Build a wood crib with free materials
By Mark R. Roach
Issue #156 • November/December, 2015
Trying to stack wood so it stays up without falling can be a challenge. Just when you think you’ve got it licked, down it comes (or months later). Luckily, I found the solution: a wood crib. All the materials I obtained free except the electrical wire staples.
fencing (I used 4-foot tall fencing with 2×4-inch openings)
5 wooden posts at least 6 feet in length (to accommodate at least 2 feet burial with 4 feet remaining above ground)
electrical wire staples
2 wood pallets
wire cutters to cut fence length
saw to cut posts
I was able to find used fencing while “roadside shopping” (people put their unwanted items by the road in spring and fall for proper town disposal). I was also blessed with cedar tree trunks a friend of mine cut down clearing his property. I obtained free pallets from a local business — make sure you ask first!
First, I laid out two pallets end-to-end on level ground. I then dug post holes, placed the five cedar posts, and backfilled (I placed one post on each outside corner, and one centered where the two pallets meet along the rear side.) I then took the fencing and stapled it to the inside of the posts using electric wire staples, leaving the front length open. Make sure you staple the fence to the inside of the posts so that any pressure from the stacked wood pushes against the fence and posts. Stapling to the outside of the wood crib posts will eventually push the fence staples out of the post and cause it to break free. Also, if you fence a few inches above the pallets, you can change the pallets out in the future when they rot, without taking the whole project down.
Voilà! The finished project is a wood crib that is easy to stack and will last for years. Each crib allows two 18″ face cords (three 16″) to be neatly stacked without cross-stacking end columns or fear of it falling or collapsing. Fresh air and wind can pass through the entire wood stack without hindrance. To top it all off, stacking goes much quicker, looks neater, and the wood remains stacked!
To make wood cribs end-to-end, use the same end posts and end fence section from one crib for your next in-line crib, using two fewer posts and less fencing for the second crib.