Rack construction ideas????

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OK, I've finally got back to the barn after about a 5-yr hiatus since last (seriously) worked on it...have a little more time this spring before farming actually begins as it's been cool this spring, so far...
Finished putting fill-in blocks under ends of studs had to cut back and cripple when replaced sill-plate on north wall along the waste gutter behind where the old milking stalls were and then replaced the 1X inner wall sheathing...the stalls have been removed years ago and remaining space is about 5-ft between rows of double 2X5 columns on 8-ft centers.
My original thought was to put a rack a la way lumber yards typically do across the width between two sets of columns but now I'm backing off that idea for several reasons -- one, it's only 13' from alleyway to outer wall which means anything longer has to go somewhere else or stick out into the driveway; two, it blocks access to window and shortens the length to less than enough to accommodate a full-length 14 thru the planer if set there in fixed location and lastly, and probably what's most got me thinking against it is that it leaves the area between the columns pretty much unused as is...
So, got to thinking about how to most effectively construct set of supports to be able to use area between the two rows of columns of perhaps a two to three feet length. That way as opposed to a solid support all the way across could still walk the length and the logistics of sliding really long stuff between the columns to load wouldn't have to happen all from the outside.
Plywood gussets work, of course, but take up quite a bit of storage area to be stout-enough so looking for what solutions others have come up with...
On hand I've got essentially unlimited supplies of old 2x stuff, a fair amount of 2" pipe (altho I've determined I think boring thru the columns for it leaves too little actual support to be wise) and various other angle and stuff altho my used metal supply is becoming rather short, unfortunately. I have a large amount of 5/8" soft iron bar stock (old silo banding rod but I've not figured out a way to use it practically)...
Anyways, suggestions/ideas/other racks you've seen pointed to all appreciated while I ponder...I'm going to spend the day leveling the last area that hasn't had a floor slab poured and using some old silo blocks and the like to cover as much of it as can to discourage the cats from thinking it's their indoor litter box...
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How much overhead space do you have in the stalls and in the driveway?
All my really long lumber, indoors, is stacked higher up, out of the way. Can you make part of your racks high enough to hold your long lumber higher than you'll work and/or drive?
How often would you be retrieving the longer lumber, to make having to clim b or reach up, to get it, a difficult task? I rarely use really long lumb er, so my having to retrieve it isn't a problem, since it's so seldom done.
Or, make your racks such that the lumber runs with the line of stalls, at t he back end of the stalls, along the outside wall of the barn. Your stall posts are 13' away, so there should be plenty room to maneuver a long board toward the drive-through area, from a back-of-the-stall rack. *I'm assumi ng the stalls have some openness, at least higher up, between each stall.
Sonny
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On 3/20/2013 11:49 AM, Sonny wrote:

<8' to bottom of mow joists...

See longer response to Swing on that subject...

At the moment I've about 400 bft of 14' maple, about 600 of mixed oak that's from 12-16, about the same of #1C SYP as base stock for the rest of the barn trim work and miscellaneous other stuff. I was looking for basically general storage for everything where cut stuff can also go only just spread out in its own areas depending...

It's 13' from the wall to the driveway total--the second set of columns are about 6' from the first closer to the wall. The stalls themselves in this part of the barn have been gone for 50 years so it's all open except for the elevator leg towards one end for the feed mill we put in w/ the bins overhead in that corner of the mow...
Not sure I follow your thinking but as noted initially, my first idea was to go crossways and be done w/ the 13' foot length but then started realizing how much stuff there is already on hand that's 14's and over so decided that wasn't a good solution.
Then I thought I'd just build the platforms down the length between the two column rows (which were originally the two ends of the milking stalls, they faced in/out during milking w/ the business end of the inner line in the driveway area; it's not wide enough for two moo-cows head-to-head on either side of the driveway, not that any of that matters it's just history from days of yore) except I got to thinking about how that would create such a large essentially closed in area if solid shelving as I envisioned and began to try to imagine creative ways to build cantilevered storage in that space instead...
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Could you possibly, easily, convert one (or part of one) stall side into a new driveway and make part of the present driveway and part of the other stall side into whatever storage space you would need?
Sonny
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On 3/20/2013 2:56 PM, Sonny wrote:

