Firewood racks are very rarely the subject of discussion these days but that doesn’t mean they’re not still needed. In fact, it’s very important to have a proper and practical way of storing all the firewood if you have a wood-burning fireplace, a stove or a fire pit out in the yard. There are many different ways to go around this. See some of our favorite ideas below.
How to Choose the Right Firewood Rack for Your Needs
Let’s assume that you have everything in place and you’re ready to bring home your new stack of firewood. That means that you need a proper way to store it and a firewood rack can help you with that. But if you’re never purchased one before, how do you know which specifications are most important to you? Consider the following:
- As always, when you buy pretty much any product, you need to consider what materials it’s made from, because each material has its own set of properties that can determine whether or not said product is right for you. Firewood racks are usually made from wood, plastic, or metal. Some of the best firewood racks are made from wrought iron, which is super heavy, but also one of the most durable options out there. It’s weather-resistant and stays strong for years and years even when it stays constantly outdoors. Another common choice for material is steel tubing that usually comes with a powder coat finish. That makes the steel tubes more durable, but not as durable as those made from wrought iron.
- Next, you’ll have to think about where you’re going to use the firewood rack. You will notice that a lot of racks are designed to be used both inside and outdoors, but you need to make sure that outdoor units are weather-resistant. Once again, the best choices for outdoors are racks made from powder-coated steel or wrought iron, because they are resistant and can also be decorative if you ever want to bring them indoors. Some models are made specifically for indoor use not just because they don’t use weather-resistant materials, but because they have features that are actually useful inside (such as hooks that help you hand your fireplace tools).
- As you already know, wood that’s suitable for burning inside a stove or a fireplace has to be properly dried and seasoned, which means that it has to benefit from sufficient airflow. Consequently, that means that the best firewood racks are opened in the front of the back, to facilitate airflow for a better wood seasoning.
- Then, you have to consider the size and capacity of the firewood rack you’re thinking of purchasing. If you only wood firewood on an occasional basis, you probably don’t want a large rack. Same goes for people that use a rack indoors: you don’t want it to occupy too much space. If you use a fireplace or a stove as your primary heating source, then you want the rack to be able to hold as much wood as possible.
- Portability is also an important factor which you might not consider too much until it’s time to actually carry wood to the rack. Look for models that have removable slings because they will help you fill them faster. These slings should be made from nylon or heavy-duty canvas for more durability.
How Much Does a 4ft Firewood Rack Hold?
Generally speaking, a rack that’s four feet long will hold about ¼ of a firewood cord. To eliminate the guesswork associated with rack capacity, many come pre-rated for the amount of wood they can store.
You can get fire racks with capacities ranging from 1/8 cord to one cord, as well as intermediate racks with capacities that vary from 1/4 to 3/4 cords. If you don’t use that much firewood, you can always opt for smaller racks.
How Much Does a Firewood Rack Hold?
Naturally, the answer may vary based on where you live, how you use your firewood, and how much room you have available. The following are some general principles to assist you in selecting the ideal log rack for your needs.
Log racks come in a variety of designs, and it’s vital to keep in mind that each shape may hold a varied number of logs. Racks with round features, such as circular or crescent racks will not hold the same amount of wood as those that are rectangular or square in shape.
Firewood is sold in cords, so it is critical to understand the definition of a cord. A cord is defined simply as 128 cubic feet of stacked firewood. A rectangular rack 45 to 48 inches long will carry 1/4 cord of firewood. The normal length for a 1/2 cord is 87 to 96 inches, whereas a 1 cord requires 16 feet.
While these are conventional specifications, some manufacturers include an additional length. While most firewood racks designed to store 1/4 cord are 4 feet long, some are 5 feet long.
These are worth looking for because they might assist you in correctly storing a little amount of additional firewood. And, if you’re like the majority of people, you’ll enjoy majestic firewood flames so much that you’ll likely use more wood than you intended.
How Do You Make a Firewood Rack out of a 2×4?
You can build your own firewood rack with roughly $40, and here is a tutorial that teaches you how to do it.
What you’ll need:
- (6) 2×4 wood boards, 8 feet a piece, treated
- 3.5-inch exterior screws
- 2.5-inch exterior screws
- Impact driver
- Chop saw
- Measuring tape
Start by cutting the wood boards so that before you start the project, you’ll have: two of the original boards that are eight feet long, four pieces that are four feet long, four pieces that are 17.5 inches long, two pieces that are 12 inches long, four pieces that are nine inches long, four pieces that are eight and ¾ inches long. The 17.5-inch-long pieces need to have their sides cut to 45-degree angles.
