If you’ve got a wood-burning stove or fireplace, then you’ll need somewhere to stack your firewood and keep it away from moisture, pests, and other hazards. Learning how to build a firewood rack is the perfect solution for storing large quantities of firewood – and will allow you to stock up on firewood for the entire winter!
A good firewood holder/rack will allow you to store firewood, kindling, and wood scraps so you can easily access them at any time. You’ll be able to neatly stack your firewood outdoors, while still keeping it off the ground and protected from squirrels, mice, and rats making their home in your stack.
This is a major upgrade from a messy pile stacked up against the side of your house and will allow you to stack more wood in a smaller area.
If you look around the internet you’re bound to find dozens of different firewood rack designs, but in my experience, you’ll have a tough time beating the simplicity and functionality of this basic rack.
Let’s take a closer look at how to build a DIY firewood rack – so you’ll have no problem putting together your own firewood storage solution.
Tools & Materials Needed
- Circular saw
- Cordless drill
- Tape measure
- 3” and 4” exterior wood screws
- 6 x 8-foot 2x4s
- 2 x scrap plywood pieces
- Firewood rack brackets (optional)
How to Build a Firewood Rack – Guide
Step 1: Plan Rack Location and Dimensions
Like any project, you’ll want to plan the exact dimensions and location of your rack before you start cutting and assembling anything.
If possible, try to place your wood rack under an overhang or covered balcony. This will shield your firewood from rain and snow, which will keep it dry and free of rot. If this isn’t possible, you may want to construct a small roof or covering on top of your rack.
As far as the rack’s dimensions, you can build it as tall or as wide as you like, and can even add a second or third rack in parallel to your existing rack if you find you don’t have enough firewood storage space.
For this rack, I used four of the 2x4s as the vertical planks and cut the two remaining 2x4s in half to form the horizontal planks. I also used cheap plastic rack brackets to fit the frame together. There are much nicer powder-coated steel brackets available, I just happened to have these ones lying around already.
You could also opt to skip the rack brackets altogether, this will save you a few bucks but won’t result in as nice of a finished product.
Step 2: Cut Frame Pieces
Next, you’ll want to cut your vertical and horizontal frame pieces to your desired size. Mark the length with your tape measure and pencil, and then cut it to size.
If you don’t have a saw handy, or aren’t comfortable using one, you can also have the hardware store cut them for you when you purchase the lumber.
Step 3: Assemble Frame
After you’ve cut your frame pieces to size, it’s time to assemble the frame.
This is where the rack brackets really come in handy. All you need to do is slide the horizontal and vertical 2x4s into the slots and then fasten them in place with screws.
First, slide two vertical planks into the brackets to form one side of the frame. Then slide two horizontal planks into place to form the bottom of the frame. This can be a little annoying to do by yourself, so have someone give you a hand if possible.
Then, attach the two bottom horizontal pieces and the other two vertical pieces to form the other side of the frame. Use a level to ensure the frame is flush, and then fasten the corner pieces together with screws. Then do the same with the top section of the frame.
Keep in mind some rack brackets come with pre-drilled holes to fasten the 2x4s together. Mine didn’t, so I had to fasten the corner pieces together by screwing them together diagonally.
Step 4: Place Shim Material Under Corners
You might be tempted to skip this step, but if you want to keep your firewood and rack protected from water damage I’d recommend following it.
You can use concrete, stone, or wood for this, but whatever you use make sure it’s sturdy and lays flat. Place your shim material underneath both of your rack’s corners, and use your level to make sure the rack is flush.
Step 5: Attach Frame to Structure
Lastly, you’ll need to secure your rack to the side of whatever structure you’re building it against. This will ensure it won’t tip over no matter how much you load it up with firewood and kindling.
For my rack I simply used two scrap pieces of 2×4 and fastened them to the exterior wall using 3” screws. Then, I fastened the inner section of the horizontal frame to the scrap 2x4s using 4” screws.
The wood rack is now secured to the exterior of the house and is ready to hold as many pieces of firewood as you can stack in it. Now all you need to do is grab your chainsaw and start cutting up some firewood!