Ultra configurable plane storage rack
My bench area is getting crowded. Planes coming in the door constantly filled my storage shelves up. Many of my planes are parkflyers so they are stored with the wings on, which makes them very inefficient to store.
I considered making one of those PVC racks with a square foot base and T fittings every foot or so, and even bought the materials to make one. But that takes hours to build and is either flimsy if you don't glue it or can't be reconfigured if you do. Friend of mine came up with an idea based on a rack we saw in the swap shot at NEAT and we ran with it.
Off to Lowe's for some 4"x4"s, four of them to be exact, 8 footers. Grabbed two 8 foot lengths of 2" x 6" r too while we were at it. Several lengths of PVC pipe and some pipe insulation, 1" and 1-1/8" spade bits, and (on a second trip) a corded drill. Douglas Fir looks nice for indoor use like this.
The plan: The 4" x 4" are the vertical columns of the rack, they stand on a 2" x 6" lying on the floor and have a 2" x 6" across the back of the columns at the top of the rack. While cutting each 4" x 4" to length we also cut a roughly 6 degree angle on the bottom of each one so the columns would lean back slightly while the sill rested flat on the floor. We chose 4" x 4" so the rack dowels could be inserted roughly 2" into the column for good support without coming out the back side of the column. Top of rack is secured to overhead joist or beam as needed. I had plumbing in the way or would have done without the top 2" x 6" and just run screws into the joist, I had to make small standoffs to lean it on the main beam and run 2 screws into the beam. Two screws shouldn't make my house fall down The outside set of racks are 12" wide and the central piece is 16" wide.
The rack dowels? Drill holes up each column every 4 inches on center, making sure to keep the holes at the same level and perpendicular across the columns. Cut lengths of PVC pipe to length (we used 18" and I forget what diameter and wall thickness we used), then wrap that in pipe insulation. We used the stuff that comes in 6 foot lengths that has a seam you can open. We didn't open the seam, just slid it over the PVC like a sock.
The challenge was getting the holes the perfect size so the dowels would slide in but have some friction to the fit, that and my homeowner grade cordless drills didn't have enough grunt to drill the holes, I got a cheap corded drill to do the job. Fiddled with various bits, one a twist blade with 3 flutes, also fiddled with spade bits of 1" and 1-1/8" size, both were a little small for the PVC I was using. Helped quite a bit to mark the target drilling depth on the drill bit with painters tape. After swearing a bit as I tried to ream out some of the holes to make clearance for the PVC to fit in, my buddy laughed and told me to cut slots in my PVC.
Eureka moment! So then the PVC dowels go into the vice for a quick date with the sawzall, cutting a slot lengthwise in the end of them about 2" long. Then add the insulation and tap them into place with a hammer. They hold firm and support the planes but can be twisted out by hand unless you went gorilla tapping them in.
Of course now I have to make some more dowels and redo the layout, Black Friday brought four more planes into the house.
Oh and I guess I'm a blogger now, would love some feedback.
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