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Easy DIY Lumber Rack from 2x4's

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

So when I began working on a plan for the tool layout of the Making Bank, I knew I needed a lumber rack. I've built several lumber racks in the past. I built a version using conduit (I saw this in a woodworking magazine, there have been several different iterations made by many different people- Jay Bates used this design as well several years ago on his Youtube channel). I had also built a version that was in another woodworking magazine that had a hinged plywood sheet goods rack that swung away from the wall. I also built a freestanding rack that had sheet good storage in the middle. I ended up giving this to my Dad a few years back when I was changing Shops. He still uses this one to this day. I knew however that I was in the mood for something different for the Making Bank.

So, I started looking for a lumber rack that I could purchase cheap… I found some, but they didn’t look very cool at all. Very utilitarian. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, I just wanted to have a rack on the wall at the Making Bank that looked a little more substantial, and a little more like furniture. This is what I came up with.

It’s made from 2x4’s that I bought at Lowes- 14 of them to be exact. So basically this lumber rack cost about 42 dollars US. Not counting stain, glue, and nails. (or screws if you so desire), plus the deck lags to mount it securely to the wall. If you’re like me though, you probably have a bunch of 2x4 pieces laying around. I only had to buy a few new ones.

The size of my lumber rack was predicated on the space I was planning to hang it in. I also wanted to be able to hang it easily, after building a new deck last year on our house, I knew just the thing to hang it up with. Deck bolts. They are awesome because they are super hardened and I was able to install them with the included bit and only my Milwaukee 12 volt impact. (yes, even I was impressed at using that combo!).

The entire build can be completed in a fairly short amount of time. A few hours start to finish, though you will want to allow time for the glue to dry before you put significant weight on the arms of the rack. One of the design features of this rack, is that you are creating a dado pocket for the arms without having to cut a dado. The weight of the lumber stored on the rack is evenly distributed between the arm, the supports above and below the arm, as well as the two side 2x4 supports. Since the entire assembly is glued and nailed together, what you have is one large integrated support that uses the entire rack to support the wood.

I started by cutting all my parts to length at the miter saw. You could use a circular saw or another method, but I’ve found that for speed with repetitious cuts, nothing beats using a miter saw with a stop block. After cutting all my parts to length, I cut angles on all the long side pieces, the lumber rack arms, and on all the top short pieces.

Then it was on to the glue up. I cut a spacer block for the bottom of the lumber rack sides, to keep the sides consistent. I used this block to lay out the spacing. When I was comfortable with the fit, I moved on to the glue. I used a roller to roll on original titebond on all my parts. Making sure to check the arms with a square before attaching the sides with my framing nailer. I used the the nailer mainly for speed. You could definitely use screws or pin them with dowels (this was my original plan but I became impatient)

After the glue dried, I applied the stain. When the stain was dry, it was time to hang up my new lumber rack! It turned out even better than I had originally hoped, and it looks very at home being installed on the wall of what had been for more than 100 years, a bank. I have fairly high walls in the Making Bank, I think they are around 11.5 feet- so I installed my rack so that I actually need a ladder to reach the top two “shelves” of lumber This works well though for lumber that I’m storing but not needing just yet.

If you decide to make a version of this lumber rack, let me know, and send me a picture, I’d love to see it!!

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