Plywood Storage Tips

Do you use a lot of plywood? Tired of putting your plywood in storage and pulling it out to find warped shapes or falling apart pieces? Then, you should check out these storage tips.

1. Keep the Plywood in a Climate Controlled Area

Plywood products feature layers of thin wood that have been held together by glue. The glue in most contemporary plywood supplies is designed to withstand water. With old plywood, the glue may be water soluble.

To be on the safe side in both situations, you should store your plywood in a space that is climate controlled. That prevents excess moisture from getting near the plywood and causing it to warp or fall apart.

2. Get The Plywood Off the Ground

To further protect your plywood, make sure that you don't store it on the ground. Outside, the ground has a lot of moisture, which can damage the plywood, as explained above. Even in a garage, there may be spills that can damage the plywood. A rack can help you keep it off the ground.

3. Build a Rack

If you work with a lot of plywood, you need to be able to get the piece you want when you want it. To make that easier, you may want to build a plywood storage rack. You just need some timber, caster wheels and hinges.

Basically, you are going to build a frame that looks similar to something you might store file folders in but at a much larger scale. The rack is going to have a base and several upright dividers cut at an angle. You are going to put the pieces of your plywood between the dividers—this rack lets you organise your plywood by size and shape.

The rack gets hinged to the wall of your garage, and there are caster wheels on the bottom. When you need to find some plywood, you swing out the rack, and the caster wheels help it move along. This can be a lot easier than just digging through a pile of plywood.  

3. Store It Perfectly Vertically

Ideally, you should set up your rack so that you can put the plywood in there perfectly vertically. Unfortunately, if you store plywood leaning against a wall in a slanted manner, the force of gravity against the plywood can damage it, leading to unwanted curves or warped shapes. To protect that, you want to prevent uneven pressure by orienting the plywood so that it's completely straight. If you don't build a rack, then you may want to find a way to position the plywood so that it's horizontal.

4. Explore Horizontal Storage Techniques

Storing it in the rafters of your garage can keep it straight, and if the rafters are close together, they can provide relatively even support. Alternatively, to provide even more support to your pieces of plywood, you may want to put a few pieces of plywood permanently on your garage rafters. Then, you can set the plywood you plan to use on top of those sheets.

If you are worried that your rafters aren't climate controlled enough, you may want to add insulation to the roof of your garage. Alternatively, you can copy this format near the ground, space permitting. Basically, just lay some planks on the ground. Then, stretch plywood between them as a base, and finally, store your plywood by laying it evenly on the base.  

5. Protect the Plywood From Grease and Debris

If you are storing the plywood in a workshop where you use a lot of tools, there may be a lot of sawdust or other debris floating around. Similarly, there may be oily residue from motor vehicles or power tools used in the area. To protect your plywood from those threats, you may want to cover it with a tarp. Keep the tarp loose so condensation doesn't build up under it.