A DIY (And Custom) Firewood Rack For This Season?

Image of firewood rack via Menards (not my photo above)
Last year was our first Winter in our house and was also the first year where we ordered a Face Cord of firewood.  I documented that Face Cord - and the location of the rack - here on the blog.  I set up our only rack in our screened porch, where it was covered and protected from the elements.  But last year we didn't have any furniture in the porch, so it was easy to do.  This year?  Nat has set up the room with a full set of furniture and even an indoor/outdoor rug.  So, that means space is limited inside. 

At the same time, I've considered firewood rack options - including posting some inspiration here on the blog.  The placement of the rack has been bouncing around in my brain for the better part of the Summer.  I want to put it in a place that is protected from the elements, but not too far from the door because I know I'll want to walk out there in my house shoes to grab wood for the fire.  Also, I know we'll end up ordering two Face Cords this year because we blew through one in just January, Feburary and March. 

So those three dynamics:  the screened porch being a little more full this year, getting more wood and still wanting the rack close has brought me to this solution - for this year.

I'm going to build a few different-sized custom racks and put them in spots both in the screened porch and outside to hold the wood for the season.

And that's where the image at the top of this post comes in:  they are 2x4 Basics cleats from Menards.    You can see two of them in the image above, but they're just the black parts that accept 2x4's in any size to allow you to DIY the rack.  I have a handful of cedar 2x4's that are left over from my fence project last Summer.  They'll be perfect for this.

There are a few spots that I'd like to store wood and they both require custom solutions due to their dimensions. 

The first is right outside the exterior door from the family room - in the screened porch.    You can see it in the photo below.  The door from the family room is on the right, there's two steps down and then the fireplace for the screened porch is right there. 

I made a little jig to make sure the rack could work here:  that piece of paper is 16" wide - which is what the 2x4Basics black cleats are.  It fits in next to the concrete step and the fireplace almost perfectly.  A better photo of the paper jig is below.    The black cleats will fit in between the stair and the bricks on the right, then another one will be placed about where the fireplace ends. 

I ended up buying five pairs of the cleats - three for right here.  I am planning on making the wood rack out of 8' tall 2x4's, so it will have one cleat at the bottom, one in the middle and one at the top for stability.  That accounts for three of the five pair.  I also hope this will hold 3/4 of a Face Cord of wood.  (it should, right?  3 feet wide by 8 feet tall is *almost* a face cord?)

The other two?  I think I'm going to make a small custom-sized rack that can fit between the end of our couch and the fireplace and sit underneath the widow in the photo above.  I'll move that little table and we'll be able to get in a four-foot or so rack by about 4 feet tall.  This should hold half a Face Cord. 

And then you might be wondering, where the rest of the wood is going to go?  Welp, I'm thinking I'll use the metal rack from last year.  And put it in a spot outside my office.  Yeah...my office.  More to come on that location in a future post. 


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