Introduction: Canned Food Storage Racks

A sturdy and cheap canned food system I built. This design should probably be mounted to a wall, but if you reinforce it a bit it could be free standing.

The idea is that you have free standing racks with rails at identical heights. you then secure the racks at fixed distances from each other.

Offsetting the pre-drilled holes in your rails is essential. the front hole should be high of center, and the back one low. That way when they are mirror flipped to the other side of the post the 3" screws will not collide. I set up a jig on my drill press. You may do the same thing with some spare scraps and a hole to ensure precise placement.


Essential equipment / ideal

Saw / chop saw

Drill / drill press

table saw

1.25" screws - 200

3" screws - 200

Measuring tape

1/8" drill bit

ofset drill jig to drill 3/4" from end, and 1/2" down from edge.


1 sheet 1/4"-1/2" plywood or melamine

24- 2x4 x 96 OR 48- 2x2x96 lumber

Step 1: Initial Cuts

Once you have your 2x2 stock, cut all the rails you will need. I cut mine at 23.5 inches.

88 - 1.5 x 1.5 x 23.5

I recommend stacking them neatly as you will need a lot.

Next cut your side guides 4" shorter than the rails. THese are made from the plywood. They should be 3" tall

88- 3 x 19.5

Your stringers and rack fronts. I am leaving some flex room.

15 - 2.5 x 28

Cut your vertical posts to their desired height. I did 72". Doing 4 columns ocans will require 5 sets of posts

10- 1.5 x 1.5 x 72

Step 2: Pre Drill Side Guides and Rails

using an 1/8" bit pre drill ALL side guides and rails. THe side guides need holes .75" from bottom edge, you only really need a screw in front and in back.

The rails should ALL be oriented the same way if they are not exactly square. that way they will be even across the system.

Drill the rail holes high of center on one end, and low of center on the other.

Step 3: Rail Assembly

Center the side guides on the rails, and mount with 1.25" screws.

Step 4: Rail Mounting

Lay out your posts all together. Offset every other one by 1.5", then using a square trace a line every 6.5".

Then, mounting 1 set at a time you can mount the rails straight in line with the lines. When the rack is stood up and leveled, it will hinge down and give the rails a proper slope. Use the 3" screws.

REmember to orient the left and righ side racks properly.

Step 5: Firming Up Spacing

I mounted my stringers t a wall so I could anchor them to studs, but that isn't essential.

Cut a scrap to 4.75" and use it as a block spacer as you secure the top, middle and bottom. Do the back to completion, then the front in the same manner.