See a quick and easy way to make a lumber rack for hauling wood in your vehicle.
It keeps the boards from damaging your rubber seals and from sliding around.
Why I Made This Lumber Rack
I’ve got an older SUV with a rear window that lifts. I can easily fit 8 ft lumber in it. But I don’t want it resting on the rubber seal for the window. I also don’t want to drag the lumber across that seal as I move it in or out of the vehicle. So, I made this quick rack for the wood to rest on.
Works for Cars and Trucks Too
This lumber rack works great for keeping wood from sitting directly on your truck’s closed tailgate. And, if you have a car with a center pass-through from the trunk, this rack will keep the wood from resting on the rubber seal for the trunk lid too.
A Way to Tie Down the Lumber
Plus, this rack gives you a good way to keep the lumber secure so it doesn’t slide around. You can use tie-down straps or a block of wood that’s clamped to the crossbar.
Simple and Cheap to Build
It’s so easy to make this thing that I bet you can build it without much instruction. But, I included my dimensions and where I placed the pocket holes in the how-to section below the video.
How it Works Video
Transcript highlights and images are below the video too!
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See how super simple it is to make this thing.
Hand Tools You’ll Need
Power Tools You’ll Need
Kreg Tools You’ll Need
Safety Gear You’ll Need
It takes 5 pieces of 2×4 to make the lumber rack shown here. If you want another bottom spanner, then you’ll need that extra piece too. My dimensions are shown below and came out to a total of 8 feet. You’ll want to adjust for your height and length needs.
TIP: Here is my thinking on the dimensions I chose
- I specifically made the overall height short enough for my SUV window to close, so I could drive to the lumber yard without it open.
- That height had to include the foot board height too, not just the upper leg.
- I put the spanner bar just high enough so that the wood would rest just above the bottom edge of the window.
- And it’s low enough to give an edge to brace the lumber against, if it’s not stacked too high.
Joining with Pocket Holes
This is a perfect job for a Kreg Jig! It’s not a good idea to screw directly into the end grain of a board, especially with something that is going to get moved around and carry weight. Screwing into the end grain makes for a weak joint. And that’s why I love pocket holes for this application. They let me go with the grain of the wood, but into it at an angle. So there’s no worry of tear out. I just added a little wood glue and butt joined the pieces in minutes. Pocket holes are way stronger than going direct with the screws, especially for sheer force. And I know that they can handle the weight of the lumber I stack on this rack. I also know they hold tight even when I’m not so gentle about moving the rack back and forth between the garage and my SUV too.
Pocket Hole Placement
There are 4 places to butt join the boards. See the diagram below for my pocket hole placements.
I chose to put the holes on the inside of the uprights and underside of the cross bar to keep them as hidden as possible. Here’s a shot of the underside.
No Slip Feet
As you saw in the video, I used a non-slip pad under the lumber rack’s feet to keep it from sliding around. Pine lumber is slick on that carpet and the rack will need a little help to remain stationary. The solution I have is just an inexpensive rubber welcome mat, but it works great!!! It also keeps my grocery bags from sliding around too. And it’s way cheaper than the no-slip pads that are custom made for vehicles. Instead of a mat, you could also attach some type of anti-skid thing to the bottom of the rack’s feet boards, but I wouldn’t count on that sticking under load and movement. Or, maybe you have another way of securing the rack so it can’t move. Let us know in the comments.