Possibly? Yes. Easily? No(+).
And I wouldn't anyway because of the sentimental nature of it being the antique it is that the exterior is as was when grandpa built it. I keep trying to get the moths out of the billfold and build a new large heated shed but tight has reined supreme over want so far... :)
(+) Then again, another fella' in the NE part of the county actually disconnected the entire haymow floor in a similarly-built barn of roughly same vintage (in sections) and raised it to give between 10-12' clearance on the ground floor.
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On 3/20/2013 2:43 PM, dpb wrote:

Build a platform to keep the wood off the ground (to prevent any absorbtion). I have a horizontal rack. I think it is 4 or 5 levels. It holds a lot of wood. The problem is getting to it. Means restacking.
If I had more than 7.5 feet I would go vertical. its easier to sort and pull a piece out.
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Jeff

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On 3/20/2013 7:00 PM, woodchucker wrote: ...

As noted earlier, the only way(+) to do that would be to move it all to the haymow (w/o a lift so it ain't agonna' happen :) )
(+) It would be possible to remove floor from an area of the mow but but that ain't happening, either. :)
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On 3/20/2013 10:05 AM, dpb wrote:

YMMV, but were I to have space to do it, I would store all my wood vertically instead of horizontally, just like the lumber yards do. AAMOF, I did that in the last shop I had and liked it much better.
Something to consider if you have the height ...
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On 3/20/2013 11:58 AM, Swingman wrote:

I've seen very few (actually can't think of any) commercial yards w/ vertical storage...every one I know of has either the old sheds or the modern equivalent inside large buildings. Other than stuff like baseboard, casing, other millwork, etc., that is...
I could do that only if I move it all up to the haymow since this is old wooden barn built for loose hay storage all available height except minimum is above the haymow floor. Mow joist bottoms are 7'+ from floor roughly iirc the finished floor is about 8-ft from ground level. Also built that way 'cuz did better job of holding animal heat during winter w/ the ceilings relatively low.
I've thought several times it would be very nice to have the whole shop up there where there's wide open floor space as well as height but there's no freight elevator (other than the old center rail hay fork if you want to stretch a point :) ) and I have the problem that I wasn't thinking when reroofed and let the price/availability at the time influence me into using shakes instead of sawn shingles for the roof. Being as how this is open sheathing wood shingle from the git-go and never had any before, I didn't think about using paper w/ the shakes and since the surface of them is so uneven the snow blows thru like gangbusters when it really blows (and here it's almost unheard of to not blow when the snow flies). So, for keeping stuff like that really dry it's a problem...I keep pondering how to deal with this problem, too, but so far don't have any (practical) solutions. :( It's just fine for the rain (on those rare occasions when we've had any) but snow's a b....
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On 3/20/13 1:27 PM, dpb wrote:

Perhaps we're talking apples and oranges, here. Or lumber vs. boards.
"Lumber," or construction 2x's used for framing, etc. are stacked horizontally because they are shipped that way on the trucks and it's easy for a forklift to transfer them from the truck to a retail rack.
"Boards," or soft or hard wood used for finish work, cabinetry, shelving, mill work, etc., is stored vertically in every big box store I've ever seen. The only time I see "boards" stored horizontally is when it's not finished size, meaning it's only been milled straight one edge and rough-size planed. This is always in the commercial suppliers, as you mentioned. This is the hardwood that still needs machined to finished size by the buyer.
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On 3/20/2013 1:50 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Around here, those who sell to the trades and don't have at least a portion of their hardwoods, suitable softwoods, trim, etc., stored vertically are rare; and if they don't it would be for two main reasons ... they don't have the space, and/or they don't want you picking and choosing.
Although it takes more room (which was one of my qualifications) to store vertically, it is easier on the customer, the boards, and the business.
Many do a mix of both, but most always have a representative sample of their most used hardwoods stored vertically, with the remainder stored horizontally as a space saving technique.
Since I refuse to shop where I can't pick and chose, it is a moot point for me.
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On 3/20/13 2:12 PM, Swingman wrote:

