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...
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.
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...
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?
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.
If you have the height, forget a horizontal rack, go vertical.
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.
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. :)
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 ...
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....
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.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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
Although it takes more room (which was one of my qualifications) to
store vertically, it is easier on the customer, the boards, and the
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
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. :-)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
I salvaged the rollers from an old hay elevator to make infeed & outfeed roller
stands. Wish I would have collected more rollers, back then.
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...
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.
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