CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Dec 3, 2004
This might have been asked before, but I am curious to know what the best way to store wood and metal mouldings is. Vertical, Flat, etc. I was considering putting a shelf against a concrete wall to hold them flat, but wanted to see how others do it. Thanks in advance for any information.
From what I've observed, it is far better to store wood moulding flat (horizontal), unless you have a REAL fast turnover! I've seen bins at vendors that store wood moulding vertically and by normal physics, it bows - thus warped moulding.

Our moulding is stored on shelves that my husband built.....they are like compartments. The first 'layer' has about a dozen shelves, 6" deep and various heights. At the end of the shelf is about a 2" lip which he applied sheets of plywood and then built more compartments that are 3" wide. You can keep that up for as many bins that you'd like. On the outside of this, he has one deeper shelf that is for 'incoming' orders - that is where I put the moulding for him to cut. I'd say this unit is 10 feet wide and maybe 10 feet high. This way, we can store the moulding flat; we try to be certain that we place it carefully so one long leg of moulding doesn't rest over another, causing it to warp over time.

We did paint these units and we keep our moulding in sleeves for protection (90% of it).

Regarding metal; we don't store it, we don't cut it - for as little we sell of it, it's not worth the mess.....we get it in chops.

Your question is a good one - I'll be eager to read other's input.
Vertical storage is preferable, both to prevent warping and ease of access should there be more than one style per bin. I have both because of height restrictions in sections of the workshop and get better results from the vertical.

Edit: See, two opinions. I guess that the results are dependent upon how well the racks support the mouldings.
I've seen a number of methods. "Best" is probably as dependent your space as impact on product.

Flat probably is better for bend, but vertical with a good support should work well also. Depends on your seiling hieght.

One framer I saw had a very interesting arangement with large pipes stacked and the moulding slid in end wise.worked great for their long and narrow space. Like I said, kind of depends on your situation.

Sorry for the non-info.
Gee Wally, it's a good thing we could help Jason out with a definitive answer!!

It should be as clear as mud to him by now!
Our "moulding room" is 12' x 12', with a 12' ceiling. I mounted white plastic rain gutters (from a home improvement store) horizontally to the walls, almost floor to ceiling.

Even in that small room with four doorways, we have 61 bins, each ten feet long. Mouldings are fully supported, and the white plastic won't mar the finishes. Easy access, and still rom for the double-miter saw, too.
I attached a six inch tall boarder of peg board to the top of my 10 foot tall wall. I attached eight inch pegs every four inches. For the mouldings I attach screw eyes to the ends of my wood moulding and then slip them on the pegs. I can usually get fifty feet on a peg. The metal mouldings are hung the same way by universal hangers made for hanging wire on metal mouldings.

I have always been told that vertical is preferable because of the bowing problem.

That said, since we’ve had problems stacking ten foot moulding upright with eight foot ceilings, we had to build a horizontal storage rack out of 2 x 4’s and bolt the whole thing to the wall.

Maybe not ideal, but we haven’t had too much problem with bowing.
Purely vertical (90°) storage is not good. Obviously, you can't stand a piece straight up and have it stay there, and if you hold the bottom out it is likely to bow. A slight angle, with support is probably the "best" for the moulding. Mostly because it is easier to move pieces in and out of the bin with less potential damage from scratching. However, it is worst in efficiency - the aisle space you need between each row of bins will be between 3-4 times the floor space reqired for the actual moulding. Horizontal racks only take 1-1/2 to 2 times. We use a combination of horizontal racks for our unfinished moulding and vertical for finished mouldings. It is very important when stacking moulding horizontally that longer pieces not be stacked on shorter ones, or the ends will be more likely to bow down. We do also use 90° with the bottoms held out for our "seconds". Yes, there is a slight tendancy to bow, but our seconds are bundled with stretch wrap, so there is more strength (kind of like plywood) than if they were leaning in there individually.

As a few others have already pointed out, sometimes the best way will be determined by your particular circumstances.
Jim Miller -
Would it be possible for you to post a photo of your "plastic rain gutters" and how you have them attached to the wall?
I was thinking of using 4" poly drain pipe - but the room would have to be twice as long as the moulding just to get it out!
Mike, you could use that drain pipe and cut it half in two, making a "cup" shape out of it - same idea as the gutter, but maybe a little larger?