Find a flat surface to work on as you start putting all the wood pieces together.
Place the eight-foot-long pieces about 12 inches apart from one another and connect them at the ends using the 12-inch wood pieces you’ve previously cut. Attach them using your 3.5-inch screws and the impact driver.
Take your four-foot-long piece and place it vertically on one of the corners of this previously constructed frame. Use two 2.5-inch screws to hold it into place. Do the same for the other three corners.
Grab your eight ¾-inch pieces. Take one of them and place it right behind the upright supports, so that it stays inside the frame. When placed correctly, it will create a pocket that offers support for the vertical wood pieces. Secure these pieces in place using your 3.5-inch screws, two on each side. Place another eight ¾-inch pieces on the other end, and you should be left with two more of these pieces.
The nine-inch pieces will be used midway on the vertical supports, so grab some measuring tape and mark the middle of these poles so that you’ll be able to place these braces accordingly. Use the 3.5-inch screws to put these pieces in place. Do the same thing on the other side.
Use your other eight ¾-inch pieces as braces between the long runners. Mark 40 inches using your pencil from each of the two ends and that’s where these pieces will be screwed in.
It’s time to use the last four pieces of wood, which are 17.5 inches long. These will serve as support pieces, and you’ll place them in the corners of your firewood rack. Secure them in place with screws and the impact driver.
Can Firewood Get Rained On?
The purpose of the seasoning procedure for firewood is to reduce the moisture content of the wood to a level that will not cause inefficient burning when used in a fireplace or fireplace insert.
In accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendations, the ideal moisture content range for wood designed to build a fire is between 15 percent and 20 percent.
When wood is freshly cut, its moisture content might be significantly greater than 20 percent, necessitating the need to dry it out over an extended length of time in order to assist reduce the moisture level down. It’s critical to keep the rain off the wood during the seasoning process to ensure a successful seasoning.
If the wood is constantly exposed to moisture, it may take longer to season and may even begin to rot before it has a chance to dry. During the seasoning process, wood should be stored under some type of cover in order to avoid it from becoming wet.
If the wood has previously been thoroughly seasoned, stacking the wet wood in the appropriate dry circumstances is the most effective method of drying it out. The goal is to keep the firewood dry if it was recently exposed to rain. If the firewood has been exposed to persistent rain for an extended period of time, it may begin to rot and become less effective when trying to start a fire.
What Is the Best Firewood to Burn?
Density and dryness are two characteristics of the greatest firewood to burn. Denser wood burns more efficiently because it provides the fire with more fuel to consume.
However, if the high-density wood is too wet, the fire will have to use additional energy to dry it out. As a result, it will burn less brightly and for a shorter period of time than it would if the wood were drier. As a result, high dryness and density are required for firewood to perform optimally.
If you want a longer burn time, you must first determine if the firewood is softwood or hardwood. The distinction between these two main categories is in the tree species from which they originate.
Hardwoods are trees that shed their leaves in the winter and include popular species such as ash or oak. Softwoods, on the other hand, are derived from evergreen trees, like spruce or pine.
Due to the slower growth rate of hardwood trees compared to softwoods, their wood is denser and hence takes longer to burn. Thus, even if certain softwood varieties are faster to ignite than hardwoods, the flames tend to die out quicker as they burn through the less thick material. As a result, it may be prudent to start a fire using softwood but maintain it with hardwood.
Finally, hardwood provides a longer burn time for your money. As a result, given the opportunity, we always prefer hardwood over softwood.
Additionally, softwoods don’t burn as hot as hardwoods do. Not all hardwoods, however, generate the same amount of heat. For instance, hickory, ash, or oak have a higher heat value compared to walnut, for instance. However, all of those woods have a higher thermal conductivity than softwoods such as cedar and pine.
We quantify the amount of heat emitted by various types of wood using a unit called BTU (which is short for British Thermal Unit). The Energy Information Administration of the United States defines a BTU as about the amount of heat emitted by one match. In comparison, one cord (the equivalent of 128 cubic feet) of oak wood contains around 29 million BTUs.
What good is long-burning, hot wood if it doesn’t burn cleanly? To be worth your time and money, the wood must burn efficiently and emit little smoke. The easiest approach to achieve these benefits is to burn properly dry wood. For a clean burn, your firewood must have less than 20 percent moisture. Anything over 20 percent is difficult to fire, untidy to burn, and smoky.
