I'm trying to recreate the weight rack shown in this photo and I'm curious how top A-frame like section and the section where the bottom of the 'A' meets the base are joined/fastened.

enter image description here

  • If making of this is not recorded where you found image we can only gives guesses. Many possible ways to make this and only clue is visible joint line at top!
    – Volfram K
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 6:54
  • 1
    Hi, welcome to Woodworking. Did you try a reverse image search for this to try to find the original posting? I had a quick look just now and couldn't find it, the usual online problems of stolen images and linked content getting in the way (as well as Pinterest). It is possible that details of the build were never published, but regardless of whether they weren't or the OP can't be located you're never going to know how this was put together. But, it's certainly possible to reverse-engineer it just from appearances and/or from the (many) builds of similar racks.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 12:51

3 Answers 3


Looking at the full size image, the top of the frame is a simple butt joint. The left-hand upright dies into the right-hand upright which continues past it to form the point.

I don't see any sign of screws or dowels going through the right-hand upright or any sign of filler over a screw hole. I also don't see any sign of screw holes (filled or otherwise) on the inside of the joint in the left-hand upright.

That leaves only some form of hidden joinery:

  • Mortise & Tenon - with the mortise on the right-hand upright and the tenon on the left hand
  • Dowels - holes in both uprights with dowels inserted into the holes
  • Biscuits - a couple of slots cut into the uprights with biscuits inserted to reinforce the joint
  • Glue - nothing but glue and faith holding it together. Glue is strong, but I'm not sure I'd rely on nothing but glue to support this kind of weight and abuse

My guess would be doweled joints. They're reasonably easy and even easier if you have an alignment guide.

The bottom joints could all be glued & screwed with the screws going up from the bottom to hide the heads.

  • Pardon the pun, but nailed it. I'm reasonably sure this is just a glued butt joint, although we can't dismiss the chance there are hidden pocket-hole screws in the underside of the right upright. FWIW I would have faith in glue alone holding that top joint securely since some of the force acts to press the two parts together (as long as the bottoms are absolutely prevented from spreading apart, which is easy enough but just a couple of screw per).
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 18:58
  • @Graphus I'd not like to drill the curved hole that goes from the inside of the right-hand upright down into the left-hand upright. Or drive the bent screws, for that matter! I do get your point about the weights pressing the joint together, though. OTOH, I've seen guys more-or-less dropping weights onto the racks - they take a lot of stress.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 13:04
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    Sorry, meant left upright *doh* Yeah, screws hidden on the underside of the right would be some trick! Given some of the destructive testing I've seen — and some very high-stress, high-impact glue-only joints I've created myself just to see what they could withstand over time (e.g. to attach the stops on my first bench hook) — I'd be pretty confident in glue only for that top joint. Deffo screws at the bottom though.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 13:53

It looks pretty similar to this build. He used pocket hole screws. This could have been done with just screws or nails. Based on the materials (common construction lumber), there isn't likely any fancy joinery going on.

  • That's the one.
    – gnicko
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 2:12

The top looks to be a half lap joint, possibly (probably!) reinforced with screws going straight through.

The bottom is unknowable from the picture, but if I was building it, I'd have a little bit of a lap to mechanically prevent the uprights from spreading and a few screws/glue to hold it in place.

Edit: after much staring prompted by @Graphus, I'm reasonably sure I'm wrong. That said, I'll leave this up to suggest to someone building it that a half lap would be a good option.

  • 2
    I was thinking halving joint initially for the top, but dismissed it after looking at the image full size. There is something that appears to be a long-axis joint but I think it's just a crack LOL and more importantly there's no sign at all of a cross-grain joint at the back where the edge of that lap would have to be.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 18:53

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