12 QT. Baby Rack

Parts List

  • (5) 1″x4″x8′ Whitewood Boards
  • (5) 1″x2″x8′ Whitewood Strips
  • (5) 3/4″x4’x8′ Sheets Melamine
  • (1) 4’x8′ Sheet Insulation Board
  • (1) 1lb. Box #8 1-1/4″ Coarse Thread Drywall Screws
  • (1) Box 3/8″ Staples
  • (1) Roll Electrical Tape
  • (1) Roll Rosin Core Solder
  • (1) 1lb. Box 1-1/4″ Roofing Nails
  • (2) 6′ Household Electrical Chords
  • (10) Feet 11″ Heat Tape
  • (36) 12qt. 1854 Series Sterilite Tubs from Walmart

Tools List

  • Mitre Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Drill with #8 Countersink Bit and Phillips Driver Bit
  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • Staplegun with 3/8″ Staples
  • Electrical Tape
  • Chalk Line Box
  • Razor Blade
  • Soldering Gun

Step 1

Let me preface this by saying that we built this rack with nine shelves, to hold 36 tubs, because that is how many shelves we could get out of two sheets of melamine. This rack can be built to hold as many tubs as you would like, if you just extend the height of the rack. Step 1 begins by ripping the melamine sheets down to 44-5/8″ using the table saw. This will require an additional person to help guide the sheets. (They are heavy).

Step 2

Save the strips that were ripped off of the melamine sheets for later use.

Step 3

Use the melamine sheets from step 1 and cut the sheets into 16-5/16″ sections. Each sheet should make five shelf pieces. Keep the drop off from the melamine sheets to use later to create spacers.

Step 4

Cut the 1″x2″ boards into 16-5/16″ lengths, that will be used to attach the shelves to the side supports.

Step 5

I like to clamp the four 1×2 boards together, as it goes quicker.

Step 6

You will need (18) 16-5/16″ rails.

Step 7

Now, cut 4 of the 1″x4″ boards into 67-1/2″ lengths, not pictured here. These will be the side supports. Keep the drop offs from the 1×4’s, to be used to make the base for the rack. Take the last whole 1×4 board, and cut it into (2) 44-5/8″ lengths, and take (2) of the drop off pieces and cut them to 15-13/16″ pieces, as shown in the picture.

Step 8

Line up the 1×2 pieces as shown in the picture, in preparation for drilling the pilot holes that will be used to attach the rails to the side supports.

Step 9

Drill pilot holes on each side of the 1×2’s about 1″ from each end.

Step 10

Step 11

Use the 1×4 pieces from step 7 and attach them together as shown. Drill pilot holes on the long pieces, two on each side, on the front board and back board. This will be the base of the rack. The first shelf attaches directly to this base.

Step 12

Close up of countersunk pilot holes in the base boards.

Step 13

The first melamine shelf attached to the base assembled in step 11.

Step 14

Close up of step 13. Screws are countersunk in pilot holes drilled in melamine.

Step 15

Attach (4) 1×4’s from step 7 to sides of base that was just assembled.

Step 16

Close up of four screws in each side board. These boards are lined up flush with the front and back of the base.

Step 17

At this point, I assemble all of the shelves as seen in the picture. Attach the 1×2 rails to the edges of each shelf using 2 screws per rail. Make sure to use your pilot bit to predrill the holes in the melamine. Also ensure that the pilot holes on the rails face inboard.

Step 18

Both rails attached to one shelf.

Step 19

Close up of pilot holes facing inboard.

Step 20

At this point, we start assembling the shelves onto the rack. We use spacers that were precut to the same height as the tubs. The spacers are cut from the drop material from step 3 to a height of 5-9/16″.

Step 21

Close up of screws attaching shelf rails to side supports.

Step 22

After attaching each shelf, we test fit the tubs to ensure that they aren’t too tight or too loose.

Step 23

Here is a shot of all of the shelves assembled onto the side supports.

Step 24

We missed a few pictures here, but the missed steps are fairly straight forward, if you know how to hook up heat tape. If you don’t know what you are doing, please seek assistance from someone who is experienced with soldering. After step 23, we cut the 11″ heat tape into (2) 5′ strips and attach them to the back of the rack using 3/8″ staples. The heat tape is centered between each set of two tubs. We use electrical tape to tape up the exposed ends of the heat tape at the bottom, and the soldered connection at the top. A 1″x2″ strip is attached to the center of the back of the rack, and is screwed to each shelf. This is to minimize sagging shelves and for extra support. Then we cut the insulation board to fit each side of the 1×2. Make sure the shiny foil side faces the heat tape. The two strips that were cut off of the melamine in step 2 were cut to fit at the top of the rack, on the front and back set of side supports.

Step 25

This is a close up of the heat tape and wire attached to the back of the melamine strip. We use 6′ extension chords, and cut the female end off of them. We solder our wire to the heat tape, and staple the chords to the back of the melamine strip for extra support of the heat tape tabs. If care is not taken, the tabs on the heat tape can be torn off. (I know, I have done it.)

Step 26

Shot of both pieces of heat tape ready to go.

Step 27

A shot of the roofing nails used to attach the insulation board to the back of the rack. Make sure you center the nails in the shelf material, to prevent the shelves from splitting when driving the nails.

Step 28

A close up of the shelves with the heat tape installed and tubs fitted in the shelves.

Step 29

Here is a pic of the melamine strip on the front of the rack. This is where we attach our thermostat, and we use the space on top of the rack for miscellaneous storage.

Step 30

Your Completed Rack. Congratulations.

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