The Wood Addict’s Closet

first_lumber_unitWoodworkers are hoarders. It’s a commonly known, and accepted, fact – just ask any woodworker’s spouse. I am no exception to this rule. I’ve been gathering a stock of fine and figured lumber since I was 12. For me, the problem reached critical mass when I made the move from Pennsylvania to Ohio.

Between getting the house and shop packed up, excess items sold off (including furniture I had made as display samples and tools that were too large to easily store) and trekking it all 500+ miles west, something had to give. That something was  time enough to build a lumber rack inside the storage unit I had rented. Naturally, the solution was to stack as much inside the unit as possible.

2015-11-07 10.50.23This solution, however, has a few serious drawbacks. The biggest of them is not being able to access the lumber I wanted to use for various projects. Well, I suppose I could have actually gotten to the various boards I wanted if I didn’t mind emptying the entire unit to do so. Consequently, after two years of lumber frustration, it was time to do something about the problem – a new storage unit was in order.

With the new unit secured, it was time to build in some organization. Rack construction began mere hours after procuring said unit. Plastic went down on the floor to keep moisture from the concrete from working its way into the rack and the material on it. I also brought a large load of two-by material from which I would build the rack itself.

Lumber_rack_fullI planned out the rack to maximize the storage space. I wanted plenty of room for matches sets of material and large spaces for larger lots of certain woods. I also wanted an area for sheet-good storage. After a day or two of construction, all that was left was the heavy lifting.

Using the space in the new unit more efficiently means I can now easily get to any particular wood or matched set I want. As you can see, the space filled up rather quickly. And while there’s a little room to grow (if you expand the photo and look closely, you can still see a section or two that isn’t completely full), I’m hopeful that the inventory doesn’t grow so quickly that I need another unit. That’s not likely, however, because Glen took me to another of his lumber haunts the other day and I saw lots of great stuff that might have to end up in my rack.

I’m interested to know if you are afflicted the same problem – a wood addiction that leaves you with too much lumber for the space you have available. If you have this problem, what’s your solution?

— Chuck Bender

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2 thoughts on “The Wood Addict’s Closet

  1. Unfortunately I suffer the same problem. The issue I have is that lumber storage consumes around 30% (or more) of my shop space. I have considered a small storage unit but if you are keeping wood for many years before you get to use it in a project, that actually makes the cost of that lumber very expensive. I love going on lumber searches on craigslist and have found all sorts of wonderful lumber for next to nothing but I have to stop doing that because I have no space to work if I bring all that stuff home. Jimmy Diresta says he stores his lumber at the lumber yard (i.e. he only buys what he needs when he needs it). This is probably the best strategy for people with a small shop.

  2. I must admit, that I probably have twice the amount of wood that I can reasonably imagine using in the time left in my life…
    Having said that, I cringe anytime I do some sorting with the intention of getting rid of it.
    And, I mean this is mostly wood which isn’t exotic or highly valuable.
    As Trevor above mentioned, I have tried to stop obtaining more.
    I am trying to use up what I have and only procure more if it is super nice and ridiculously inexpensive.
    I have to store the lumber in my shop and out of public view where I live, so that eats up space.

    But I have a couple of large scale projects coming up which should put a real dent in the supply….then look out … 🙂

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