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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Apprentice

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:22 pm
Posts: 31
I'm planning on building the standard iron pipe lumber rack (3/4" black pipe sticking out of doubled up 2x4s that are lag bolted to studs). My question is most of the plans I've seen have the pipe sticking out only maybe a foot or so from the 2x4s. I plan on loading up the rack, and was going to have the pipe stick out about 21" (I'm limited on wall space and can't have too many shelves).

However, the lack of other people doing it that way makes me wonder if I am missing something. Would that much weight that far out on the pipe be a problem?


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 2:05 pm 
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Obsessed
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:39 pm
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Location: Livonia
It would depend on how high you stack the lumber on those pipes, Jacob, and how far apart your vertical standards are. If you put in more pipes, spaced much closer vertically than those sticking with the 12" lengths (thus limiting how much each set of pipes might have to handle) you might be good. Also putting in more standards (so the pipes are spaced horizontally at 24" intervals instead of 36" or 48"), that will also limit the load on each individual pipe.

Unfortunately, I don't have the engineering skills to help you calculate the load-bearing capacity of a single length of pipe from which you could calculate the spacing. Most of us would just over-build the hell out of it (lots of pipes close together) but you may end up making the entire project overly expensive.

Some additional thoughts:
  • Drill the hole for the pipes putting the pipes at a slight upward angle, which would handle some weight-induced deflection, and would also make it easy to keep all the boards stacked closer to the wall
  • You could build a test rig with a single pipe, and apply a measured load until you reach the point of failure. Something like pre-weighed concrete blocks hung off the end or something. You could then calculate the load from a hypothetical stack of a heavy wood like white oak, and space the pipes accordingly to stay within a max load of half the empirically-derived failure load
  • Plan on slipping a piece of PVC over that iron pipe as it can stain wood placed directly on it
  • Lastly, I have a wood rack built along the side wall in my garage, and I live in horror of any of those supports giving way. Not only could it do serious damage to the car sitting just below it, but could kill me or my wife if we were under it when it gave way. If I could do nothing else, I'd follow the over-building practice mentioned above rather than risk a catastrophic and potentially dangerous failure

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
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Location: Ypsilanti
I think if the standards are 16" or 32" apart horizontally, and the 21"-extension pipes are, say, 18" apart vertically, you will not be able to overload the pipes with lumber-stacking. Just be sure your standards are built well (glue and screws or bolts) and they are well-secured to a sturdy wall. And don't hit any wires or pipes in the wall attaching it.

Especially black pipe will stain your lumber. Galv pipe might, too, but less-so.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
Like this? I used 1/2" black pipe with the foam pipe insulation. The first layer of wood you had to be a little careful not to knock off the insulation but it did hold up well for 11 years. I built a 2x6 frame, like a framed wall with top and bottom plates, with holes for the pipes bored about 4" deep at maybe a 5 degree angle to allow for any sag and I probably would have done slightly less if I did it over. The extra 2x across the top and bottom formed and L with the top and bottom plates and kept everything solid. My standards were just under 24' apart--the poles for the barn were 10' on center. it was still dead straight when I moved, and I think the guy that bought the house bough new pipes and used it for shelving (I gave the pipes to someone not thinking a buyer might want them.)


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:22 pm
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This is all great information. Thanks guys. Would there be any meaningful difference in strength between galvanized and iron pipe?


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Master

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:04 am
Posts: 299
Location: Farmington Hills, MI
No the pipe finish will not impact its load carrying ability.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:12 pm
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Location: Ypsilanti
I wanted to add, if you want to sleeve the pipes so they don't stain your wood, the plastic sleeves they sell for shower-curtain rods are inexpensive and nearly ideal. Available at most hardware or big-box-builidng-matl stores. They come 5' long and are easily cut, and I think they fit both 1/2" and 3/4" pipe. Good for sleeving pipe clamps when used for panel-glue-ups, too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:32 pm
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Location: Grand Blanc
Concerning the load carrying capacity of gas pipe...
I don't know either, but this over the counter solution for stacking lumber uses much thinner square tubing and I have a huge amount of lumber on my wall. Mind you... I never go underneath the shelf because I know the load is quite heavy. This brand of lumber rack was rated to handle this kind of load... so I would expect that iron gas pipe of similar length will handle more load.
https://youtu.be/xUp1Ev8QyE4

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:29 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:27 pm
Posts: 1855
Location: ann arbor
i've used this 3/4" black pipe technique for years - my racks are three 2x4s nailed together with 42" pipes shoved through making double sided racks. i have them about every 3' or so. there are thousands of bdft of lumber on these pipes and there isn't even noticeable deflection, much less the chance of collapse. they are incredibly strong.

by the way, a 1 1/16" spade bit is the perfect size for the OD of a 3/4" black pipe.

--- dz


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