Wood storage upgrade

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Hive13 Project
Wood storage upgrade
Wood storage final 1.jpg
Status: Complete
Start Date: 02/26/2015
End Date: 03/12/2015


The hive has no good way to store lots of different types of wood. We currently have pallet rack shelves to stack wood on, but this isn't a great solution. Pieces of wood in the middle or on the bottom of the stack can easily become warped and are difficult to remove. Vertical storage is commonly used for wood since you don't have to stack wood and since it is a lot easier to get pieces in an out without requiring a ladder. This will also give us extra "slots" that people can claim to temporarily store their own wood separate from everything else.


  • Elly Hall (Project lead)
  • Jon Neal
  • Ryan Hershey


The plan is to use the current pallet racks, but to have dividers vertically rather than horizontally. Two horizontal shelves will be left on the pallet rack. One near ground level and one 8.5 feet tall to provide enough room for 8ft sheets of wood. Holes will be drilled into the top of the bottom shelf and the bottom of the top shelf at 6 inch intervals on the front and back orange pallet rack beams. Then steel wire (3mm "aircraft grade" wire from harbor freight) will be strung between the top and bottom shelves to create the dividers. Lastly nylon rope will be strung between the front and back steel wires at 2ft, 4ft, 6ft and 8ft tall to finish the dividers.


Wood storage before.jpg

Previous wood storage.

Wood piled up.jpg

All wood was removed from the shelves. The wood was left on the floor of the shop for the week while the project was being completed. It was important that the shop still remain functional during the upgrade, so the wood was placed in areas that still allowed the use of most equipment in the shop. Tools were also temporarily shifted around to accomplish this.

Adjusting wood storage beams.jpg

The beams needed to be removed to drill the holes on the drill press (a hand drill was not effective), then replaced at the correct heights. 8ft plus a few inches was chosen as the height of the storage area, because full sheets of plywood typically are 4x8ft. Full sheets can now be stored properly and removed easily!

Wood storage crimp closeup.jpg

The metal cable requires a minimum bend radius to maintain strength and prevent fatigue. Metal thimbles are typically used, however they were not cost effective, costing about $.75 each. The project would have required about $50 in thimbles. A much cheaper solution was to buy $10 of high pressure sch 40 PVC pipe in the correct diameter. This also made drilling the holes faster and easier, as they only had to be wide enough for the wire, not the much thicker thimble as well. The pipe was placed along the top (or bottom) of the rails and the wire was looped and crimped around it as shown.

Wood storage wire hanging.jpg

Wires needed to be hung from the top down. The bottom base was not on yet, so the ladder could easily be in the work space.

Wood storage all wires hanging.jpg

All the wires are hung from the top.

Wood storage looking down.jpg

Side view of wires hanging.

Wood storage bottom crimps done.jpg

The bottom metal mesh rack needed to be placed on before crimping the bottoms of the wires. The wires were threaded through the mesh, as seen here. Ferules (crimps) would also be used to hold the nylon ropes at the correct heights. They also needed to be threaded onto the wire before crimping the bottoms of the wires. They can be seen laying freely on the wire. The wires were crimped under human strength provided tension (they were not tensioned using a machine, meaning they were still fairly loose).

Wood storage bottom view.jpg

A piece of plywood was fitted in between the wires, supported on the wire rack. This will allow thinner peices of wood to be stored here, without falling through the mesh. It also provides strength to the floor of the system by allowing pressure to be spread evenly on the metal mesh.

Wood storage crimping nylon.jpg

The ferules were taped to the right height and the nylon string was fed through on one side of the double ferule before crimping. They were then crimped, and tied tightly using a self tightening knot. The tension of these strings pulled the metal wire in, providing stability to each section.

Wood storage first slot done.jpg

First storage slot done and tested with a small piece of wood.

Wood storage half done.jpg

Half of the storage was completed, before running out of ferules and waiting two days for a new shipment.

Wood storage half done side.jpg

Half finished storage filled with wood! Looking good!

Wood storage final 1.jpg

Finished! All of the larger wood in the hive is now housed here. This wood came from the shelves, as well as many pallet rack shelves and taller wood that had been stored on the floor in the CNC area. More wood can be effectively stored in this system, and this frees up extra space in the hive, which one stored wood!

Wood storage final 2.jpg

Finished and stocked storage. Each section either will belong to a member for temporary storage for projects (can be stored for months, just not indefinitely), or contain the Hive's supply of wood. The Hive's wood is categorized by type.