Introduction: Storage Rack Made From Scrap Lumber
This is a storage rack I designed to hold my recycled lumber, piping, conduit, ladders, etc. I utilized a stack of 2x4s that I stripped out of my house during a remodel project. See the attached images for the dimensions I used. You can scale this up or down, use fewer or more frames, change the spacing etc. to meet your needs and space. The rack as drawn is very stout and can probably safely hold several hundred pounds of material.
I made this rack 12'-0" long with the intention of storing materials up to 16' long, leaving 2'-0" of overhang at each end.
Step 1: Get Your Tools and Materials
The bare minimum you need to construct this rack is about 220' of 2x4, a lot of nails, a saw capable of cutting a 2x4 and a hammer. I used a 10" powered miter saw and a pneumatic framing nailer with 3 1/2" nails. Allow for scrap if buying new 2x4 material. It will also make assembly easier if you have four 12'-0" long pieces of 2x4 to use for the 'struts'. Use at least 2 1/2" long framing nails or wood screws. The attached photo shows the stuff I planned on putting on the rack and how much space it took up before hand.
Step 2: Cut Your Pieces and Start Laying Out the Frames
First cut the long pieces of the 'A' frames with 11 degree miters on the ends. I marked a scrap piece of 2x4 to line up the bottom of the legs the correct width apart, and adjusted the top ends to straighten everything out. Since I had 3 1/2" long nails, and I was nailing into 3" of wood, I put some 1x scraps under the frame to let the nails poke through.
Step 3: Nail on the Cross Arms
Nail on the top and bottom cross arms next. Measure the over hang each way to make sure they are centered, and measure from top to bottom on each side to make sure the top arm is parallel to the bottom arm. I used 4 nails in each joint.
I also cut some spacers with 11 degree miters to make laying out the intermediate cross arms easier. The spacers are removed and used to position each arm, starting from the bottom and working up to the top.
Step 4: When the First Frame Is Finished, Repeat 3 Times
The attached photo shows one of the finished frames. I used four identical frames for this rack.
Step 5: Set Up Your Frames and Add One of the Struts
Mark where you want the frames to go on the floor. Position the two end frames and secure them in place with some temporary braces (you may want to get a helper or two or use something more secure than a router table and a hand truck). Make sure one end is plumb and secured and use this for reference. After that nail one of the long struts to to each frame with two or three nails at each end.
Step 6: Add the Other a Frames and Install the Other Struts
Next add in the other two A frames and nail them to the same strut. Measure the spacing between the frames to make sure they were evenly spaced, using the plumb frame for reference. After that, add the remaining three struts. Make sure you keep the frame to frame distance uniform as you are nailing on the struts. Otherwise it will be difficult to get everything reasonably square and plumb at the end.
Step 7: Adjust Square and Plumb, and Add Diagonal Braces
Move the frames around if needed to get everything square and plumb and then nail on diagonal 2x4s as shown. These are key to preventing the entire rack from folding over once loaded up.
Step 8: Test It Out Before Loading
I was able to hang off of one end of the rack with it barely moving. You may want to use a stunt person or S.O. to test yours if you are not confident in your workmanship. Make sure all of the connections are secure. Shim the bottoms of the frames if you floor is uneven.
Step 9: Load It Up and Enjoy All of Your New Found Space
My material now takes up less than half as much floor space, I still have additional space for more items, and there are fewer places for critters to hide. Things are also easier to find and get to.