View Full Version : DIY art rack

05-26-2011, 11:57 AM
First, I just want to say that I am very happy to have discovered this resource!

Does anyone out there know of any plans or instructions on how to build an art rack for storing framed art using chain link or a similar material?

We use an off-site facility for the storage of our collection and because of its non-permanence, our storage units have to be able to move with the collection, if necessary.

I appreciate any help or advice.
Thank you,

Paul Brewin
05-26-2011, 01:12 PM
Great question -- I think I have seen/heard where someone used chain link fencing in this way. I could see this being useful for us in a pinch during an extensive gallery overhaul. I'll see what I can dig up and hopefully others will chime in.

Welcome to the site!

Kara West
05-27-2011, 08:44 AM
An old colleague of mine built a great system out of chain link fence at the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colorado. You can see some pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaclibrary/sets/72157620403495372/ and breifly talked about it on her blog here: http://bethhellerconservation.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/the-miracle-of-the-storage-room/.

T. Ashley McGrew
05-27-2011, 09:11 PM
I worked briefly with a museum to design screens for storing framed materials that utilized off the shelf “Logan wire” panels.
These industrial powder coated woven wire panels have been used in security applications for many years. They come in different sizes that can be bolted together to create a wide variety of large “screens”. The matching off the shelf system for making them movable is - everyones favorite – strut channel (also called Unistrut (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strut_channel))
Strut channel is commonly suspended from ceilings to support duct work, conduit and plumbing....
and can also support Logan wire screens which move back and forth using trolleys

1017 (http://www.mcmaster.com/#strut-channel-systems/=chutqv)
designed to fit inside the suspended channel.
1018 (http://www.mcmaster.com/#strut-channel-systems/=chutqv)
Industrial materials can be adapted for use in the museum environment but not without exercising due diligence. You will need to run estimated loads that the system will support by an engineer. If you are designing a system that supports the load on the bottom of the screens I wouldn't recommend the use of channel-strut-compatible casters seen below
because the bearings are not so great.

Part of the reason that the Logan wire panels made sense is because they already had a bunch of them left over from another application. I think they would have liked to buy the expanded metal version made by a "real" manufacturer of paintings storage screens but the need was immediate and the funding just wasn't.
You would have to price around to find out how assembling your components and doing it yourself would compare to going "mainstream". In the process, because they are a common industrial material, you might check into buying at least part of them used. I know that there are companies that carry used commercial shelving so that might be a place to start. Certaintly "re-purposing" materials can be more economical and you can also pat yourselves on the back for being green.

07-12-2011, 06:59 AM
There's also a Conserve-O-Gram for making storage screens (http://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/12-01.pdf) that are mounted to a wall.