My wife and I recently moved into a new property lacking a garage or shed, and my initial plans of using the spare bedroom for storage of my boards and sails were not well received.
I wanted to build something like the board racking i've seen elsewhere online, like the nice examples here, with the additional need for it to be dry, secure and free standing. Aside from holding my boards and sails, I also wanted somewhere to hang my wetsuits and harness. The storage needed to be thin enough to be tucked away, but well built and tidy, and I wanted be able to ventilate it well so that wet gear does not get stale.
- 2.9 m long
- 1.7 m high at front
- 1.6 m high at the back
- 0.9 m depth
- Frame 38mmx89mmx3600mm (or 2' by 4' by 12ft) x 9 lengths of treated pine
- Supports 38mmx38mmx3600mm (or 2' by 2' by 12ft) x 3 lengths of treated pine
- Sheeting 2440mmx1220mmx18mm (or 8ft by 4ft by 0.7') construction ply
- Roofing felt
- Screws screws (30mm to 1000mm), nails, felt tacks
- Right angle brackets x 16
- Shiplap cladding treated
Step 1: Building the Frames
The first thing to do is to build two rectangular frames from the 2' by 4' timbers. The front and back frames are identical, except that the front frame is 1.7m high and the back frame is lower in height at 1.6m to give a slope to the roof. Each frame is 2.9m long.
I designed most of the joints of the structure to be interlocking and later drove screws through the joint to fix in place. You may deem this step to be over-engineering, but it does allow the structure to better lock together.
Ensure that the frames are kept square by screwing the right angle brackets onto the inside surface. I would also suggest using offcuts to bridge the corners once you have each corner exactly square so that you can keep it fixed until the end of construction. On the images for the next step, you can see how these offcuts have been used.
Put your two frames aside and double check that all corners form exact right-angles.
Step 2: Assembling the Frames
2' by 4' timbers have been cut into 0.9m lengths to fix the two frames together and provide a depth to the structure. I used right-angle brackets for this, but it was necessary to keep the structure squared up using some timber offcuts.
0.9m sections are also used to provide support for the roof, and floor.
You will notice in the image of the assembled frame, that the back face of the frame has two vertical supports which are set 2ft from the centre line of the length. These have several purposes. Firstly they provide a joint so that the centre back plywood board does not need to be cut in width (stays 4ft wide) and the neighbouring backing sections can all screw into these vertical pieces. Secondly, they support the load of the roof over the full 2.9m span. Thirdly, they will form part of the internal fixings so that we have a strong weight-bearing frame to take the load of the suspended boards and sails.
The back is formed from three sheets of the 18 mm ply. Using clamps, fix the centre board into position first, oriented it long-side up. It should not need to be cut along it's width, you should only need to trim the height. With it clamped into position, score the line to cut along before taking it down for cutting. Keep all the ply off-cuts they will be required later.
Step 3: Roof
Use the 2' by 2' timbers to support the front-face of the structure. These are set to be opposite the back supports already in place. I used right-angle brackets to fix these into place.
Boarding the roof
Use two more of the 8ft by 4ft ply sheets to form a roof. The boards should be oriented with their long side along the length of the structure. Remember to keep the offcuts as both sheets will need to be trimmed to get them to fit. Leave an overhang of about 2' around the back, front and sides of the roof to provide a drip run-off, and to allow you to pin the felt to the underside of the boards. Once the roof ply has been cut drive some 50mm screws down through the ply and into the roof support timbers.
By now the structure was strong enough for me to stand on the roof, which was useful for felting the roof.
Carefully measure and cut two lengths of felt. Cutting it too long is OK, as you can trim it before tacking it into place with scissors, but be very careful not to rip it during the process. Put the back piece of felt on first and tack it into place. Then do the front. I also put taking pins through the overlap along the felt line.
Step 4: Doors and Flooring and Cladding
I built this to have two doors so that I could get a through-draft on a dry day to air the contents nicely. We built the doors from scratch using cladding in a vertical orientation. The image shows the interior of one of the doors after it had been hung. Building the doors and fitting them exactly was the most difficult step. At a greater expense, but at a great time saving, you can buy pre-made doors of this type. We also added internal locks to the doors and galvanised handles to the exterior.
Using the remaining plywood offcuts, build a floor out of three of the larger sections. The floor has plenty of strength owing to the cross piece timbers already in place. Screw the floor pieces into place. I used a small number of 30mm screws for this.
Clad the remainder of the structure. Get hold of the correct nails for this and ensure that the cladding timbers are carefully measured before cutting. You may wish to apply an additional coat of wood stain to protect and decorate as a final step.
Step 5: Add Racking
The racking I built is simple. I used the two inner vertical sections to span some planed pine sections. I measured from the bottom of the floor 0.5m to my first rack to leave space for heavy items. Each rack is subsequently spaced 0.25m from the next as we go up. The spare space in the roof provides a good location to store sails and booms.