DIY Birdhouse Firewood Rack
A Christmas gift for a friend was a Firewood Rack. It's made from a couple cinder blocks and some scrape wood. It's very easy to make. Here in South Florida we only have so many cold days a year that warrant building a fire so storing large quantities of firewood isn't necessary. Though small by comparison to some firewood racks it holds enough to last several days worth of firewood. The nice thing about this style of firewood rack is that they can be made to whatever size suits your need.
It's made from scrap wood as mentioned. The scrap is the wood staves they use to strap lumber when shipping it to the local hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes. And these skives or staves are made of the same wood they are bundling usually. If it's pine the staves be of the same pine, if the pallet of wood is pressure treated pine, they'll be of pressure treated pine and so on.
Once the pallet of wood has been gone through these strapping skives are usually tossed out by the store or given away to customers that want them, you just have to ask if you can have them and they'll usually be glad to give them to you so they don't have to deal with them.If you want your firewood rack to be of all the same wood, you'll just have to collect the staves as they go through the pallets of lumber.
Personally I use them to put things on I'm painting or varnishing or use them under wood I'm cutting. Or to stack wood I've purchased on to keep it off the floor just as they are used in the stores. But in this case they are perfect to use to build a firewood rack such as this. It's not great wood, but it's not bad wood either. And honestly I hate to waste wood. If I can find a use for it I will rather than sending it to a land fill.
So lets get onto the build. As mentioned, the base is made from a couple cinder blocks. I took the idea for mine based a couple I found in doing a search on the net for "DIY Firewood racks". I saw the one you see below. It's just a couple cinderblocks and some 2x4's. Very simple, yet does what it's intended to do. Hold firewood.
Which if you that will suit your fancy, then 2 cinder blocks and a couple 2x4s or 4 of these staves is all you need and you're done. If you need a larger rack you just spread the cinder blocks apart and put a board between them like so...
So in keeping with the simplicity and this style of rack, I went from there to come up with something I can call my own. And this is my take on this style firewood rack. A little more involved sure, but it has features the base design doesn't have.
Given it was being made as a Christmas gift for a friend who didn't have a place to store firewood other than just tossing it in a pile in the bushes I thought it warranted some improvements. So I set out to make her something that was simple yet different and this is what I came up with. I call it a Birdhouse Firewood rack for lack of better term as she's into birds and it reminded me of the shape of a birdhouse. And has places to nest the various size firewood one would have. Pun intended.
Starting with the basic design I painted a couple cinderblocks... at first peach. Which came out great, but...
As I was saying, I first painted them... green to match her house...
Now the cool thing about these scrap strapping skives is they have a groove cut into the wood to hold the pallet strapping. Which I saw them to be used like gutters to a degree keeping rain water draining away from the firewood.
So in making the rack I positioned the groove in the staves, uprights and roof to the sides I felt would make use of that groove as a rain gutter.
I should mention this firewood rack measures 55 inches wide at it's widest and 45 inches tall at it's highest. And the peak width is 22 inches and has a dual purpose in that it is meant to be a measuring stick for approximating firewood length when cutting wood for her fireplace. And it looks good.
As it happened with these blocks and this wood, all angles worked out to be 22.5 degrees. Yours may differ depending on the cinder blocks you use, and the staves or wood you use.
Since you may want to make yours to what ever size - the exact measurements of mine really won't do you any good. And honestly - when making it, I didn't set out to make anything any particular dimensions. I didn't measure anything. It was built on the fly just eyeballing things to get the size I felt was right, made how ever many I needed to the same length. Pretty much building it as I went along.
I'll show you some pics of how it went together and point out some things I did... I think that will be more help to you than getting specific on measurements.
A couple things to note on the picture above...
Yes the bottom of the uprights are angled... 22.5 degrees. As well as the tops.. 22.5 degrees. All angles are 22.5 degrees. I did mention that didn't I? That part worked out great and made the build all that easier to do.
The horizontal support in the center is something I came up with to help separate the firewood sizes.
You could cover the roof with plywood and give it a cover. I chose to use the the roof if you will, to stack smaller diameter starter wood... kinda like a thatch roof. See how the strap groove would act like a rain gutter...
For the ends I used some left over 1x2 PT Pine I had . I added them so they would prevent the thatch roof from sliding off - to hold the "thatch" roof on. And you'll see you can stack it the starter wood pretty dang high.
I used all exterior grade deck screws to put it together. And glued some but not all joints. Regardless, it's very stout!
At first I was planning to cut in birds mouths on the roof rafters but.. as it happened when I cut the boards for the supports that go in-between the uprights.. I was left with a 22.5 strip that worked out perfectly, in using that strip, the birds mouth wasn't needed.
For a finish I used 4 coats of Urethane Spar Varnish - oil based.
I would not do that again if I were to build another. I would go with something like Thompsons Water Seal. It's a much easier finish to maintain. Varnish/Urethane is much more labor intensive - too labor intensive for what this is. Thompsons water seal is a quick and very effective protectant. And when the time comes - very easy to reapply as needed.
She had some extra 16x16 inch patio blocks from when I repaired her patio area and I used those to set the blocks on and then the firewood rack. I think this will help shed water and help keep the foot area of the uprights from rotting out sooner than need be.
And here it is all loaded up with some firewood a friend of hers brought her when she came down to visit for the Holidays... lots of season oak from from trimming trees on her property or branches that fell.
It turned out pretty sweet. She's very pleased with having a place to store firewood. And it's conveniently along the path of her walk way connecting to the patio so it makes getting firewood much easier for her than in the past, which consisted of digging through a pile in the bushes to find it.
I may add a couple outriggers to it, as you can see there's some green wood off to the sides that needs to cure up for next season. If I do, I'll be sure to add the modifications to this post.
It was an easy but useful project. A different sort of Christmas gift she really liked and appreciated. It was quickly put to use.
Well, I hope if nothing else sharing this project gave you some food for thought if building your own. They're easy enough to build. No tools need really if building just the basic version. Just a saw to cut the uprights to length. And you can come up with your own design based on this style. Maybe the next one I'll shape the roof like a barn... or add a circle in the center as the tinder keeper... I don't know. See what you can come up with. Feel free to share your DIY firewood rack in the comments. I'd love to see it.