Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 6: A Plumb-perfect Rack
Much of this paycheck finds it way into the piggy bank, helping grow the balance for the purchase of a router in a few weeks.
About $25 purchases materials for a wall-mounted rack to hold boards. Secured to wall studs by lag bolts, this 2×4-and-plywood rack holds plenty of lumber. The arms angle up slightly to keep boards from sliding off. Add and remove arms as needed to accommodate your lumber acquisitions. The photo below shows four standards (the vertical members), but you can make as many as you need. Click here to download the free plan.
Choose the straightest 2x4s you can for the rack. Then, to help rip square edges on the 2x4s, use the straightedge guide you made back with Paycheck 1. Refresh your memory on how to do this by watching this video, beginning at the 9:26 mark.
Add a level to your toolkit to help you install the racks plumb and aligned horizontally. While not a tool you'll reach for a lot in woodworking, a level proves its worth when you need to align something to true horizontal (such as built-in cabinets) or vertical (such as shelf standards). Pick a model at least 2' long. A 4' level will cost more, but allows for checking level over a longer distance, which translates to greater accuracy. It also serves as a straightedge for layout and for guiding a tool, such as a jigsaw, during a cut. However, a 4-footer may not fit inside some cabinets or between shelves.
Inexpensive levels work fine, but check any level for accuracy with this simple test that you can perform right in the store. Place the level on the floor or a shelf. If the bubble is off-center, shim the low end of the level with paper. Once the bubble rests perfectly centered, rotate the level end-for-end.
Resting on the same shim, the bubble should again sit centered. If not, the vial is out of alignment. If there is no way to adjust the vial, put the level back and find one that passes this test.
After these small expenses, beef up your bank by about $115. Then look ahead to what you'll build with Paycheck 7.