Introduction: Lumber Storage Rack Made From Scrap

About: We are a new 10,000 sq. ft. makerspace in Portland, OR at 7600 N. Interstate Ave with a wood shop, craft lab, hackerspace, tiny home, garden, and electronics lab for the community.

This is an Instructable for a lumber storage rack made out of various scrap wood that was around the makerspace wood shop. It was getting cluttered with wood piled in the corner and on the floor so I decided to take some inspiration that I saw from these other lumber rack designs and incorporated them in to a simple and effective design for the space:

The added bonus is that it has a top work surface and should have enough room to store materials for a single tiny home. The materials are scrap pieces, which will vary from shop to shop, but here is a list of basic scraps that would be useful.

In the photo you can see the original concept sketch and the overall dimensions I used for the rack, which was designed with a 5 degree slope in the back for sheet goods and with cross beams for 8 foot long pieces of wood. I made the width only 6.5 feet because there wasn't enough space to slide a full 8' sheet out the side and there wasn't enough 8 foot pieces of wood for construction so I compromised by letting 1.5 feet of wood stick out the right side.



A/R 3" wood screws

A/R 1.5" wood screws

Scrap Plywood Pieces equivalent to 2 sheets worth

Scrap 2"X6" pieces equivalent to two 8 foot pieces

Scrap 2"X4" pieces equivalent to four 8 foot pieces

Scrap 1/2"X11" boards equivalent to four 8 foot pieces


Cordless Drill

Drill Bit for pre-drilling


Table Saw

Jig Saw

Electric Sander

Right Angle

Chop Saw

Step 1: Build the Base Structure

Planning ahead when using scrap wood is very difficult because it's hard to tell what materials need to be used first. However, I decided to start from the center and used a 2X6 for the center beam and 2X4's for the side beams with the 3" screws to secure the beams at each joint then 1.5" screws to attach the floor boards with a gap for the 5 degree angled 2X6 in the back. I used a table saw to cut the 5 degree angles for the ends to mate properly. When drilling, you should use a leveler to make sure that the beams are at right angles and straight. I used a right angle to make sure the vertical beams were perpendicular. Don't worry if the structure is a bit wobbly at this point because it will be reinforced later. If you want to add temporary support structures you can.

I made the rack section about 2 feet wide.

You can choose how to section the horizontal beams however you want, but I chose to make a small section up top for thin pieces like trim and the lower sections for 2X4's and 2X6's

Step 2: Box in the Structure

Next, I boxed in the structure with the rest of the beam sections and plywood. I started by screwing in a plywood strip to the bottom middle beam first and then added a top section while making sure I squared all the corners. I used the thickest plywood scrap I had available for the top, squared that up, and screwed it to all the beams. After that, I went back and added more screws to the bottom strip to all the beams.

A 2X6 was used for the middle beam on the left side because it was the only scrap piece that was long enough and it turned out to help with an extra long ledge for sliding an 8 foot piece of wood in.

Next, I added some gussets to the bottom corners of the front beams. Then, I covered the side left side opening with plywood. It's easier to just lay the wood against the frame and use a pencil to outline the cuts needed. For a cleaner design, you can overlap the plywood to hide the 2X4 corners.

Step 3: Reinforce the Structure

Finally, I finished the structure by closing the top and back with plywood scrap sheets and then added plywood triangle gussets to reinforce the open end of the lumber rack. I also had a thin strip of plywood that I was able to add to the bottom edge of the sheet goods section for guiding the sheets when sliding them in.

Small pieces of wood were screwed under the table top surface where the plywood seam was separating in order to make it one solid piece. The open end of this lumber rack was the weakest part of the structure so be sure to test it's strength by leaning and pushing against it. When in doubt, add more screws all around the structure.

I also added a removable shelf to the top rack for smaller pieces of trim or to just place items from the workbench top out of the way.

After everything was complete, I took an electric sander and smoothed out as many rough edges as I could.

Building the lumber rack actually got rid of most of the scrap wood so there wasn't much wood to store after, but it will be very helpful as new wood comes in because it gets messy fast.

CONGRATULATIONS!! You built your scrap lumber rack!

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