorial link on it.
Thanks again!
pcos_us3 years ago
Just built 2 in Michigan for around $20 each including a block in the center. Used 5' tall 2X4 cut on angle. First set used two course blocks for more elivation. Very sturdy and fast to build. Nothing better for sale on the web. Thanks
clasof56 (author)  pcos_us3 years ago
hi pcos, glad you are having success. one thing you might try. with three blocks, try putting one 2x4 in the center block. that will allow you to separate two different loads of wood so all the drier stuff doesnt end up at the bottom of the full stack, or you can have larger stuff on one side and smaller on the other. i am from michigan and enjoyed many a fireplace there...cheers!
Perfect example of K I S S
Nessesity being the mother of invention,couldnt have done much better.
Great ible!
clasof56 (author)  northcalgreens3 years ago
thanks guy, i got 7 of them going now...all stong and stable
nordbach3 years ago
A firewood rack with a high WAF (WifeAcceptanceFactor). You don`t see that very often ;)
ALEX_HOLAND3 years ago
Like a Sir.

My complements.
bodie3 years ago
I read your 'ible on Friday and on Saturday my wife asked me to move our woodpile. Great timing! I happened to have some cinder blocks laying around, so I tried it. It worked like a champ!
clasof56 (author)  bodie3 years ago
hahahh....isnt it great when a plan comes together!!
i got a kick out of your comment and thanks for posting it. sometimes simple works pretty good.
Fabulous idea that really is both helpful and a thrifty use of resources. Thanks
ilpug3 years ago
I noticed that your stack is kin of pushing outwards. It helps if you get rope or baling wires and rung a few lines in between either end of the stack structure. It lends a lot of strength and you simply stack on and around the wires.
clasof56 (author)  ilpug3 years ago
hi illpug, thanks for the comment. i have tried stringing wire before while trying different stacks. but this setup is actually designed to be out further at the top. and its very strong. i am in florida and love to have a fireplace and in a normal year have about 100 and i go thru about 6 cords a year and have the stacks all like this. have never had one fall or fail. sometimes a landscape timber bows a bit but then the next year i just turn that one over...hahah
paganwonder3 years ago
VERY clever...cheap as well...definite WIN!