DIY Outdoor Lumber Rack for Tight Spaces, Part 1


Hey Everybody, I’m Tommy. Today’s video
is going to be part one of how I built my outdoor lumber storage shed. That is compact
enough to fit inside a very narrow side yard, yet it is long enough to let you store full
8’ length pieces of material while giving you lots of options for organizing and storing
smaller pieces as well. Whether it’s your first time here, or even if you’ve been
here before, welcome to One Minute Workbench! I have a very narrow side yard on one side
of my house, and a few years ago, I built a lumber rack on that side. Over the years,
I’ve seen the shortcomings of my original design. The original design was just basically a few
wide shelves that would get covered with a tarp. The problem with a few wide shelves is that
you end up stacking material so deep that it’s difficult to even know what’s on
the rack, let alone access it. Having it so wide also makes it difficult
to walk around, and that makes it difficult to add or remove material. The problem with using a tarp to protect the
lumber is that plastic tarps, even the more expensive ones, with higher UV ratings tend
to break down very quickly when exposed to he sun. So a lot of your lumber gets wrecked
in just a few months time. With the relatively poor performance of the
first lumber rack in mind, I set out to design a new one that would be better in every possible
way, and I wanted to look nice as well. So the main criteria for building a new lumber
rack was: #1. It needed to hold the lumber in a very
organized, and easily accessible way. #2. It needed to shield the lumber 100% from
the sun and rain. #3. It needed to be very strong, and built
with materials that would last a very long time when exposed directly to the elements. So I came up with this design. The only problem
with this design was that in order to have a rack this narrow, yet long enough to hold
full length pieces of lumber, was that building doors for it would be more difficult. Now, you could say that you could easily add
a small door at one end of the rack. While that method would work for longer pieces
of lumber, it would not work very well for storing or accessing shorter pieces of lumber. That said, to close up the main opening, I
decided to use a heavy duty cotton canvas. This would provide an easy way to cover the
opening, without having to worry about it shedding plastic particles. This is an extremely easy project as far as
cutting goes. Almost all the cuts are just simple straight
cuts on everyday stock like 2x4s, 2x6s, and plywood. There are some angled cuts, however, they’re
also very simple because they don’t actually need to perfect. As long as they’re pretty
close, they’ll be okay. With my 2x4s and 2x6s cut to size, I started
cutting the plywood panels. I used OSB for this project because it’s
dirt cheap. A full sheet of OSB only cost about ten dollars. Some people will tell you that you can’t
use OSB for an exterior application, however, that’s not actually true. OSB is rated for
exterior use, as long as it is thoroughly painted with an approved exterior grade paint. When I was done cutting the plywood, I started
working on a jig to help me drill holes at an angle. This is to hold pieces of conduit
that will hold the lumber, and all this will make more sense in just a little bit here. To build the jig, I just used some small scraps
I had on hand, and didn’t actually have to make any new cuts at all. I built the jig using screws instead of glue
so it would go together faster, and in case something didn’t work out right, I’d be
able to easily disassemble it. The most important aspect of this jig is that
it would be perfectly square so that all the angled holes I drilled will be oriented perfectly
inline with the center of each board. Since I was going to be drilling holes in
2x6s, I used a scrap piece of 2×6 to test out the jig. I took my time clamping the jig to the drill
press and setting the depth so that the holes would be deep enough to securely hold each
piece of conduit, but not too deep, that way the boards would maintain their structural
integrity. Everything was looking good on the test piece,
so I moved forward with drilling the rest of the holes. I drew my marks as precisely as I could on
each board so that the pieces of conduit would align as perfectly with each other as possible. Again, the jig helps drill these holes at
a slight angle, and that’s just to ensure the pieces of lumber that are stored on the
rack won’t slip off easily. I drilled many of the holes just using the
jig to hold the board in place, but near the end of each board I needed to use clamps to
counteract the leverage produced by the length of the board extending so far off the drill
press table. Drilling the holes was pretty much the last
cutting task for all of the pieces of lumber on the job. I had all of my pieces of plywood cut to size
and shape, and as well I had all of my 2x4s and 2x6s cut to they specified lengths. It was now time to start building the main
frames of the shed. I needed to build the base, the back wall, and the side walls. To help me build these frames, I started laying
out marks where the upright studs would be located. I then transferred those marks all the around
each board so that no matter which side of the board was visible, I’d always know where
each stud was supposed to be located. I then used a crayon to draw a big red “X”
at each stud location so the marks would be easier to see. I used a framing nailer to build these frames,
but if you don’t have a framing nailer, using a good old fashion hammer wouldn’t
actually be too bad. This is a pretty small project from a framing perspective, and could
still be done pretty quickly with an old fashioned approach. After building the base frame, I built the
two side walls, and then moved on to the back wall, which is the part that will actually
hold the lumber. If you build one of these, make sure you install
the boards so that the angle of the holes are all going in the same direction, and will
hold the lumber slightly tilted upwards. I decided to pre-paint all of the components
of the shed in my garage before moving outside. This just makes it faster and easier to paint,
without having to worry about the wind blowing drop cloths around or spilling paint outside. I’ll still have to come back and touch up
the paint after the shed is built, but it’ll be much easier with the bulk of the painting
already done. Another reason to paint inside is that the
OSB needs to be very thoroughly painted all the way around if I want it to last in this
exterior application. As you see here, I’m adding the floor to
the base of the shed. I made sure to square up the corners before nailing the floor of
the shed in place. The plywood is actually what keeps the frames square. This is true
for the floor and all of the walls. You may also notice that the top side isn’t
painted yet. We’ll come back to why this is the case a little later on in part 2. I had specific color scheme in mind, and for
some the pieces that weren’t going to be visible, I just used whatever color paint
I had on hand that was of a good exterior grade. You’ll see how these colors all play out
during the construction of the shed. With all of the paint drying, I started working
on removing the old lumber rack, and preparing the area for the new shed. The old lumber rack put up a good fight, but
not anything my old framing hammer couldn’t take care of. With the old rack out of the way, I brought
in the blocks that the new one would sit on. I measured out the area, and started setting
the blocks in place. I just worked the ground beneath each one to make sure it was level
with itself, and then used my level in combination with a 5’ straight edge to make sure the
blocks were all level with each other. I could have tied off some string to set the
level of these blocks, but it was a small enough job that it could be done pretty quickly
just using the straight edge method. I was pretty much prepped for the final construction
on this project, and that will be the subject of the second video. As you can see from this animation, in the
second video, I’m basically just going to put together those prebuilt frames, add the
plywood, the roof, some decorative trim, the lumber supports, and then finally, the canvass. Again, be sure to check out part 2 to see
how it all comes together. Hey, thanks for watching! I really hope you
enjoyed this first part. If you haven’t already, be sure to like
and subscribe, and make sure you hit the bell icon so you get notified every time there’s
a new episode. I’d love to hear what you think in the comment
section below, and if you have any quick questions you want answered, hit me up on Instagram,
Facebook, or Twitter. And until the next time I see you, I hope you have fun building something!

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