How to build a cheap firewood storage rack
If you heat with wood or you're planning to build the occasional cozy blaze in your fireplace this winter, you'll enjoy it more if the wood is stored in a dry spot, protected from accumulating snow. The simple frame structure in the photo is made from pressure-treated wood and was originally a hitching post. The two vertical 2x4 posts are embedded in concrete to stabilize the unit. Only problem is, this storage configuration allows firewood to sit on the ground where it wicks moisture and quickly gets buggy and rotten. It also gets buried by snow in winter because it's so exposed.
You can make a dead easy, reasonably cheap firewood storage rack using two-by-four lumber and Allan block, which is a hollow, pre-cast concrete product that offers a stable base for a firewood rack.
Tools and Materials
- Nine 8-foot spruce 2" x 4" boards
- Lots of 3" rust-resistant screws
- 4 Allan blocks
Make four 'posts' by cutting four of the 8-foot boards in half. Next 'sister" together the two 4-foot long boards by driving 4 or 5 screws into the boards in a zigzag pattern. This process creates a cheap version of a 4x4 board, only the dimensions are 3"x3-1/2".
Place two pairs of Allan blocks about 8 feet apart.
Drop one 'post' into the hollow core of each of the four Allan blocks. You may have to use a sledgehammer to persuade the posts to drop fully into the holes.
Install the 'floor' by running two 8-foot 2" x 4" boards between the two ends, positioning the boards 'on edge', and fastening them in place by screwing them to the posts. TIP: Placing the boards on edge gives the floor of your rack the strength to carry a huge amount of firewood. (If you were to place the boards broad side up, they wouldn't offer enough strength and you'd have a saggy rack, which is always disappointing.)
At each end of the rack, fasten a horizontal 18-inch board along the bottom outside edge to tie together the ends of two more 8-foot boards. You should now have 4 'on-edge' 2x4 boards making the suspended floor of your rack.
At each end of the rack, tie the tops of the posts together by fastening one 15" horizontal board (broad side up) to the tops of the posts. Load your rack with firewood.
You can string together a number of 8-foot wide rack segments if you want to, and you can use taller posts to get more vertical stacking space. It also helps to run a 2x4 board across the front of the rack about four feet up, particularly if you're going really high with the stack.
Even though our rack is in the lee of a building it was still collecting lots of snow so we ended up constructing a shelter around our firewood collection. It's semi-permanent since the white tarp material tends to fray over time and needs to be replaced every couple of years.
If I had to build a large firewood shelter again, I'd probably buy a ready to assemble 'instant garage' - a tarp-covered metal-framed canopy shed big enough to park a car in - about $500 at Costco and other hardware retailers.
P.S. If you just need to store a small amount of firewood, get instructions for this nifty mini-shed.