There's the rub, huh? I swear I almost come to blows with the guy who runs the warehouse at my local hardwood/plywood supplier when it comes to the whole picking thing.
Like everyone on this planet, price is a big factor to me. But when I end up getting boards with hidden bark/knots/worm holes, etc., and splits 5" up the middle of an end, and they calculate board feet on the widest end of the board, when the thing tapers 3 inches in 10 feet, then my "cheap hardwood place" is now the "expensive hardwood place" because of all the waste I just paid for and time, effort and tool use I have to spend getting the product to the quality it should've been at retail.
When I get plywood that isn't square, has chunks taken out of the edges, has voids under the finish veneer, has a weeks worth of warehouse dirt and grime all over it, or scratches from the sheets dragged off the top of it.... well, again, my "cheap plywood place" just became my "expensive plywood place" because of the waste I paid for and time, effort and tool use I have to spend getting the product to the quality it should've been at retail.
So when they start loading a sheet of plywood that looks like it's been returned six times, already and I tell them "I can't take this with all this x,y &z wrong with it," the guys says, "Well we can swap it out if you want?" with a bunch of attitude on the side... urg. See, that's the problem. They should've never tried to push that crap off on me in the first place.
When I'm picking through their hardwood racks and they come up to me, all huffy and in a hurry saying, "Can I help you with something?" "No, I'm just picking some boards." "Well, we don't really like people cherry picking through our racks and messing at all up." "Sir, there are two things I can assure you of. One, when I'm finished in these racks, they'll be neater than when I started. And two, after buying all my hardwood here for the past 5 years, if I can't pick my own boards, then I'm buying my hardwood somewhere else."
They've grown content with people who only see the retail price and don't calculate the extended cost of their "cheap wood." They've adjusted to the lowest common denominator customer, like Walmart, and since they keep coming to shop there, they see no reason to change. I guess I've also grown context to be the a-hole who gives them a hard time whenever he buys anything. :-)
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On 3/20/2013 3:09 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

I buy graded (almost always #1C) by the lot or small bundle and do my picking/choosing here instead of at the yard. In VA and TN it was common enough could simply go directly to small mills; here there's no place that stocks any hardwood at all other than the millwork stuff so there's no point in asking to sort 'cuz there's nothing to sort thru to begin with... :)
Altho the oak I have on hand now actually came from an individual who called in the local "RadioBay" AM talk show one morning. Somewhere in his family the owned some ground in central Ohio being cleared for a new power line and they kept all the wood as part of the right of way agreement. He had brought a whole semi-trailer out and decided wasn't going to use it all. It's tree-run and mixed varieties but at $1/ft what's to complain? There are a few 16" wide nearly clear and thicknesses from 4/4 to 12...I'm thinking I wish I'd just have taken the big truck and brought it all but didn't have any place for it at the time at all.
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On 3/20/2013 1:50 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

I only buy roughsawn stock all sides and I was thinking of the commercial hardwood distributors that don't do retail sales ('cuz I don't buy boards). There's a distributor in Wichita that will break a full bundle and rebundle for a minimum of 1 to 200 bd-ft depending on species and how they feel that particular day.
I virtually always buy #1C because of the advantage of price/yield compared to clear and don't expect the yard to handle it except by lift--I either take the trailer or the flatbed truck then transfer it at home. It would be great if I had a place w/ direct fork access but can't get the big tractor in the barn w/ the loader forks and there are too many obstructions even w/ the little one to do more than just drive down the center alleyway.
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On 3/20/2013 4:03 PM, dpb wrote:

That is indeed an excellent, and smart, way to buy ... have done so, and I would do that very thing again if I still had the room.
Just finding a place to store project FAS, and getting rid of the scraps afterwards, is an urban challenge ... I'm located five crow miles from the center of a population area of 2 million plus.
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On 3/20/2013 11:58 AM, Swingman wrote:

Concerning vertical and horizontal storage, I much prefer vertical when sifting through the stack, and I will go through the whole stack.
But I have to sift through the whole stack because most of the boards are bowed when checked.
When the boards are stored horizontal, like those which are at Clarke's, I find that a majority of the boards are flat when checked.
Typically however the bow is slight and not a problem so I tend to go for the wood at the place with the best price.
Now Clarke's absolutely has the height to to store lumber vertically but stores the majority same length/width boards laying horizontally. The picked over/shorter pieces of wood tend to be stored vertically in another warehouse.
My observation is not scientific and may be more of a a geological oddity, ;~). If storing wood flat to prevent it from bowing is not Clarke's goal it certainly makes inventorying/verifying stock levels a way way more accurate and easier method of verifying what is on hand.
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On 3/21/2013 9:15 AM, Leon wrote: ...

