One of my spring cleaning goals is to better organize my leaning jumble of wood boards. I’ve got 1x and 2x boards boards up against one wall, and a whole lot of cut plywood and hardwood boards in a corner by the door.
For my situation, I’m likely going to have to build a lumber cart, maybe even a mobile cart. I can see it now – some outdoor tools will be mounted to the wall, and I’ll have a mobile lumber cart in front of it. Or something like that, I haven’t figured it out yet.
But, one thing I do know is that if I had enough wall space, I would absolutely go with a Bora Portamate wall mounted lumber rack.
The 4-level rack (there’s a 6-level rack as well) mounts to wood studs, and it’s recommended that they are mounted 4-6 feet apart.
The uprights and horizontal rails are made from powder-coated 1″ wide steel tubes. The vertical rails measure 24.5″ tall and the shelf depth is 12.5″.
Each level can support up to 110 lbs, for a total weight capacity of 440 lbs for the 4-level wall rack.
The Bora Portamate lumber rack has been quite popular over the years, and you can use it to store other types of thing as well, such as hockey sticks and snowboards. You can loop straps over the bottom rails, such as golf bags.
These racks are very positively reviewed, although there are quite a few mentions that users should plan to pick up some appropriately sized lag screws separately.
This is what I wish I could use to keep my wood boards and plywood cuts neatly organized, but I’ll need to find a different solution to fit my space. Still, it seemed worth mentioning – maybe it’ll be a better fit for your needs and workshop walls.
Price: $40 for the 4-level rack, ~$50 for the 6-level
I just grabbed a set of those! Somehow wood on the wall is better than wood on the floor. I finally agreed after spilling a bunch of oil in the garage and soaking the edge of several boards.
On Amazon.com there are several similar racks made by KASTFORCE, which are usually cheaper than Bora, but seem to be the same quality. I have a few pairs in the garage, and find them very useful.
They are cheaper in the total sense but basically the same price per level of wood. Good find though if you don’t need or want 4 levels. I’m putting that in my wishlist until I finish the shop.
I’ve seen a few versions of these for sale. No idea if Bora is better or worse than all the copycats. Clever and inexpensive solution though.
Canadians can check Busy Bee tools, Princess Auto, Canadian Tire, Peavey Mart & TSC. Might be other places too, but I’m sure I’ve seen them there.
I was seriously considering these – well, I still kind of am. My wife veto’d the install in our garage though and I don’t have the wall space in my shop. I wondered about adapting them into a cart – but I don’t really have the room for that either. My current plan is to enclose a big rack I have in my backyard with tarps to store construction-grade lumber outside (not ideal, but space is limited) and only store my better wood indoors.
For the time being I have most of my wood stored on shelf brackets – which accomplishes almost the same thing.
Bora has awesome customer service. I bought a Bora drill press clamp from Woodcraft and the handle was slightly damaged. I called Bora and the mailed another one out right away and told me to keep the original too. Barely any effort on my part, so they earned my business for future purchases.
They come up for sale fairly frequently at Woodcraft
For less than $40 shipped?
I got 2 of the 6 shelf for $85 shipped including tax last December on a sale from woodcraft
Huh… I saw an ad for some Rockler ones that just look like blue versions of these.
I have the 6-tier Bora version, which I cut into 3-tiered. Very sturdy and worth the price!!
That’s an awesome idea. Did you just add a few holes for extra lags? I was going to order a 4-rack and keep one of my existing wood brackets to support longer pieces at the top, but this seems even better.
I had a wheeled lumber cart, made with 2×4, which I ended up using to store staging parts.
Picked up a pair of those porta things, but have to still find a suitable place for them.
They do go on sale from time to time.
Grizzly lumber rack is pretty much the same as the 6 tier Bora and it’s $37 + shipping.
I’ve been pretty happy with the 2 sets I’ve had for the last 3 years. I have them nested in a 16″ 32″ 16″ spacing configuration so I can store some shorter pieces on them as well.
