It only takes a few projects to amass enough wood to wonder where you should store it. And that’s where a lumber rack comes into play. By preventing your lumber from warping, twisting and picking up moisture you’ll save more than the rack itself costs.
For any home workshop there are few options for storing lumber. While it’s tempting to take a bunch of room off your floor and put in a large lumber rack it’s just not practical. But a wall lumber rack is a practical, inexpensive and scalable solution for all sorts of wood.
And wood is expensive.
Heck, I’ve paid almost $75 for some 6/4 Walnut hardwood boards. What’s $50 for a good lumber rack*?
|Model||Rating||Key Features||Shop Amazon|
|Bora Portamate||4.7||Six shelves, 600 total pound storage||Check Price|
|KASTFORCE KF1004||4.5||Most economical with three shelves and just 17″ of vertical height||Check Price|
|Home Master||4.1||Great for small spaces or customizing shelves for long lumber||Check Price|
Lumber Rack Guide
Bora Portamate Six Level Wood Storage Rack
Editors Choice for Lumber Racks
The Bora Portamate* features 6 levels of storage and 600 pounds of capacity in a 41″ high rack with 12-1/2″ deep shelves.
For multi-level storage a six level rack will support both large quantities of lumber and separation of multiple species.
A couple of considerations in a rack like this (which I own):
- At 41″ tall you can buy two and have a floor-to-ceiling rack.
- For longer boards or to have more center support simply buy two.
- More shelves enables better distribution of weight and easier access
Why a DIY-lumber rack isn't my choice
Sure, you can build your own lumber rack.
But why invest the time and materials in something that is readily available in a pre-built, steel offering?
Unless you’re a welder, a wooden rack will typically hold less weight and likely rival the cost of a purchased unit.
And by stacking pre-built racks you can customize their height. Or for longer lumber you can simply add more to customize a wall lumber rack.
Frequently Asked Questions for a Lumber Rack
Can you store plywood in a lumber rack?
While it’s important to store plywood off the floor, the options are fewer on storage. Unless you go with a wheeled steel panel truck like this Little Giant with 1000# capacity*.
Personally, I store my plywood on a couple of 12″ long 2×4’s as my stock is generally low.
How do you keep lumber from warping?
There’s two answers to this, really.
First, for quality hardwood the secret is flat storage in a low humidity environment. Since it should be kiln-dried to prepare the wood for cabinetry and other projects a hardwood will withstand humidity variations well.
But for rough lumber like 2×4’s it’s a little trickier. Keeping this lumber straight involves:
- Flat storage
- Use stickers/lathe to allow the wood to evenly air dry
- Turn the top row of the lumber frequently (and put a 1/4″ sheet of plywood on it)
If using lathe isn’t an option, stack it tight and straight and cover the top. This will prevent the top row from drying faster on the outside surface.
How can you tell if wood is dry?
Either before your wood is stored, or after a period of storage, you may want to know if it’s dried.
While kiln dried wood is generally stable and doesn’t accumulate moisture, if it’s stored in the wrong environment it can wreak havoc with it.
With a wood moisture meter, like the pinless Dr.Meter*, you’ll be able to get an accurate read on the moisture content. And you can use these meters while buying hardwood to find the moisture content.
What is a lumber rack?
A lumber rack is a heavy duty storage system for holding large quantities of lumber in an organized rack. Due to the weight of wood a lumber rack is best made from steel and typically fastened securely to a wall with lag bolts.