Monday, January 20, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

SPAX screws are your friend.
So, my Christmas vacation ended, and I'm now back to the daily grind. Shop time is now at a premium, so when an opportunity arose last weekend to make some sawdust, I jumped at it. The only problem was that I'd only have a couple of hours. What to do?

Should I continue with The Workbench? I'm now at the point of assembling the base, but once I begin that, I can't stop. I didn't relish the idea of starting that process and screwing it up because I was rushing. I decided I needed to do something else with my small amount of shop time.

Naturally, I bit off more than I could chew and settled on installing a lumber rack.

Now this project has been on my to-do list for some time -- even when we lived in our old house, I had wanted to put one up. Now, though, with a significantly larger lumber stash, my shop floor was becoming a mess (not to mention a trip hazard). I felt this was a reasonable choice to make, and I was sure I could knock it out in a few hours.


I have cement block walls in my garage shop, which meant drilling a lot of holes into concrete, not to mention cutting and drilling the studs and building the brackets. And installing them. Oh, and moving all of my lumber out of the shop first. Sheesh...

I started off by mounting a horizontal 2x4 along the wall because the base of the wall sloped away from plumb. This made it impossible to have the studs rest on the floor. I used six SPAX screws, each rated for 750 lbs, to anchor it.

Pilot holes in the studs
I counter-bored the studs through the side at about 1 1/2" in order to allow my 4" SPAX screws to have enough purchase when they reached the pilot holes in the block wall. I used four of these screws in each stud.

One thing I discovered is that one of the studs had a bit more twist than I realized. It didn't show up until I mounted a bracket to it, and I'm not really concerned about it causing an issue other than being an eye sore.

The brackets were lengths of 2x4 sandwiched between pieces of 5/8" plywood. I dispensed with the tapering of the plywood sides because -- as I indicated above -- I have a tendency to cut corners when I am rushing.

Starting to look like a wood shop!

So this took me two weekends. I used the design I'd seen Marc Spagnuolo and Drew Short use in their shops, and so far, it hasn't collapsed. It was awfully nice to get all that lumber off the floor and out of the corner! Next shop plan: using that wall space in the corner to hang my jigs and (hopefully) clamps and getting rid of that stupid shelf I previously used to store my 4' pieces.

And, of course, The Workbench.

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