Seasoning is a method of reducing the moisture content of firewood. Season firewood by letting it dry for 6-12 months after cutting. Stack it in a dry, well-ventilated area. Seasoning wood only gets it so dry. Usually, this signifies the wood is near but not below the 20 percent level. So, the burn won’t be as clean as it could be.
We prefer kiln-dried firewood for the cleanest burn. Drying the wood in a kiln speeds up and improves seasoning. Rather than waiting months for the wood to dry, it can be ready in only a few hours. The kiln’s regulated environment easily reduces moisture content to below 20 percent.
This ensures that kiln-dried firewood burns as clean as possible. Its low moisture level ensures a clean burn. In addition, the wood is free of faults such as mold, pests, and insects.
In conclusion, some of the best firewood to burn includes white oak, red oak, sugar maple, ironwood, apple, and American beech.
How Much Does a Cord of Wood Cost?
Depending on where you live, a split and seasoned hardwood cord might cost between $120 and $180. However, many people may anticipate paying more, particularly if you wait until winter to stack up on firewood. In some areas of the US, prices can reach $220 to $400 per cord.
13 Practical firewood storage rack ideas
Firewood rack on wheels
This is a really nice and simple idea for a firewood storage rack. You can make something similar out of pallet wood to save some money or if you like the reclaimed wood look. Put casters on the base so you can easily move the rack around without much effort. You can find more details about this project on thewoodgraincottage.
Simple wood rack plan
Similarly, this firewood rack has a very simple and basic design and is easy to build. Plan the dimensions based on how big the logs are. You can use some simple 2 x 4 wood boards and a few rigid connectors to build the frame. This one is raised off the ground a bit which helps keep the wood dry and more easily accessible. Check out ana-white for more details.
Cement cinder blocks and wood
For this DIY firewood rack featured on instructables you don’t even need any tools. Just take some concrete blocks and place them on a stable surface with the holes up, then put timbers across so they go through the blocks on each side. Add some boards in the holes and you’ll get a very simple and surprisingly sturdy firewood rack.
Steel pipes firewood
If you like the industrial look, consider building a firewood rack out of pipes and fittings. This one featured on instructables is pretty special. It’s made using 2 leg bases from a trampoline plus 8 straight leg sections in addition to some pipes and timber. It shows that you can find ways to repurpose pretty much anything.
Small pipes fire wood rack
Here’s another metal rack idea, this time made only with pipes, joints and foot caps. Putting together this firewood rack is a lot like doing a puzzle. as you can see, it’s fairly small and that means it would fit pretty much anywhere. Check out imgur and find out all the details of this project along with some useful tips.
Another cool idea is to make a firewood rack out of concrete. In order to successfully build something like this you need a mold to pour the concrete mix into. We love the concrete and wood combination featured on diypete and also the compact form of the rack. It could double as a side table if you choose to put it near the fireplace.
This firewood storage rack was made using three cinder blocks, six 2×4 boards and three cedar fence pickets. The frame is held together with screws and nails. It’s a low-cost project which focuses mostly on functionality but even so it doesn’t look half bad. You can find more details about it on bbq-brethren.
What if you’d build a firewood rack using firewood? That would be pretty cool. Obviously, the wood needs to be cut and sanded but that should be quite fun to do. We really like this design from instructables because it has two curved edges that give it a very elegant look.
Firepit bench and wood rack
The firewood storage area for this fire pit is right under the bench. It’s a wonderful idea and a great way to save space and be practical at the same time. Also, the firewood looks kind of nice in there. It adds some texture and pattern to this whole setup. Find out more about this whole project on instructables.
Outdoor shed storage
If you plan on storing a lot of firewood, maybe enough to last you the whole winter, then a small rack will definitely not be enough. Instead you could build a larger structure out of wood and maybe give it a roof so the wood stays dry. It would be a fairly complex project so be sure to check out littlehouseonthecorner to find out all the details.
This concrete firewood rack looks wonderful. It’s a very simple project and the design is not exactly complex but it has a pure and natural simplicity which really makes it stand out. Consider something like this for your outdoor fireplace or the fire pit if you have one. The idea comes from welke.
Minimalist A Frame
Since you can basically give your firewood rack any shape you want, consider something a bit more quirky. Let’s say you build a small but tall rack and you give it a little roof, like a miniature house. That would look lovely. We got this idea after checking out a project on domestically-speaking.
