Cheap and Easy to Build Tire Rack




Introduction: Cheap and Easy to Build Tire Rack

Hello everyone, this is my first instructable.

After building this project, I realized I could have document it with more pictures. But on the other hand, it is a pretty easy construction, so step-by-step instructions are not really essential. I also apologize in advance if my English writing is not perfect. French is my native language.

We own 3 cars at our house and since we live close to winter wonderland, we always have 12 extra tires lying around the garage, waiting for the change of season. So we needed something to store those tires and make them occupy less space.

Instead of buying expensive metal tire shelves (they can cost up to 70$ and some hold only 4 tires ! ), I started making plans and found out I could gather a few 2x3 and build one for around 20$. It turned out to be very easy to build, it is sturdy and it's perfect for low ceiling storage areas, like a garage or a basement.

The dimensions shown here are for 3 sets of 15" tires but of course, you can easily modify the plans to suit bigger wheels. Just remember that you have to make sure you leave enough clearance to put the tires in the shelves.

I will include the Google Sketchup file, so you can modify the plans to meet your needs if you want to.

Step 1: What You Will Need


  • Some kind of wood cutting device : Handsaw, circular saw, radial saw ... whatever you have
  • Power drill. For screwing and pre-drill screw holes.
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Try square
  • Carpenter's glue (optional)
  • Safety gear: Gloves and glasses.


2x3 pieces:

  • 2 X 86" (Back legs)
  • 2 X 64" (Front legs)
  • 7 X 34" (6 tire supports + 1 top bar)
  • 6 X 12" (Side bars)


  • 28 X 2½ wood screws
  • 24 X 3½ wood screws

Step 2: Cut the Wood.

Cut all your pieces in advance. It will make the construction process easier.

If you plan to built the same dimension rack as I did, here's how I made the cuts in each of the eight 2x3x8' I bought :

  • #1 : 86"
  • #2 : 86"
  • #3 : 64" + 12" + 12"
  • #4 : 64" + 12" + 12"
  • #5 : 34" + 34" + 12" + 12"
  • #6 : 34" + 34"
  • #7 : 34" + 34"
  • #8 : 34"

Take extra care when you cut the 12" pieces and the 34" pieces to make sure they all have the same length. On the above pics you can see the simple fence I made to use with my miter saw.

Note : I realize that maybe it would have been cheaper if I used a combination of 8' and 10' lumber. Also I would have end up with less leftover wood. The fact is, I can only fit 8' lengths in my car. Anyway I would have save only around $1.50. And of course, the leftover wood is not a loss since I can use it on other projects.

Step 3: Assemble the Rack

I began by assembling the 2 side "walls" of the rack, then I added all the 34" tire supports. Since tires are round, I screwed all the 34" pieces at a 35° angle (see image 2) so the tires are better supported when they sit on the rack.

The distance between the 34" tire supports and the 12" side bars don't have much importance. But for the record, I used 1¾" (see image 3 for a detail view).

Obviously, the 3½" wood screws will be used to assemble all the 12" side pieces and the 4 legs of the rack, while the 2½ screws are used to fix the 34" support bars to the two assembled sides (image 4).

Notes :

  • It make the screwing process a lot easier if you pre-drill holes for the screws, using a drill bit with a slightly smaller diameter than your screws. It also prevent the wood from splitting.
  • In addition to the screws, you can also use carpenter's glue when you build the rack. It will make it even stronger.

Step 4: Final Result

Here's the completed rack, with 2 sets of tires in it.

I thought I'd have to screw the rack to the wall or to the ceiling for more safety, but I found out it is very stable as it is.

I am very pleased with the result. It was quite easy to build, cheap and it saves a lot of space in my garage.

Thank you for watching. I hope you enjoyed this project.
And don't hesitate to write comments or suggestions so I can improve and make better instructables in the future :)

Step 5: UPDATE

We used to own 3 small cars. Two Yaris and one Fiat 500. Now we changed the Fiat for a Jeep Patriot. And of course my rack is too small for the new tires. So I post this update just to remind you that the measurements in my plans are for 15" tires maximum. If you got bigger tires to store, please modify the plans accordingly.

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Question 2 years ago

Wow! This was posted, what? 5 years ago? And I just found it Oct. 9, 2020. I have a friend that just opened a used tire shop here in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has no racks. He has tires all over the place and covering 90% of the floor!!! I told him that I would make racks for him out of flat steel and angle iron and I would weld it, or build him some racks out of threaded rigid natural gas pipe and fittings. He said that he has a lot of lumber and wants to use that. I googled wood tire rack design and found this!!! I can make the rack for the 15's exactly like you have here and can alter the plans as needed for the other sizes. This is perfect!!! And exactly what I was looking for!!!
Except, I'm going to have to make a few of each size and join them together. I'd rather have 3 - 34 inch racks joined together than have one 102 inch long rack!!! I'm sure the center would crack or sag.
Thanks for the plans!!! If I build them I'll be sure to get some pictures! And after 5 years, I hope you are still around to be able to see them. Thanks a million!!! To be continued...


Answer 2 years ago

And 8 weeks later I find your comment 😂. Sorry for the delay. I'd really like to see pictures if you have some.


2 years ago

Glad I found this. I have a narrow space in my garage next to my chimney that I was storing one set of tires. Once I got a set of winter tires for our other car, I needed a way to store them. I was easily able to adapt your design for my narrower space but larger tires. Space enough for 8 tires and a shelf for the lug nuts.

tire rack.jpg

Reply 2 years ago

Nicely done. Thanks for the comment and for the picture!


Question 4 years ago on Introduction


J'ai 3 autos utilisant des roues de 16, 17 et 18 pouces. Je crois que l'espace entre les montants verticaux peut rester le même, soit 12 pouces entre les 2x4 mais que la hauteur doit être plus grande. Je crois que c'est préférable de mettre les plus gros, donc plus lourds, en bas et les plus petits en haut. Que suggérez vous comme espace entre les montants horizontaux? J'ai une petite idée mais préféré demander l'avis de ceux qui ont eu l'expérience. Je prévois utiliser les 2x4 (car mes 17 et 18 sont montés sur roues) et un angle de 30 deg. Merci


5 years ago

Your pictures, list of supplies needed and tools needed are great. I had to adjust a little for 18 inch tires but it was extremely easy to build and assemble. What an ingenious but simple idea to get your winter/summer tires neatly out of the way. Thank you for sharing your idea.


Reply 5 years ago

Hi. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad if my instructable inspired you to build one for yourself. I'd love to see a picture if you can.


7 years ago

Merci. Wonderful idea and execution, I'll have to modify the design to fit the tires and wheels I have.

Also your English for a native French speaker is very good.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for your comment and kind words..
The rack seams sturdy but I only tested it with tires alone. Not tires mounted on wheels. As it is right now, I'm sure it can support a lot more weight per shelf, but if you plan to store very large complete wheels, maybe it would be better to use 2x4s instead of 2x3s. I don't think 2x3s will break, but they might curve under the weight.
Better safe than sorry ;) And it will cost only a few dollars more.


Reply 7 years ago

I was planning on placing the wheels on the lower rack(only have one set of wheels and one set of tires), maybe adding a middle vertical brace or use 1inch angle iron for support.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Adding an angle iron should be enough for supporting the weight on the lower rack. Anyway, this morning I tried putting weight on the middle shelf and even with a considerable amount of pressure the wood didn't bent. I only heard a few cracking sounds from the screws.

BTW, if you build this rack, I'd love to see pictures if you can :)