Betty -
I had thought of that too - but, "slitting" a 10' section of drain pipe is a real challenge. Also, most gutters have a hanging edge built in which would make attaching it to the wall a breeze - my question was how Jim attached the gutters to each other - and being a dumb Irishman (sorry Dermot) I thought showing me a picture would help. ;)
Horizontal or vertical, they both have good and bad points. I stored moulding vertically in my first 2 shops because I had tall ceilings and could do this easily. In my present shop I have no storage space for moulding so I order on demand and depend on regular deliveries to get what I need.

If you can't position your troughs near or across from a door, horizontal storage may give you a problem with moving the moulding sticks into and out of the storage pipes/gutters/racks. A 12' piece of moulding needs enough space to line up with the storage spot in addition to the storage space itself. That could mean up to a 20'-24' long room for storage if there isn't a door opposite the storage area to feed the moulding through.

If you don't have a tall ceiling, 10' or 12' or higher, the same problem with enough space to stand the moulding up could be encountered. I built my vertical storage racks out of 2x4 framework with 1x4 supports every 3' up to the 12' ceiling. This framework can be built as long as you have wallspace to accomodate it. In each row of these supports I attached a 1' piece of wood closet rod every 18" to keep the moulding separated into groups. You could do this at any interval you choose. I extended the base out from the wall by about 18" to give the moulding some angle to the rack.

I don't have a scanner that works on XP so I can't show you a photo of the rack but it was featured in an article in the September, 1993 issue of Decor in an article about my hand built tables, racks, and customer counter. If you have access to somebody's library of back issues of Decor you can see it there.

I've also used both vertical and horizontal systems. The vertical is by far more efficient in pulling and seeing what you have on hand. With he horizontal method you cant tell if it's a 2ft,6ft, or 10ft stick by looking at the end of the rack.

I am currently planning a new super shop with capacity of 500 in stock moulings. I will be using a combination of both systems.

Using saw-horse brackets to make simple a-frames with 2x4 attached to the legs and 1/2 pvc pipe into holes drilled every 4". This way a bin can be sized to the need of the moulding (4",8",12" etc). Inside the A-frame there will be horizontal storage for moulding shorts.

As to attaching the gutter to the wall. attach 3-4 2x4s verticaly to the wall, then attach the gutter to the 2x4s with staples, screws etc...
Originally posted by FrameMakers:
With he horizontal method you cant tell if it's a 2ft,6ft, or 10ft stick by looking at the end of the rack.
The ends of all our sticks are marked with the length. This not only helps you pick the right sticks, but keeps you from putting longer sticks on top of shorter ones.
Well, I don't have the luxery of the sort of space that most of you do - my moulding storage, cutting, and joining is all in a 14'x16' boat shack (and I mean that literally). Furthermore, because of my remote location I must stock 90 days worth of everything I sell. Thus I'm currently stocking about 6000' in 38 profiles.

The shack is only 8 feet high so I'm horizontal. I merely use 20" heavy duty shelf brackets screwed to the studs with heavy duty or metal mouldings on the bottom to support lighter mouldings stacked on them. Sounds crude and it is, but I've never noticed any bowing and I've got a lot of moulding crammed into a very small space. Of course with so much weight on the walls the whole shack could implode in the next typhoon!

I used vertical storage in my old shop, my workshop now is in the basement with low ceilings, so my storage now is horizontal. I am amazed at how much more I can store horizontally. My dad built a very sturdy wooden grid in an awkward corner of the workshop, sized to accept plastic gutters ($4.00 each) from Home Depot. This works beautifully, no moulding is damaged or warped during storing. We also mark the ends with the length of the stick.

edie the onemoredayuntilvacation goddess
Vertical saves space (typically) and it does provide better access to shorter sticks. Bowing is typically a result of humidity changes not the way the product is stored. Metals obviously do not have these challenges. One lb or less per foot polystyrenes have to be stored horizontally because they will get memory and once bowed will always be bowed. Greater than one lb polystyrenes store better than wood vertically because they are not affected by humidity.