Introduction: Lumber Rack for a Garage

I have a collection of wood that I have accumulated over time.  I needed to re-organize it and decided to follow the plans that I found here:

For the cost of two sheets of plywood, about 15 2x4s, and $100 of screws / toggle bolts, I was able to put this together.

I have a well equipped shop, but I realized that I could do the work faster and easier by making it at TechShop.  I was able to use a CNC ShopBot Alpha and quickly cut out the plywood laminations from the plywood.

Step 1: Cut the Plywood Using a CNC ShopBot

The shopbot made quick work of cutting out 50 plywood parts --

Step 2: Cut the 2x4s for the Shelf Supports / Glue and Screw Them Togehter

You need to laminate an 18 inch long 2x4 to two plywood supports.  It almost is a laminated beam and it will support about 500 pounds of loading.

I screwed a stop to the table so that all of the cuts would go quickly.

I used a silicon glue applicator from Rockler Woodworking to spread the glue.  I used six (6) 2 1/4" #12 wood screws on each side.

I used a spacer 2/4 to make sure that everything lined up.  I took the small 2x4 out quickly so that there was no chance that the 2x4 could accidentally be glued into the support.

I also bought a new battery powered Milwaukee Impact Driver and Drill from Home Depot.  I drove 300 screws building the 25 supports that I needed.  These tools are great! 

Step 3: Bore Holes in the Vertical Supports

I used a fence on the drill press to make sure that I would bore the holes in the center of the vertical supports.

I drilled a 3/4" deep x 1/2 hole that was the size of the head of the #14 screw that I will use to anchor the 2x4 to the wall of my garage.  After I drilled all of those holes, I drilled a 3/16" pilot hole to accommodate the shaft of the 4" long screw that I'll use to secure the vertical supports to the 2x4 furring strips that will be affixed to the wall.

Note the supports on either side of the drill press.  Using them allows you to focus on the work and not balancing the mid-air.

Step 4: Transport to the Job Site

Building all of this in my woodshop would have been a real hassle since I am constrained for space.  Tech Shop made it easy!

Step 5: Drill 49 3/4" Holes in Hollow Clay Block

My garage was built in 1915.  

I calculated that the wood will weigh about 4,000 pounds.  

After consulting an architect to make sure that I would not buckle the wall, he suggested that I alter the plans and that I put a wolmanized plate on the floor of the garage.  It serves to purposes:

1) It stops termites
2) It allows the vertical supports to transfer the load directly to the floor and spreads it over the length of the wall.

You 'll need to drill 49 3/4" holes into the wall so that you can use the toggle bolts (6" long) to affix the 2x4 furring strips to the wall.

Drill 1/4" holes into the 2x4s on the flat side.  Assemble the toggle bolts in the 2x4.  Place the toggles in the holes in the garage wall and tighten with a socket.  Make sure that the 2x4s are level.

Step 6: Use a Router to Provide Clearance for the Toggle Bolts

The toggle bolts have a hex-head.  You need to use a router and route a 3/8" channel to provide clearance for the the hex-head toggle bolts. 

After the channels have been cut in the vertical supports, attach them to the 2x4 furring strips with 3 3/4" #14 wood screws.

The impact driver is a huge help in screwing everything together.

If you dip the end of each wood screw in a little bit of liquid soap, it makes it really easy to drive the screws.

Step 7: Reinforce the Tops of the Vertical Supports

My architect suggested that I connect a 2x4 and screw it to at least two ceiling joists that run parallel to the wall.

To be able to do this by myself, I built the "3rd hand" that you see holding the 2x4 to the ceiling.  Instructions for it are located here:

I used a chalk line and located the joists.  Using the 3rd hand and the ladder, I was able to do this task with ease.

Step 8: Hang the 25 Supports

Use two 2 3/4" #12 screws on each side of the supports.  Because of the design of the support it can support about 500 lbs of weight per support.

This project would have been a nightmare if I did not have access to all of the space at Tech Shop.

I made it at Tech Shop and saved it saved me a huge amount of time and hassle.