Storage Rack For Sheet Materials (Plywood, OSB, MDF, Chipboard, Melamine etc)
Submitted by Keith on Saturday 17/03/2018
In this video I'm going to build a sheet materials storage rack to hold all my plywood, OSB, melamine, chipboard and MDF.
I've already done a 3D drawing using SketchUp to design what I want to make. I designed the rack to be as compact as possible but also have the ability to hold a full 8ft by 4ft sheet. It's not often I use full sheets, because most of my work is with reclaimed materials but I still want the ability to be able to store them.
I based the dimensions for my rack to fit insie an alcove in my storage lock up, but if you want to build one, it'd be pretty simple to make it longer or shorter based on your own space requirements.
I first started working on the frame and for this I'd use some reclaimed 3 by 2s, these measure 38mm x 63mm and these are cheap to buy - usually aroud £3 here in the UK per 2.4m length, but as the stuff I'm using is reclaimed the lengths of the pieces I had varied. So I started by measuring each piece and writing the dimensions at the end to help me plan how to make the most out of the lengths that I had based on the measurements from my drawing
I'd start by making the back panel. I set u a stop block at the length that I wanted my rack to be, and cut two pieces with the mitre saw. These would be the horizontal pieces.
And then I cut 4 pieces at 1200mm for the vertical pieces.
So ordinarily for this sort of project I'd use some screws and my impact driver to assemble, but as I now have a Hitachi framing nailer and I wanted an excuse to try it out, this seemed like a great opportunity to use it.
I applied wood glue, and started to assemble, first adding a vertical piece to each end of one of the horizontal pieces. I used a speed square to keep everything square.
Then I turned it over and added another horizontal piece form a rectangle.
I measured the internal dimensions of the horizontal piece which was 1350mm and dividing that by 3 gave me the spacing for the 2 vertical pieces to equally space them out.
I made some marks 450mm in from each side and then I could centre the uprights to those marks just by eye, and glue and nail them in place.
That was the back panel finished and I took it out to the garden just to free up some space in the workshop.
If I was making this rack using newly purchased wood, I would make the whole thing using 3 by 2s or 63mm x 38mm lengths to be more precise and that would be as per the 3d drawing I was working to. But if you've been watching my channel for a while you'll know by now that I don't like buying new wood especially when I can make use of stuff that I have already.
At this point I didn't have enough 3 by 2s to make both the bottom panel and the 45 degree braces that needed to be added later. I did however have a piece of spruce - which is the same construction timber as the 3 by 2s - so I decided to use that. I also decided that the framing for the bottom panel didn't need to be as thick as 38mm x 63mm, so to get more out of the piece that I had, I ripped it in to 38mm square lengths using the tablesaw.
Then I cut all the 38mm square pieces to length on the mitresaw based on the dimensions from the drawing.
The frame for the bottom panel got assembled in exactly the same way as the back panel I could use the same spacing again too for the two pieces evenly spaced in the centre.
At one point the nailer stopped firing nails and I just couldn't get it to work. And then I realised that I was an idiot, and the nails needed replenishing!
The bottom panel needed to be cladded, as it would basically be a shelf to support various sizes of sheet materials. Rather than using up anything decent, I decided to instead use three pieces of melamine reclaimed from an old wardrobe I found in the streets. Two wardrobe doors, and a side panel to be more accurate.
These were almost the perfect size, I just needed to remove the door handles and hinges.
And then I could position them starting with one piece flush to one corner and fasten them down using some drywall screws. I didn't bother using glue here as the wood glue probably wouldn't adhere to the plastic coating on the melamine very well, and it wasn't really necessary anyway, the screws would do the job just fine.
Once all three pieces were secured, I just needed to trim off the excess so after marking up a couple of cut lines with a Sharpie, I used my circular saw to make the cuts.
I also had a spare pair of castors, so I decided to add them to the underside of the bottom panel to make the rack mobile, which I'm sure will come in useful at some point in the future.
Now that the back and bottom panels were done, all that was left to cut was the 45 degree braces that would really help to make the rack nice and rigid.
I used the last pieces of 3 by 2 for this, and cut the 45 degree ends at the mitre saw based on the dimensions from my drawing.
Then I took all the parts over to my storage lock up ready for the final assembly.
Both the bottom and back panels fitted snugly inside the alcove which was great - glad I got those measurements correct.
I first added some long 70mm screws through the bottom of the back panel in to the frame of the bottom panel.
And then I could add the 45 degree braces. I used glue and nails to fasten the ends which joined to the back panel. And for the other ends I used screws instead of nails, because I wasn't sure if the melamine would break in to pieces if I were to fire through some nails.
Once the rack was in place I could sort my random assortment of mostly salvaged sheet materials on to the rack. I get a lot of questions about where I get wood from, and the best answer I have is to watch the video on my channel called "How to get wood for free or cheap" from around a year and a half ago, as that basically explains where I get most of it. I'll leave a link to that in the description box below if you're interested in checking it out.
I mentioned at the start of this video that I designed this rack so that it would be able to hold a full 8ft x 4ft sheet, but when I installed the rack I found that I didn't really have enough height in my lock up to be able to store 8ft lengths the way that I had intended anyway. But no big deal, and some of the pieces I have were thin enough that they sat inbetween the roof rafters anyway.
So here's the rack before and after all my sheet materials had been organised.
I'm really pleased with how this project turned out - the rack has helped me to store my sheet materials really efficiently in a small amount of floor space meaning I can use the space free'd up in my lock up for other things.
This project took around 4-5 hours to complete so it was nice and quick, the framing nailer definitely helped to speed things up a bit but this could have easily been built with screws instead - I really just wanted to have a play with my new toy!
I've also made a video about my first impressions of the framing nailer, so check that out if you're interested.
Thanks for watching!