They really need to sell these in 3 packs instead of 2. Lumber can get a little warp between the two.
Or individually, but the as-shipped price point might not be attractive.
I’ve seen lumber rack examples where a shelf material of some kind is used to provide additional support.
I agree. Just two makes little sense unless it is just short stuff.
An old rack I made was 16oc in the shed.
So I bought two boxes …
My Bora Portamate lumber rack is completely empty now. With the cost of lumber I’ve gone through all my leftovers on projects. Can anyone guess when the cost of lumber will return to normalcy? A 2×4 is nearly $8 in my area.
I am equally curious. I have not done much framing or cabinetry since last spring ( other than an outside staircase in PT that required me to buy stuff from THREE stores because none had inventory and ended being major $$$ ) Just stopped at the big box stores for some upcoming projects, needing some basic plywood, holy moly lumber prices are still anywhere from double to triple to quadruple.
Why o why?
Some say never. People use the 100 year drought a couple decades ago and hay as a reference. USed to be under $3 then went to $14 and today is hardly below $7. Gone are $8 sheet goods, but to answer your question, I think it will at minimum be at least a year before we see a decrease with the low mortgage rates, limited existing housing stock, and a supply chain that was already under supplied.
I have been meaning to get one of these. Purchased a 4-shelfer via the Amazon link at $35. Thanks for the nudge.
I have a few of the 6 tier units. They are sturdy but the distance between shelves is too small for too much. The ability to add a small lip at the end would be a nice addition.
I agree on both points. I still like them and use them but the spacing is not great for most things. I just ended up running some bolts through the ends to stop things from rolling off.
I have the 6 tier in my shop. On two of the tiers I clamped 10” boards on them and made them into shelves for shorter pieces of wood and usable scrap.
I use these, and the Grizzly version. While they look identical except for paint colors, the Grizzly version arrived with some mild surface rust inside a few of the support bars and the screws used felt a bit cheaper. With that said, they work just as well.
I prefer to space them closer together so I can support boards of different lengths. For the cost, it’s pretty easy to set up 2 pairs across an 8′ span and have a lot of options for wood placement. In spaces where there are just stud walls, I do like to put up sheeting to go behind them.
They go up quickly, they’re strong enough for anything I’ve done with them, and they’re reasonably inexpensive when on sale. I got my Bora sets for $25 each at a Home Depot clearance sale, and paid a bit more for Grizzly’s version on sale.
The grizzly set is also about 1/3 cheaper than the bora.
Grizzly charges shipping.
Grizzly 6-level system: $54 via Grizzly on Amazon with free shipping, or $36.50 on their website not including shipping fees.
Bora’s 6-level is $48.42 on Amazon.
I see that Grizzly has a 3-level system, but they don’t seem to have a 4-level.
Why not buy direct from Grizzly? If you get 2 sets the shipping is likely cheaper per unit.
In comparisons I’ve done in the past, Grizzly’s 3rd party Amazon prices were comparable to their on-site prices after shopping.
I tried to check their site, but shipping fees weren’t published in the same way as with equipment and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of new account creation (or password reset process).
My point is that saying “Grizzly is cheaper” is misleading because 1) they don’t have a product that matches the shelf count of the Bora product primarily focused on here, and 2) even though they also have a 6-level unit, it’s only cheaper until you take shipping into account.
How much would the average retailer charge to ship a product made from tubular steel?
If the Grizzly as-shipped product is cheaper, which I doubt based into heir 3rd party direct Amazon listing, it’s not going to be appreciable.
If there’s interest, I can do an across/brand and retail pricing comparison, but in my own research the couple of times I looked at this and similar products in the last, there was never any compelling reason to look beyond Bora/Portamate.
Bora 4-level: $40 shipped
Grizzly 3-level: $22 + $10 shipping = $32 plus tax
Bora 6-level: $48.42 shipped (as of the time of this posting)
Grizzly 6-level: $54 shipped on Amazon
Grizzly 6-level direct: $36.50 + $10 shipping = $46.50
I stand corrected – there is a $2 difference.
