If you are passionate about cars or trucks, you likely have a set of spare tires that you keep around for winter or for hitting the track. These tires – regardless of why you keep them – can get in your way, leaving you to wonder how to get them off the floor and into a more practical, safe, and tidy storage spot that will free up space in your garage. Worry no more; this article provides you with a detailed guide on how to build a tire rack mounted to a wall.
Why a Wall-Mounted Rack?
Some people store their tires by stacking them in a corner of the garage. Despite how many times you see this being done in auto shops, it is not advisable, especially for unmounted tires. Stacking exposes the rubber in your tires to pressure (from the weight of overlying tires) so that they start to flatten.
Another common but ill-advised storage method is hanging your tires from the ceiling using chains. Doing this causes your tires to gradually deform at the point where they rest on the chain.
A wall-mounted rack helps you avert the effects of weight and gravity that come with stacking and hanging your tires. With a rack, your tires will be resting individually on a level board.
Positioning Your Wall-Mounted Tire Rack
Besides maintaining the integrity of your tires, one of the main reasons for opting for a wall-mounted rack is so you can create space in your garage. This means you have to be strategic about where you position it. If you have a lot of space in your garage, you can mount the rack at around 3 feet from the ground in a rarely-accessed corner. This setup will allow you to access your tires easily.
That said, if you don’t have plenty of floor space but a lot of ceiling height, you can position the tire rack at about 6 to 7 feet from the floor. The key is to have enough headroom that you can walk under the rack, but not so much that you can’t reach the tires.
Materials and Tools You Will Need
The following are the basic materials you will need to make this tire rack. You may vary some dimensions depending on the size of the rack you are building.
· Tape measure
· Wood cutting tool, e.g. power saw
· Construction screws
· Structural screws
· Number 8 nails
· 1/8-inch steel wire
· Steel wire rope clips
· Steel wire rope clamps
· 2×4 joist hangers
· Long eyelets
· Shot eyelets
· Adjustable clamps
· Webbing or rope
Consider pre-drilling holes on your boards at a somewhat smaller diameter than the screws to ease the screwing process and prevent splitting. You can also use carpenter’s glue to strengthen your rack.
Building Your Tire Rack: The Process
Once you have all your tools and materials in place, you are ready to go. From start to finish, this process might take a day or two, depending on how fast you work. Here is the breakdown:
Step 1: Create a Working Plan
Create a plan from which you will build your tire rack. The plan should outline the dimensions of the rack, which will depend on the size and number of tires you will store on it, and the position it will take in your garage. If you have trouble drawing a plan from scratch, download one online and modify it.
Step 2: Measure and Cut Your Boards
Measure out the pieces of wood you will use to build your rack. Again, the dimensions will depend on the size and number of tires you will be storing on the rack. For this project, we will cut two 56-inch boards for the lengths and one 50-inch board for the middle support.
Next, use one tire to measure out a suitable width for the rack. The tire should be able to rest upright on a narrow circumference on both boards. Now, measure the distance between the tires (approximately 14 ¾ inches) and allow an offset of 4 inches—Mark these points on the long boards.
Step 3: Join the Frame
At this point, you have the frame for your rack. Use construction screws to join the boards temporarily before you can add structural screws later for more support. Make sure not to join the width boards to the very end of the length boards; allow a few inches at the ends.
Step 4: Attach the Eyelets
Next, place your 2×4 hangers at every connection in the frame and tack them in with number 8 nails at the provided holes. This will ensure the corners remain intact. You can now drill two holes at the ends of the board that will be furthest from the wall. Pass your small eyelets through these holes and secure them with washers, so they don’t pull through the board.
Step 5: Secure Frame to Wall
Go back to your plan and measure the distance from the floor (or ceiling) where you will mount your rack. Mark out these measurements and join your frame to the wall at the lowest marked points using at least two structural screws in each connection. Now, the side of your frame without the eyelets is connected to your garage wall.
Step 6: Attach the Steel Wire
Measure the distance between the eyelets and where you will attach the frame to the upper wall or ceiling. Divide this distance in two and cut corresponding lengths of steel wire (enough to make 2 loops). Pass one wire through an eyelet, a clamp, adjustable connector and back through the clamp, then secure the loop with an 8mm socket. Repeat this procedure on the other eyelet.
Step 7: Connect the Frame to the Ceiling
Drill 2 holes in the highest marked point of the garage wall (of the double top plate of the ceiling), where you will attach the outer part of your frame. Secure your long eyelets into these holes and pass steel wires through them, as described in step 6. Connect the wires to the adjustable connectors running from the lower eyelets.
Step 8: Place Your Tires on the Rack
At this point, the outer length of your frame is connected to the garaged ceiling or wall. Tighten the adjustable connector until the frame is level and repeat on the other side. Voila! You have a wall-mounted rack. Place your tires on the rack.
Step 9: Adjust the Rack
If placing your tires on the rack causes it to sag, adjust the steel wires through the adjustable connector. It is also advisable to secure your tires with rope or webbing to prevent them from rolling.
Most tire manufacturers will tell you that storing your unmounted tires upright is the best thing you can do to maintain their quality and usability. As such, by learning how to build a tire rack mounted to a wall, you get to preserve your tires while creating room in your garage. What’s more, this setup is so creative and simplistic; it will add a touch of class to your garage.