Wall leaning firewood storage
If you don’t want your firewood rack to take up space on the floor maybe you could find a way to have it wall-mounted. Also, you could opt for a compact design which doesn’t stick out too much, allowing the actual fireplace to be the center of attention. You might find this project from thisminimalhouse to be just right.
Best Firewood Rack Ideas
Firewood Log Rack
Our first choice is this firewood log rack designed to hold different amounts of wooden logs, depending on what size you opt for. There are 7 different sizes to choose from, with the smallest rack measuring 36″ H x 36″ W x 10″ D and the largest one is 48″ H x 192″ W x 14″ D. This is basically a rack designed with a steel frame that has 16-gauge tubing, but also with a top material cover that’s designed to prevent rain from getting your firewood wet.
Next up, we have this fire log rack that has a rather basic design, making it suitable for indoors use, as well as outside. It’s made from steel and has a total weight of 9.24 pounds, making it more portable compared to some of the other metal racks we’ve seen. The hood located on the top side of the rack makes it pretty easy for you to pick up and move it around as you please.
Let’s move onto a more elegant firewood rack, with a design that’s worthy of being displayed indoors. Aside from the rack itself, you will also receive 4 handy fireplace tools: a shovel, a broom, a hook, and a pair of tongs. All of these can be stored on the hooks located on the sides of the rack, so you’ll always have them at hand without having to leave them on the floor or purchase another hanger for them separately. The rack is made from quality wrought iron and has a vintage design that should be able to find its way into just about any décor.
This log rack is designed for outdoor use because it’s quite large and comes with the features needed for a rack that’s supposed to withstand weather elements. Made from enamel coated steel, this firewood rack is designed to offer enough storage space for about one face-cord of firewood, while the cover makes it easy to keep the wood protected since it goes all the way down, covering the entire pile.
Here we have yet another Pleasant Hearth firewood rack designed for indoor use. It weighs a little over 8 pounds, so it’s definitely the kind of product that you can move around if need be. It is made from steel and has a black finish, with sleep and contemporary lines that could find their way into most indoor decors.
If you want a more elegant indoor firewood rack, you have to check out this model. It’s made from quality metal and has a beautiful bronze finish, with elegant details that make it worthy of being placed next to the fireplace. The powder-coated surface promises extra durability, while the small size is ideal because it doesn’t take up too much room space. It weighs 12 pounds, so it’s not the most lightweight option we’ve seen, but it isn’t too difficult to pick up and move around either.
There is so much to love about the Millwood Pines firewood rack aside from its rather unique design. It has a powder-coated steel construction that’s rust and UV-resistant, so it’s suitable for outdoor use if that’s what you’re looking for. We love the fact that the bronze finish of the rack resembles wood quite a lot, giving it a more interesting visual appeal. It weighs almost 20 pounds, so it’s definitely not a product that you could move around with ease. It does have a rustic accent due to its antique look, and we could totally see this being used outdoors, placed next to a campfire.
Another portable steel firewood rack made by the nice folks over at Pleasant Hearth is this one right here. With 8.58 pounds in weight and thanks to the two loops located on the side walls of the rack, you’ll find it pretty easy to carry this around. It might not be the best product for outdoor use because the base is constructed with a piece of lumber that could easily get damaged when overexposed to moisture.
If it’s a wood firewood rack you fancy, you have to check this 2×4 Basics option out. Note that this isn’t a firewood rack per se, but it’s a hardware pack that offers 2 resin brackets and the hardware needed to create your own product. That means that you are going to need to purchase the lumber separately, as the product page guides you through the assembly process. It is advertised as being for outdoor use, but we’re a bit skeptical about how long the lumber pieces would last if they were sitting out in the rain for too long. However, it could work in a more protected space, like the patio or the garage/shed.
If you love a practical and elegant steel log rack, you’re going to appreciate the one we’re about to show you. Made from quality steel and weather-resistant construction, this is the kind of rack that you could use indoors and outside, offering you the construction needed to make the best out of this product. One side of the rack comes with a couple of hooks that can be used to hang your fire tools.
If you’re serious about investing in a firewood storage solution for your outdoor space, then you have to check out this log store. With a storage capacity of 55 cubic feet, this is a unit made from galvanized steel that’s designed to protect your wood, while also allowing it to breathe for better seasoning. The raised metal base will keep wood off the moist ground, while the sloped roof is perfect for steering water away from your firewood.