How to Use Your Car's Luggage Rack to Transport Plywood

Introduction: How to Use Your Car's Luggage Rack to Transport Plywood

I have some projects that require full sheets of plywood once in a while. Unfortunately I don't have a good way to get it back to TechShop so I altered my luggage rack so that it can safely accommodate a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

I did this on a Ford Escape but the process should be similar for other makes and models as long as you have a luggage rack.

I made it at TechShop.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project, I used some 2x4s that I had leftover from another project. They measure 7ft long which happens to be perfect for my car.

You will also need some ratcheting tie down straps. I picked up 4 at Harbor Freight for $14.

Step 2: Cut the Wood to Fit Your Luggage Rack

Put the wood on the rack and outline where your notches must be in order to fit snugly and lock into place.

Using the bandsaw, make some relief cuts to your pencil line. Then, cut along the line to complete the notch.

Step 3: Add Your Plywood Sheet

Now, you have a flat surface for your new lumber to rest on. Put the plywood on top.

Secure the plywood by tieing it down to the luggage rack underneath. Ratchet it tight to prevent any movement while driving. Be sure to strap it down in such a way where the wind won't be able to lift it up. For this, I've run 2 straps from my front bumper to hold down the front of the plywood.

Drive carefully. No highways! Avoid long distances. Fortunately Home Depot and Lowe's are just a mile away from TechShop Detroit for me.

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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago on Step 3

    I believe the cutting can be avoided by lashing the 2 x 4 to the rack.


    5 years ago

    I still see a problem, the front edge will still lift when the vehicle moves forward at even a low speed. A length of rope or another ratchet strap attached to both bumpers (fenders) and going over the boards will help to solve the risk of lifting. Otherwise an 'ible that conforms to the KISS principle. Well done.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Very good advice. Thank you. I've updated the Instructable and included a new picture.