For many of us, yards mean trees, trees mean pruning, and pruning means wood – lots and lots of wood, as it seems to multiply once you start cutting those downed limbs into more manageable pieces.
If, of course, we have a wood-burning fireplace or outdoor fire pit, we can put those fallen pieces to good use. We still have to store all that wood, however, which can be daunting. Sure, we can find an empty spot in the back of the yard and stack it in a pile, but rough piles of wood eventually fall over – they always do. Plus, firewood ideally should be stored off the ground to promote airflow. Otherwise, it may rot quickly and attract bugs, making it undesirable for use in an indoor fireplace.
The firewood rack featured here, which includes an upper area for kindling and a lower area for split logs, solves all of those problems and more. Besides keeping the firewood tidy and off the ground, it also looks great.
For brevity’s sake, when instructions state “attach,” the step includes the added suggestion of drilling appropriately sized pilots and countersinks before installing screws.
Don safety gear, and cut the 2-by-4s into lengths of 5 feet – or in half, as not all 10-foot boards actually measure 10 feet. Lay two 5-foot boards next to each other, and mark them both at 151⁄2 inches and 521⁄2 inches from the top.
Separate the two marked boards so they are 5 feet apart from outside to outside, keeping them parallel to each other. Measure diagonals: equal measurements means the boards are parallel.
Position another 5-foot-long board across the parallel boards, flush with the tops. Attach the board into place at each junction point by driving in one optional 21⁄2-inch screw, or using one 3-inch screw angled slightly so it doesn’t protrude out the back side.
Step 4:Attach the second horizontal board 521⁄2 inches from the top (at the bottom marks) and flush with the sides of the vertical boards. Again, drive one screw into each junction point. Attach a third horizontal board at the 151⁄2-inch mark with one screw into each junction point. When you’ve determined the structure is square, screw a second screw into each of the six pivot points.
Step 5:Flip the structure over. At this point, the back side of the structure is facing down. Attach the 16-inch scrap pieces of the 2-by-2 perpendicular to the bottom of each foot and flush with the outside edge of the vertical boards. This is a temporary stop that will help ensure the subsequent boards are installed square.
Screw the 20-inch pieces of scrap 2-by-2 to the outside of the 2-by-4 and 16-inch scrap pieces, using a speed square to make sure the pieces are square.
Step 7:The next layer of boards, which we’ll call the third layer, consists of placing three horizontal boards over the legs and matching in position the horizontals below in the first layer. After they’re positioned, attach the third layer of boards into place, staggering the location of the screws so as not to collide with those in the second layer. (Two screws at each intersection will suffice.)
TIP: As you add layers to the rack, you may want to use a speed square to further verify their alignment.
Step 8:Install the next layer vertically, aligning the boards precisely with the underlying layer. Attach the boards in place with 3-inch screws.
Step 9:Repeat layering and installing the remaining 2-by-4s.
Step 10:Remove the temporary stops and diagonal braces.
Position the rack in its final location. Although it’ll be stable, especially when loaded with wood, it’s still a good idea to secure it to a sturdy structure, especially if there’s any danger of children climbing on it. A 4-inch screw screwed into a framing member of the structure/building should do just fine.
Reprinted with permission from Garden Builder, by Joann Moser, published by Quarto Publishing Group. Order your copy at www.CappersFarmer.com/Store.