Upgrading my Lumber Storage

Quite a lot of woodworking is definitely not glamorous.  As a woodworker you spend a lot of time cleaning the shop, fixing machines, arranging tools, doing paperwork, editing photos and a whole host of other jobs.  One such job has taken up my last week or so - lumber storage.

For years I had my lumber stored in a tarp shed - a bunch of metal pipes with a tarp over them.  You can buy these for a couple of hundred bucks.  It did OK, even though years ago hurricane Sandy broke its back and I've had it rather jury rigged together since.  The tarp had developed many holes, some of which good old grey tape managed to fix.  Living in the north east, we get snow and snow is a tarp shed's natural enemy.  So, every snow storm I would go out several times and knock the snow off.  If it built up, it could easily collapse the structure.  Let's not even talk about the mice, or the spiders.  The camel crickets were cool, though.

I was determined to change that this year.  The lumber was moved out onto temporary blocks. The tarp shed was taken down.  Then a nice new solid wood shed was put in it's place.  And in that shed would go a rack system for storing lumber.  Plus, the shed would have extra room for shop overflow.

Here I've started loading up the rack.  I have 9 bays, and the ability to put another layer on top (even though it would only be accessible from inside the shed).  A great thing about having several bays is that I don't have to dig far to get to a particular board.  In the old stacks, i always had to do that.  It got to the point it was easier to go buy more lumber than dig out what I needed.

This was a big project, but one I'm so happy to see nearly complete.  There is one more stack of lumber to move in.  Then, come winter, no more running out to get rid of snow.  Plus, it's totally dry.  Mice shouldn't be a problem (I'll set some traps, just in case).  And, when I get into projects, grabbing the boards I need will be ever so easy.  I may even keep my chop saw in the shed to break down board before heading into the shop (I need to pull an extension cord to do this, but that's a minor problem).

The rack is a series of 2x4s which I jointed and planed fairly flat.  It's about 6' wide, 6' tall and 8' long.  The center bay is about 26" wide with the outsides about 20" wide.  Height is 24" on the bottom, 18" in the middle, 15" on top.  It's quite sturdy.  Getting all that construction lumber flat and square was no easy job and I got something like 5 bags of shavings from the job (since we have a farm, those do get re-used as bedding, then onto the compost pile, then into the garden, then into us).  The shavings would constantly clog the planer, which was a bunch of no fun.  But, the rack went together well, is plum and level and there is very little variation across the arms.  There is room to add the top layer if I decide I want it.  I figured it was easier to add the cut outs before assembling, just in case.

So, a bit more loading of lumber and this project is done and I can get back to making puzzle boxes.  Oh, I still have to stack 2 more cords of firewood.  Fortunately, the 40 bales of hay were done last week.  It's fall on the farm, and that means just a ton of work to do.  Fortunately there's beer to help with that.  

With this job done, expect a return to making boxes!