Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cheap, quick, and easy plane rack

In an effort to start organizing our basement (about half of it should be deep-sixed), I put together this quickie rack for my sailplanes.  I built it in our basement, where the joists for the first floor are accessible.  If you don't have accessible floor joists, you could instead fasten these supports to in-wall studs or what-have-you.

I trimmed a couple of 2x4s so that they spanned the distance between the basement floor and the floor joists, plus a few more inches. Setting them in place temporarily and marking them L(eft) and R(ight), I drew a level line across them.  I then made marks every 2", down and up from this line.

The "shelf" brackets are simply foot-long lengths of 1/2" metal electrical conduit, cut to length with one of those copper-pipe cutting tools.  Their outer diameter is a little less than 3/4".  So that's the size I made the holes.

I wanted the "shelves" to tilt back slightly, to help keep items in place.  So I tilted the bed of the drill press to 7.5°, chucked a 3/4" Forstner bit, and drilled the holes most of the way through at each of the marked locations.


To secure the 2x4s at the top, I used a couple of metal cleats that were left over from our remodeling project.  Given that the 2x4s rest on the floor, and the weight of the planes will be pretty darn minimal, the cleats offer plenty of support.


As you can see in the first photo, plumbing and electrical conduit prevented placing the studs directly against the wall.  So I cut a few scraps of 2x4 and plywood and fastened them to the bottoms of the vertical 2x4s, to preserve the vertical orientation of the rack.

And that's it.  Here's a shot of the rack, all loaded up.  To provide a little more security, I looped #64 rubber bands around some of the fuselages.

As mentioned in the title, the rack was quick, cheap, and easy to build.  And the "shelves" are easily adjustable.  But it has a few drawbacks.  The planes are exposed to flying tools and cats.  They can accumulate dust.  And - darn it! - it's already full.  Guess I'll have to build another one.

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