Something I have been lacking for a long time is my shop is lumber storage. Being that my space is very limited I opted to come up with a configurable storage solution that can be redesigned based on my needs. When contemplating my options I learned about a method of hanging shop organizers using the french cleat method. This lead me to come up with this project and implement it in my workshop. It’s completely customizable lumber rack that can be reconfigured to meet anyone’s needs in the area of storage. Its remarkably strong for what it is made out of and it has proven very useful in the battle to organize my shop and improve my workflow. If your looking for a lumber storage solution with the characteristics that I have described then stay tuned. Continue reading for a full written tutorial or watch the video above and see me make it from start to finish. You can also shoot over to my YouTube channel and watch it there and when your finished take a look at some of my other videos as well. Thanks again for watching or reading and I hope you enjoy.
The first thing I tackled was cutting all the strips that made up the French cleat wall. I went to my local home store and picked up some dimensional 1 x 3’s and cut them down the center using my table saw. The accuracy of the 45-degree angle doesn’t matter too much but the closer the better. If your off by more than a degree or two I would suggest re-cutting the strips. A great tool to have in your shop for setting your table saw blade to various angles is a digital angle gauge. The tool brand Wixey makes a good quality and relatively inexpensive one. I would avoid harbor freight knock offs because they tend to not be very reliable.
After cutting several strips, more than I needed, I moved on to cutting the blanks for the French cleat brackets. These brackets are what the lumber will sit on when the project is assembled and in use. They are again made from dimensional lumber but this time I am using kiln dried 1 x 8’s. It’s crucial that you purchase kiln dried dimensional lumber because it is immensely more stable than green lumber and less likely to move drastically on you as it acclimates to your workshop environment. At the end of this article I will post a few recommendations that I have for future builders of this project that will greatly improve its stability and functionality.
With the blanks made I decided to make a template I could use to trace the shape of the brackets onto each blank. This greatly increased the speed at which I finished this project and ensured the uniformity of each brackets. I used a ¼” piece of MDF to make the template and use my band saw to cut it out. With the shape roughed out I then refine it using my Oscillating Spindle Sander.
With the shape finished I went to work tracing it onto each blank. I simply used a pencil to accomplished this task.
With the tracing finished I moved back to the band saw and started roughing out each bracket. This took a long time and was very repetitive. I wish there was an easier way to knock this portion of the project out but unfortunately there isn’t. I finish the brackets at the spindle sander like I did previously with the template.
Just for ascetics I put a ¼” round-over profile on the edges of each bracket using my router table. Feel free to skip this part if you’re not interested in how the brackets look.
With all the woodworking finished it was time to put up the angled strips that I cut earlier in this project on the table saw. I use a level and interior construction screws to attach the strips to my wall making sure that at least two of the screws were sunk directly into studs. To get even spacing I use some scrap cutoffs I had laying around and placed them temporarily between each strip until I had it secured. I believe each strip was placed 8” apart but spacing is really up to you and the needs you have for lumber storage.
I mentioned earlier that I would talk about a few suggestions I had for anyone who is deciding on building this project for themselves. First off make everything out of plywood! There was a lot of concern after posting this video on YouTube that that end grain is fragile and should be utilized in the way I did when making the brackets. There is no end grain per say when using plywood so it will eliminate that as an issue. Secondly, plywood has little to no movement and dimensional, even kiln dried, will move on you. Several of the brackets I made had a mild cupping issue after several months of sitting on my shop wall. You won’t have this issue either when using plywood. I never had any failures regarding this lumber rack and found that although flawed it performed well based on how I was using it. I hope that you found this article useful and if you have any questions please feel free to email or comment here or on my YouTube channel and I will answer all of them. Thanks for reading and I invite you to like, comment, or subscribe to my channel on YouTube.