In general, fair observations...my take is that there is obviously advantage in the vertical storage for selection from the purely mechanical arrangement of being able to see more w/ less moving (maybe ideal is the moving/rotating hanging rack a la the dry cleaners/slaughter house :) ). But, there's an _IF_ (the proverbial "big if") there imo that it's only of marginal help at best if the stock has yet to have been surfaced sufficiently at least to visualize grain well.
In my case at hand, very little is surfaced at all and given that I do work at a hit 'n miss rate, much of what have may be on hand for quite a long time (as in I bought the maple and SYP mentioned as stock when first needed the SYP for some of the barn restore in '05 or so I think it was but things intervened and it's been since then that I've had the opportunity to get back. Being as it's stored in that old barn and this is W KS, even stacked w/ a tarp over it it gets dirty and is therefore not easy to judge. So, it wouldn't be any real advantage in my case to have it surfaced; it just allows the surface to weather faster. As a side note the maple was purchased because it was simpler to get both on same trip than make a second trip and while I wanted clear 5/4 white pine for window frame stock it was in such high demand at the time I settled for the soft maple instead.
Anyway, I do think the comment regarding the tendency of material (particularly long material) to bow when stored vertically is valid and therefore it also makes sense to store that way when there's a fairly high turnover rate as one expects from a full-time shop or outlet. I don't think it's the ticket here being's I'm a farmer who does the w-working as the mood hits and time allows (altho I've gotten more done last 3 months than had in the previous 5 years, that may change again at any time depending on unforeseen things occurring that change priorities outside the mandatory day-to-day...
Anyway, was just wondering if anybody here had had any really, really clever breakthroughs or other unique ideas...I puzzled over the quandary again yesterday and think I've about decided to just do the cantilevered arms off the columns similar to so many others adding a couple additional columns between the existing ones to shorten the span between arms. There's a whole passel of old 3/4" ply stripped from the forms used to pour the feed bunks--I think I'll lay a floor of it down first w/ a longitudinal spine between the arms as a little additional sag prevention/load distribution...
Appreciate the thoughts; anybody know of spare freight elevator cheap let me know--I keep thinking how cool it would be to have the whole mow as shop area...I keep a watch out for a cheap forklift mast/hydraulics. Fella' in town has the elevator from the old hospital in a nearby town in his house--that was just before we came back from TN so missed out on that opportunity; it would have been about right as it's large enough for two gurneys...he's the local salvage man/house mover/general character and is always doing such sort of thing most would never think of.
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On Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:53:03 AM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

Would a scissor lift work?
A hay elevator? I don't see those in use, any more. One may be hiding somewhere.
I salvaged the rollers from an old hay elevator to make infeed & outfeed roller stands. Wish I would have collected more rollers, back then.
Sonny
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On 3/21/2013 1:51 PM, Sonny wrote:

Other than the drag chain ones (and precious few of them out here) I've never seen one in this area so they're surely hiding well...
Possibly on the scissor lift; what looking I've done for equivalent weight capacity even the near-salvage-only have been quite a bit more dear than I wanted to give...one of the problems is that unlike Iggy's locale, this is very sparse population area w/ essentially no manufacturing so there's very little local stuff around except oil patch that is just too heavy...
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Sonny wrote:

FWIW, it is easy - and cheap - to make rollers from PVC pipe. I use 2"...
1. Cut to length
2. Cut out two plywood plugs. I use a drill press and make them slightly too big; I then taper them
3. Tap plugs into pipe ends, secure with a couple of small, flat head screws into countersunk holes.
4. Purely optional but I bush the center holes in the plugs with a little piece of copper pipe. I don't recall the size but the interior of the pipe is perfect for 1/4" bolts.
--

dadiOH
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