(2) Grizzly 6-levels ship for $15.
Still, I’d go with the Bora. Grizzly quality can be questionable, and for something like this that can suffer shipping damage if mishandled, Amazon is by far the easiest retailer when it comes to returns.
YMMV, I have 2 sets of these and frankly I don’t care for them. They’re a cheap and easy way to get a rack setup, but it’s inefficient for access. I much prefer a vertical storage solution. I put some ventilated plastic garage tiles down and I’m good with this.
I agree on vertical storage whenever possible, but wish I had 12’+ ceilings. In my 9′ ceiling garage, I have an 8′ long and 1′ deep chunk of floor against a wall that is for vertical storage of lumber, and another 12′ span of wall above a plywood cart that is for really long stuff: unmilled lumber, siding, trim boards, etc. I hate digging through the long horizontal pieces, while getting through the vertical stuff is almost as easy as paging through a book.
I rarely buy lumber longer than 9′ anymore. I’ve got no way to get boards that long home unfortunately. So even it it starts out as a really long piece I’m cutting it before loading it up. Heck I do that with plywood sometimes just to make it easier to handle. Freaking hate handling sheets of ply.
I made mine using 2×4 and some plywood stock for a 16 foot shelf over my garage door. Rather simple to make, and I was going to get some pictures and post the general idea of the bracket since it was cheap to make. Then I saw the price of these at only $40.
40 seems like a huge deal, and you don’t have to spend half a day cutting wood and gluing it together. I would have rather bought these.
I bought the 6 bar version but cut them in half because of lack of height in my space. I am using all four of the halves side by side which I think gives pretty good support event for 10ft+ boards.
These are super sturdy and I have had quite a bit of weight on them.
I have a 6 bar version. I put a sheet of 3/4 mdf, with a lip at the front and back, on the bottom shelf. It’s great for holding smaller things like dowels and off cuts of trim.
Supports 110 lbs per shelf. Seems to be light duty to me. Lumber can get heavy quick. Especially if its high moisture content. I guess if you space the verticals close together you would be ok? To be fair my wood racks don’t have a published rating and they have not failed. Mostly have leftover trim on them.
I built my wood racks and plywood cart from plans from the woodwhisperer. Sheet good cart is great. Mounted mine right next to garage door. Don’t cheap out on casters or hinges and this will be great.
Link to his video:
What’s the financials on this? – by the the time you purchase, receive and install this, wouldn’t a few 2x4s and good screws suffice?
Great blog, keep up the good work.
There’s nothing wrong with the DIY route.
For $35-40, this rack could go up (if I had the wall space), with minimal thought aside from finding the studs.
A DIY route becomes its own project, requiring design, material acquisition, and maybe some back-and-forth prototyping.
Everyone has to balance their choices. I don’t have much to say about DIY lumber racks, but I have looked at this Bora a bunch of times and it seemed worth posting about.
I’m planning to build a rolling plywood and lumber cart. Here, the DIY route would let me build something suited to my space and particular needs and wants. There is the option to go with store-bought solutions, but they would all require compromises.
I think these are a better option. The middle shelf is adjustable, they come in a 4 pack, they’re 16” deep, and the bars are removable. $60 for 4, 3 shelf pieces.
What can you tell me about this “Homydom” brand?
They’re likely just an importer possibly purchasing through Alibaba. I would guess Bora is doing the same. Both models are all over Alibaba. I prefer the design of the Homydom model and the reviews on Amazon are mostly favorable. Also, Amazon is easy to deal with if any issues are found. I actually caught a local auction for the following so I didn’t purchase the Homydom ones.
I find it very hard to trust brands that don’t seem to exist beyond Amazon.
That’s understandable. I’d be more hesitant if it was on ebay or another retailer. Amazon has enough good reviews and individuals’ photos of the product for me to purchase it and returns are free and painless if it doesn’t meet my expectations. I’ve found some great, inexpensive tools taking a chance on no-name Amazon stuff and there are many items that are the exact same tool without the expensive branding.