Previously I had access to commercial style storage racks purpose built for lumber.

Now I live in a smaller home. Is there an optimum arrangement to storing lumber in a garage or basement that will prevent mildew or excessive swelling/warping?

I would like to purchase 25-50 board feet of 4/4 poplar and store it in one of these places, but I'm worried about it getting ruined before I can use it. Any advice?

  • Re: What does “stickering wood” mean?
    – Mazura
    Apr 17, 2015 at 8:35
  • Did you in fact mean 768 board feet rather than 25-50, as implied by your comment on my answer? I'd rather let you edit that than change your meaning if it's not what you meant.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


I'm using a system which is basically a set of heavy-duty shelf brackets mounted to the wall; the lumber then acts as its own shelves. Each of the woodworking tool catalogs I get has their own version of such a system, with different tradeoffs between price, adjustability, weight capacity, and so on.


Unless the garage is part of your heated/cooled space, the basement is probably better.

If you have exposed joists, a simple system is a set of "U" brackets (typically of wood) hung from the joists, which keeps the wood up off the floor, and away from the walls if those are prone to dampness. If you have a tall basement and are not overly tall it can be clear of your head height, or you can build it deeper and walk around it (put a bench or something under it so you are less prone to walking through it/lifting your head into it.) Or, sometimes you can screw a crosspiece directly to the bottoms of the joists, and store lumber on top of them, between the joists. You do need enough room to get the lumber in and out, lengthwise, for these methods. Most of the credit for this would go to my late grandfather.

Finished ceilings make it more difficult, but not impossible.

Or you can go freestanding and put a couple of sections of adjustable wire "commercial" shelving in line, and use one or more levels of that for wood storage, and the rest for other storage.

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  • Would this be effective for 25-50 board feet? From what I understand that would be something in the magnitude of a 'pile' of wood 2' x 4' and 8' long. At this size, would it maybe be more beneficial to build something like a lumber rack? (I'm trying to convince my wife on the cost saving of bulk lumber) Mar 18, 2015 at 12:15
  • Put two 3 footers end to end with a slight gap to be 8 feet long - or two 4 footers right together or spaced a bit for 10 foot boards. A 2 foot by 4 foot by 8 foot pile of boards is 768 board feet. A board foot is 12" x 12" x 1" (144 cubic inches) and you may not get the full inch if rough, definitely not if planed. A single board 96x16x1 inch is 10.6 board feet. 5 of those will fit many places. 10 that are only 8" wide will fit even more places. If what you really want is 750 board feet, You could still fit it on a pair of these shelves (many are 800-1000 lbs per shelf), or build a rack.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 18, 2015 at 12:57

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