How to build a DIY wood rack …
This may come as a shock…but we ❤️ DIY projects here. And part of the deal, when you’re a DIY buff, is that you end up with a lot of tools. Plus all kinds of scrap wood, molding, and lumber of various sorts. And all that stuff needs to be stored somewhere.
Luckily, we have a garage, which is a big help for the wood storage issue. But before we built this easy DIY wood rack, the wood just kind of stacked up in a corner haphazardly. And that made it next to impossible to actually find any of the lumber you may need.
9 times out of 10, that meant that you’d end up buying more wood. And that is expensive. Not to mention the fact that you’d end up with even MORE scraps to store. It was a vicious cycle, I’ll tell you.
But we finally have broken that cycle. And the best part is that we solved our problems in just one afternoon, for the cost of a couple of 2×4’s and some wooden dowels.
Besides the low cost for materials, there are two things about this wood rack that make it a FANTASTIC option for storing wood:
1. This wood rack stores lumber vertically instead of horizontally.
This design saves a TON of usable square footage in the garage. Instead of taking up half of one of our car bays, we can sequester the wood into one small corner.
2. This wood rack is completely adjustable.
Yep. This wood rack can adjust to fit any size of wood, from the shortest sections to those as high as your ceiling. All one has to do is move the dowels on the vertical 2×4 posts up and down to wherever the support is needed. You just pull out a dowel, and slip it back into the post at the desired height!
So let’s build you a wood rack of your own! Here’s how…
Quick DIY wood rack video overview:
Supplies needed for DIY wood rack:
- 2×4’s (We used (3) at 8′ each)
- 3/4″ wood dowels (we used 12 purchased in 4′ lengths)
- drill press (if possible)
- 2-1/2” wood screws
- 13/16” “spade” drill bit
- screw gun
- saw (we used our chop saw)
- tape measure
How to build a DIY wood rack step by step:
1. Make your plan.
This is the most important step. Figure out how much wood you have that needs to be stored, and decide how you want it organized. I had a pile of old wood that was gathering dust in the corner, so I ended up throwing a bunch of it out. Then, looking at what I had left, I decided to build 3 vertical racks to hold the current material I had and also to leave room for some new material.
2. Use a drill press to create holes every 12″ in 2×4’s.
With the goal of maximizing the flexibility of this system to accommodate all different sizes of wood material, I decided to drill holes for dowels in the 2×4’s ever 12″. Because you will be inserting 16″ long dowels into these spaces, using a drill press if fairly important.
The drill press ensures that the holes will be drilled completely straight. You could certainly use a regular hand-held drill, but just know that it will be really difficult to drill the holes straight enough so that you won’t see dowels sitting at slightly odd angles along the height of the 2×4. But hey, it doesn’t have to be pretty, right?
So if you don’t own or have access to a friend or neighbor’s drill press, using a regular drill with a spade bit won’t be the end of the world. It will function the same whether the dowels are totally straight, or slightly wonky.
And, as with most things, there’s probably some YouTube video out there about setting up some type of jig to get these holes straight using a hand-held drill.
I used a 13/16” spade bit and drilled the holes on the 2” side of the 2×4 with the drill press. We went to a depth of 2-3/4” drilling holes every 12″.
**NOTE: Don’t do what we did…save yourself some time and frustration!** We initially drilled holes using a 3/4″ bit, since that is the size of the dowel. BUT, when we tried to put the dowel into the 2×4, then remove it, the dowel didn’t want to budge…so by making the holes just the slightest bit larger than the dowels, this will allow the dowels to be removed and the positions of them changed…but the holes are not so large that the dowels slip out of the 2×4.
3. Attach 2×4’s to the wall.
I spaced my 2×4’s 12” apart, but you can make this dimension whatever works for you. In our garage where we were placing our vertical wood storage rack, we happened to have an old piece of 1/2” plywood on the wall, so we used that to screw our 2×4’s to. Now if we didn’t have that, we would have had to use some type of anchors in the drywall to attach the 2×4’s to the wall.
We used 2-1/2” screws and inserted them into the dowel holes we made in Step 2. We then screwed through the back of the hole and attached it to the 1/2” plywood.
I only used 2 screws per 2×4 as these are not supporting much weight at all. Just remember to use a level to ensure you install the 2×4’s nice and straight.
4. Cut dowels.
The 3/4” dowels we bought came in lengths of 4’. We used the chop saw to cut them down to 16” each, yielding a total of (4) 16” sections from each piece.
With all the dowels cut you can go ahead and place them in the holes. Space them out evenly at first.
Once you see how your material starts to fit in the vertical rack, you can adjust the dowels as needed.
I’m LOVING this wood rack. Sure has made a big change in our garage. Our wood is no longer just shoved haphazardly in a corner. I have it separated by size and type…molding in one bay, etc.
For the little time this project takes to complete, the tiny footprint it utilizes in the garage, and the low cost to put it together, this DIY wood rack is one of my favorite DIY projects we’ve completed in the recent past.
If you’re on the hunt for more storage and organizing ideas for your home, be sure to check these ideas out, too!
Pin this post for later! And if you make one, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this project, too!
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Love the project. You know if you use gal pipe up the top instead of wood dowels, you could make a rack that’s both vertical and horizontal!
Love that idea, Pete!
We made it! The prep took longer than the build and one of the 2×4’s was being a booger to drill but it is done. We stacked them against the wall just because there turned out to be a lot more planks than I anticipated and that is only part of my lumber pile but they are now organized by width making them easier to access. (It won’t let me post a picture)
That’s awesome! I’d love to see it! You can email a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org, or attach one to a Pinterest pin!