Before I start this article, I want to say that every woodworker I have ever met in real life or online could not be any more eager to help one of their own. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to help with a problem that needed to be addressed?
For example, take a look at this…
What is this jumble of boards all about? Well, I’m ashamed to admit it, but that is my lumber stash. All of those choice boards of oak, ash, maple, walnut and other species. Some are big rough planks just waiting to be jointed and planed while others are smaller, more perfected pieces showing off their color, grain and figure for all to see.
There are boards with outstanding figure I just HAD to buy when I saw them at my hardwood supplier. There are boards I got for free when a friend – out of the clear blue – sent me a coffin-sized box of stuff when he was clearing out an area of his professional shop. There are even pieces in there I got as birthday gifts.
I have some nice pieces of cabinet grade ply in there from old projects. Yup, there’s a big chunk of a piece of cherry veneer ply in there that cost me more than $120 per sheet here in Florida.
All of it is a mess.
Oh, this was a huge improvement over my old system…
Yup, back in those days, all I did was build a stack behind my workbench. It was all stacked back there, nearly impossible to find. And, when the old washing machine started to leak… well, the boards all got a nice soaking.
I am indeed a candidate for building some type of lumber rentention system. I will be spending some time over the next few weeks looking at lumber storage ideas to see how I can best transform my mess of a lumber pile into a clean, convenient, organized system to get at the boards. Some of my design criteria include:
- I really prefer vertical storage to horizontal. I don’t have a great deal of area around the shop to dedicate to horizontal racks… Yes, I have an 8′ ceiling, but most of my stock is in the sub 8′ range anyway…
- I have to have a way to store small stuff as well as big pieces. Many prized little chunks and splinters are in that stack… I’d like to be able to get easy access to those babies.
- The wall where the stack is now is masonry, and the space I have dedicated to lumber storage is about 8 feet.
- I need it to be cheap. Frugal. Cost-conscious. Penny-pinching. Sure, I could just dial up a few companies and order their systems off the shelf, but what fun would that be?
In the meantime, I will finally HAVE to get off my butt and get out to the lumber pile to organize it before it collapses, crushing small towns and leaving destruction in its wake.
Oh, and to all of my generous woodworking friends who would GLADLY take that wood and store it in their shops… No way, José… I could send it to you, but I’d never get it back!