Keeping Wood High and Dry

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Lumber needs to be cared for and not stored in areas of high moisture or high traffic. Leaning beams and slats against a wall or in a corner won’t do. The easiest solutions are ceiling slings or wall racks that will keep your wood out of the way and in good shape.


In areas where ceiling joists are exposed, lumber can be stored using two U-shaped ceiling slings spaced about 4 feet apart. The slings are constructed with 2×4’s bolted together. The two 2-foot long vertical pieces are fastened with lag bolts against the face of a joist. The vertical pieces are 3 to 4 feet apart and joined at the bottom by a horizontal piece that’s secured with machine bolts.
If the ceiling joists are hidden the lumber can be stored in a frame that has a 2×4 top plate set flat against the ceiling and perpendicular to the joists, and lag bolted to each joist
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Wall racks are another great option and in some cases the lumber is a bit more accessible. Wall racks require 2×6’s and are fastened to joists using machine bolts. You should use three brackets to support the lumber that consist of a horizontal 2×4, 3 feet long, bolted at one end to a vertical 2×6 and at the other end to a diagonal 2×4 that is 5 1/4 feet long that extends upward from the vertical support at a 45 degree angle. Each diagonal brace is bolted to its vertical support through a 2×4 spacer block and overlaps the end of the horizontal 2×4 by 1 foot to prevent the lumber from slipping off.
If your workshop has exposed studs these racks can be installed directly on the studs. You can also nail plywood strips directly across the exposed studs to create vertical storage for dowels, moldings, and other thin scraps.

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Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.