“Lumber, Lumber Everwhere!” or “Much Ado About Storage”


This episode of Widdershins Joinery Blog is brought to you by Google Sketchup! Free and easy to use, I’m so impressed with it that I even give token advertising to the package so other woodworkers can share in the epicness. I’m not even sponsored!… yet.

IMG_1397Okay, so HERE’s the thing! haha. I’ve got that little cubby room in the front of my building, (the one featured here to the left), right next to the main 32″ wide door. It’s 16′ by 8′ with 7′ ceilings, though there’s a 1′ drop-floor; if you look REAL close to the back-end of the building you can see the wall extends down. That isn’t the problem. The real challenge is what in the frickity-hell do I do with that room? Once upon a time it stored general junk, a upright refrigerator/freezer and two top-opening chest freezers. I’ve since gotten rid of one of each, and am now left with a “deep freeze” that is not long for this world. So now what? I’ve had a clever idea if I do say so myself, conjured with my father, as to what to do with the front cubby room and those precious 900 cubic feet (~25 cu. m.) of space… Allow me to explain. 😀

3The drop-floor posed a problem, because I couldn’t easily install partitions int hat space because the room, itself, was so small already. Once I get the freezer out of there,  I still had to contend with a space about 6′ wide in that 8′ long room at the same level of the rest of the Garage (the “cavern” as I’ve come to call the 32’Lx20’Wx11’H room), and then the 8′ by 10′ area that was sunken. It’s only going to be wood storage, and I had the notion that if I had the under cavity left open, I could install some small fans to keep the air circulating and help work the wood to stay dry, given the up-and-down humidity of the seasons here on the saltwater beach… which is frozen 5 months out of the year. So rather than install 1′ tall knee-walls, a floor, and then build what can functionally be called vertical stud-walls on that floor, I just (virtually) used th2e 1′ knee-walls as spacers. Slid those suckers the space until they dropped down, from the side of the extension room where the deep-freeze is shown, adjusted their position and nail them into the existing heavy flooring. Those little walls are not going to shift once they’re secured with some heavy galvanized nails. Then I can slide the new “stud-walls” into place ontop of those knee-walls without having to worry about them shifting or kicking over at any point, since they are tangentially organized as shown in the third image. Each “stud-wall” has a top plate and a shoe, with five vertical 2x4x8’s cut to 7′ (the cut-off 1′ made up the knee-wall risers).  Build seven of these walls and slide them across the faux-floor and you have the main supporting webbing.

1Sliding the sheet of 1/2″ plywood onto that back wall may be a challenge, but we’ll see. That’s there to keep lumber that’s pushed-in from penetrating the thinner wall behind it. I think it’s drywall, some kind of thin paneling or ten-test, I honestly am not sure. The bottom section (most clearly seen in rendered image 2) are for sheet goods, at 4″ 1/2″ tall, and 1′ wide by a full 8′ deep. This should provide me over 7′ of void space in which to store sheet goods. I might change one of those sheet-good cavities into a huge drawer with rollers that connect smoothly with the main shed floor (kind of like an under-cabinet caddy) for all of my shorter cut-offs. I may leave one long-side open with rails to lay/sort wood. Undecided there.

On the top are 12 slots, each 1′ x 1′ on the front face, and of course a full 8′ deep, these are for longer stock or uncut 8′ pieces. Once I get my router I can buy (or salvage) metal and etch the nature of each cubical for identification purposes, like tags. “2×4 SPF” (SPF = Spruce, Pine, Fur, any building-grade lumber), or “Ass’d Cherry” etc. I also envision marking on the end-grain the approximate length of each piece, so when I look at the cubical I can see exactly which board I need that is approximately 6′ long, I can just track it down and fish it out. It shouldn’t be too difficult to tumble around a square foot of 2×4’s to get one (that would almost certainly be at the bottom). Hell, a space that size could only comfortably hold about 20 pieces by cross-sectional area. There is a LOT of wall above the area where that room connects with the rest of my building. I will build racks off the existing studs for lengths between 8 feet and, say, 12 feet. I don’t mind grabbing a ladder to get at those occasional needs, but the rest of it will be at standing-height.

The whole job will require approximately 80 pieces of 2x4x8′ lumber, plus the 1/2″ plywood; what wastage there would be wouldn’t fill a shop vac. All-told, the project should cost me between $225.00 – $250.00 CAD, and probably take a day or two to throw together. The project also leaves a 2′ by 8′ section of floor space the full (7’+1′) height for cupboards. I could store brewing kits in there, or cans, bottles, anything, really. We have a chest freezer in the house, but who knows, I might want to expand this storage solution to fill the entire cavity and move a deep freeze into the household basement. No one wants to slog through the snow and the ice to get preserves or frozen goods.

Just some food for thought and a great way to burn-off 6-hours today. 🙂 Please leave questions, comments, concerns in the area below, let’s get a dialogue going!

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2 thoughts on ““Lumber, Lumber Everwhere!” or “Much Ado About Storage”

    • Many thanks! Yourself and Dad, especially, ought to be excited about the garage renovation, since we BOTH bled to make get project where it is today! I’m so pleased that you’ve taken the time to follow the progress of the blog. It’s my hope that my own little pulpit, out here in cyberspace, will reach others and touch them the way that I have been so warmly embarrassed by those I’ve met in the woodworking community. I really appreciate it!

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