How to Make Mortar Racks for Fireworks


Mortar racks are a type of structure intended to hold firework mortars. They often are made of wood to hold a specific number of 3-inch mortars, and have a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Sometimes milk crates are converted to hold a large number of mortars. For individual applications, it is easiest to make mortar racks to fit four or five mortar tubes. These are easy and quick to build, and are more controllable than racks that hold many mortars.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 4 pine boards, 1 inch, 3 by 17 inches
  • 2 pine boards, 1 inch, 3 by 12 inches
  • Plywood, 1/2 inch, 17 by 17 inches
  • Screw gun
  • 24, 3-inch wood screws
  • 5, 3-inch mortar tubes
  • Position two, 17-inch boards on edge, parallel, and 3 inches apart. Set the 12-inch boards perpendicularly between them so they stand on end and are 15 inches apart. Screw through the 17-inch boards and into the 12-inch boards. The corners should be flush. Use eight screws for this task.

  • Screw the last two, 17-inch boards to the opposite ends of the 12-inch boards. The 17-inch boards should be parallel with their ends aligned on both sides. This is your mortar rack frame.

  • Lay your plywood flat, and set your frame on the plywood so the 12-inch boards are perpendicular to the plywood, with their 3-by-12-inch surfaces flush with the 17-inch edges. The frame should be centered with the 17-inch boards 6 inches away from the corresponding edges of the plywood.

  • Hold the frame on the plywood, and tilt it over on its side. Its position shouldn't change. Screw through the plywood and into the rack frame. Use eight screws for this task.


  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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