Building a wood storage rack above my garage door

During the COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve taken up a new hobby/skill in woodworking. Now I’ve found myself collecting some common lumber ready for if I suddenly want to undertake a project, as well as off-cuts from previous projects. Trouble is, I don’t have much room to store it, not to mention that lumber can be hard to store neatly.

That’s where my new wood storage rack comes in.

I’ve been meaning to make more use of the ceiling in my garage for storing some larger, less-commonly-used items. I decided that lumber fits into this category perfectly. So, I did a bit of research to get some inspiration for how to help build some storage that I could use to keep my lumber at bay and I found surprisingly little information about people using the garage ceilings for this use.

With some of the ideas that I found online, I came up with a plan that worked for my space. I wanted to use the space above the garage door, which in my garage only provided about 11 inches of clearance between the ceiling and the garage door. When you’re measuring your own space, if it’s going to be above the garage door, make sure you operate the garage door. When it lifts, it comes up higher than either its open or closed position.

Then after finding the studs in the ceiling, I came up with some sizes that worked for me. I built three main supports that spanned 3 rafters for a width of about 48″, and spaced them about 42″ apart.

The great thing with this design is that it has an “upper level” for full length lumber (8′ in my case – that’s all that I can fit in my car) and then a “lower level” for smaller off-cuts that rest on runners between the main supports.

Since my garage doesn’t get stupidly humid, I decided to use untreated douglas fir for my rack. The main support is constructed of a horizontal 2×6, with perpendicular 2x4s running up to the ceiling. At the connection between the 2x4x and the 2×6, I used wood glue and (5) 3″ screws at each connection. I then supported those from the ceiling with some 5″ corner braces.

Between the main supports, I ran some 2x2s, spaced at about 14″ (4 evenly spaced across the main supports), and secured them in place with wood glue and some smaller (2-1/2″) flat corner braces.

It’s really doing the trick for me. It’s nice to have my lumber orderly, up and out of the way, and out of the rain.

I sketched up my plans before I got into building it, however I will point out that I made a couple of changes between my plans and the final product. I was initially planning on using 2x4s as supports between the main supports, but ultimately decided that 2x2s were sufficient. I also offset those runners inside the 2×4 vertical supports for ease of attachment, so the plans aren’t quite representative of the final product, but they should give you an idea.

By Dave

Dave is the proud father of Ellie and Jack. There's nothing that makes him happier than spending time with his incredible wife and their amazing children. He's a civil/mechanical engineer and he also builds and maintains WordPress websites.

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