Intro: Build a Lumber Storage Rack Out of Fencing Scraps
Here's how to use old pieces of fence post to create an a-frame lumber storage rack, holding lots of material in a small amount of floor space. This is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying a commercial lumber-storage doohickey (here's the $140-ish unit i based my design off of).
Step 1: Pick / Refine Your Design
having frequently been frustrated from my lack of planning in projects, i decided to try a bit more planning. the picture below is what i ended up with, vaguely to scale thanks to trusty graphing paper. doing this made my project turn out substantially better (and get completed quicker) than it otherwise would have: a bit of planning goes a long way, apparently!
Step 2: Salvage Materials, Gather Tools
i'm a big fan of building out of garbage: who cares if you build 10 beta versions before getting it right if all your materials were bound for the dump?:) because i had a bunch of old galvanized tubing from a chain link fence i tore down sitting around, this became the material used for my lumber rack.
for tools, my main instruments were:
-circular saw with cut-off wheel
-marker, or something else with which to mark pipe
-welder (battery-based will do finely; I used a flux-core, 175-amp setup) and associated safety gears
Step 3: Cut Vertical Supports
this is the part you want to get accurate, or at least approximately equally inaccurate. your vertical supports are the outsides of the 'a,' and you'll want 4 of them (2 per end). via the wonders of high-school geometry, you can calculate the length of these based on desired frame height and width (length of vertical support = sqrt ((desired height)2 + (.5*desired width)2).
Step 4: Add Horizontals
Join your verticals together at the top of the 'A' as well as with each of your horizontal supports. exact length isn't important on these: just make them big enough to stick out past the verticals on each side of the A enough so you'll have room to store lots of stuff. experiment on some other scrap with power settings on the welder; for me, power of b and feed rate of 4 seemed to work well.
Step 5: Cross-brace, Reinforce, and Stop Slippage
3 other types of pieces are added:
1. cross-braces: running between your 2 A's, these pieces make the A's stand up into a lumber-holding structure. I welded 1 piece straight across the top and 2 diagonally near the middle of the A's.
2. reinforcements: just a couple of inches of fencing pounded flat, these pieces let me make stronger connections between the A and the horizontal support at its base
3. slippage stoppers: ~6-inch sections of tubing welded vertically to outside of horizontals keeps material you're storing from rolling off.
Step 6: Strength Test, Load It Up...
I got really sophisticated with my strength testing. Or not: knowing I'd be storing metal pipe at most, I bounced up and down on each horizontal support. force equaling mass times accelaration, I'm now comfortable with at least a couple hundred pounds of static force per shelf.
Load it up with all the (s)crap lumber you can find ; consolidate from your yard, and revel in your newfound organizational capacity:)