About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Wood store mark 3

The wood store we bought a year ago is too small for a full load of fire wood, so we've moved it upstairs* to the patio, right next to the door for easy access from the sitting room. This makes space downstairs for a larger store.

Our next attempt was this:

Not very practical wood store

... which looks cool, but isn't actually very good for storing wood. For a start, lacking sides means that the rain just blows in and soaks the wood at the sides. Lacking sides also makes it very difficult to stack the wood efficiently without it all falling down. It takes a lot longer to stack a load of wood if you have to do it three times because it keeps falling down again. I speak from experience. The rain also tended to run down the back because we didn't seal the top edge of the roof. Finally, those twiggy bits don't half get in the way. All in all, a crap wood store.

So... a new design was needed. Having had big things delivered for the heating project, we were in possession of a few pallets. Two had already made their way into the mark 2 wood store, as you can see. The third was bigger, but rather less substantially built.

More a frame than a pallet, really

Having established the importance of sides to a wood store, I decided to use the smaller, sturdy pallets as the sides and the large frame to hold it together. After a false start, halfway through which it occurred to me that the side with three slats would be better for fixing things to than the side with only two slats, I got the three pallets fixed together.

After considerable manoeuvering to get the thing turned over without falling apart, in a space considerably too small for the operation (I'm glad I abandoned my original plan of making this in the workshop - I'd never have got it out again), I then fetched some old floorboards to use as slats across the back. I set the top one higher than the top of the slats, to give the roof a bit of a slope, then rested the wooden roof on top.

New wood store with old wooden roof

As soon as I looked at it I could see something was wrong. No, not the sag in the middle. This roof isn't much higher than waist height, and the store is deep. It wouldn't be much fun getting wood in and out of there. I pondered hinges for a while, then decided on an alternative, flexible solution. I fetched a sheet of plastic that had been wrapped round our big water tank and stapled it to the back edge of the store. I then raided the sewing basket for eyelets (and the gadget for putting them in) so I'd have something to fix the front down with.

Eyelet in wood store cover, hooked over a nail

Here's the finished store in use:

Wood store, full of wood

It has to be said that there's room for improvement with that roof, but having it removable was definitely the right decision. Stacking wood was also a great deal easier with sides to the store. All in all, I'm quite proud of this.


*NB references to upstairs and downstairs mostly refer to outdoor space, as that is where the stairs are. Both flights of stairs.


  1. Looking good! Just one possible improvement (don't take it as criticism) might be to put a few planks across the bottom pallet. That way your wood is protected against any standing water if by chance you might experience some freak rain, and air can circulate to dry out any wood that is already damp.

  2. Cheers Mat :-)
    I did think of planks across the bottom, but only after I'd screwed the side pallets onto the bottom one, making it difficult to get any new planks supported at the edges (they'd need to be threaded through gaps that turn out to be rather narrower than the thickness of a floorboard). I put a layer of stones in the bottom for drainage, then Ian added some bits of tree that may one day be firewood if they ever dry out. At least they're doing something useful in the meantime.

  3. Looks fab! We have similar wood stores- a big one at the bottom of the garden and a smaller one right outside the back door.
    It's scary how quickly we go through wood with the Rayburn on most of the time and the other stove on in the afternoons. But it's better than going through the oil at the same rate...

  4. Hi Hazel, glad to hear it's not just us. Good point about the oil, too. This house was freezing last winter and we thought we just had a rubbish central heating system - now we think we have a rubbish house!


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