Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pesky wood racks

OK so as part of my shop rebuild I bought some metal wall racks from Triton. They are superb, strong, well made and fix straight to the wall.

Original Triton Racking

The walls are made from Thermalite SHIELD blocks and line the internal walls. These are a solid but lightweight building block.

Thermalite SHEILD block

The external walls are the existing pre-cast concrete sections. The Thermalite blocks are essentially fixed to the external walls with standard wall ties and there is a small cavity in between inner and outer skins. Are you following me so far?
I got a load of timber boards and stacked them on the wall racks and all was good. Or so I thought....

It turns out that I may have been a little over zealous in stacking some oak at one end. One day last week I noticed a crack in the wall, not immediately next to the racks, that went through the centre of two of the blocks and then following the mortar seam of two other blocks. My first thought was settlement cracks. Then I noticed a bigger crack in the wall immediately next to one of the wall racks. Oh crap!!!
Not as bad as I originally thought

On closer investigation the rack was still securely fixed to the wall, its just the wall had moved, only 2mm (3/32") , in a small area out of plumb. It seems that the weight of the lumber on the rack had caused a turning moment due to the short cantilever of the racks and had pushed the internal wall (locally) outwards at the bottom end of one of the uprights of the rack.

Needless to say I removed all the lumber from the racks and examined the wall. It was still sound fortunately but a little dented.

Today I received some expensive, heavy duty, free-standing metal racking 2.5 metres long by 1.8 metres high. It has 5 shelves and is tonight's building job. (see my next blog update)
The free standing rack that
I should have bought in the first place (DOH!)

So the moral of the tale is make sure your wall is strong enough to withstand the weight of the wood you want to put on it BEFORE you decide to buy some wall mounted lumber racks!

Boy this woodworking hobby is expensive huh?

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