Garage Shelves

by David A. Lyons, January 2001

I had owned a house for 18 months when I got the urge to transform the mound of junk in the garage into something more space efficient and less mound-like. (12 pictures below.)

StartedSunday, 31-Dec-2000
CompletedSunday, 7-Jan-2001
Height6 feet 6 inches
Width12 feet
Depth4 feet
Weightestimated at 500+ pounds
Materials cost$325
Labor cost$5 (to son, who spent 30 minutes unloading lumber)
Construction time32.5 hours (24 Dave, 5 Ben, 3 Sarah, 0.5 Tom)
Time to make web pagealmost two hours
2x4sabout 272 feet
Carriage boltsabout 90
Serious Injuriesnone
Nailslots, but nails are almost free
Disturbing the Peacearguably, but nobody complained
Plywood192 sq feet 3/4" (shelves), 126 sq feet 7/16" (back & sides)

Day 1 was spent shopping & sawing.
On day 2, the first five boards congealed.

Later on day 2, the framework takes shape.

The shaded parts are vertical. From this not-to-scale diagram you can see what's flush with what and where the bolts go.

The top and bottom are built just like the intermediate layers (the vertical supports reach all the way to the floor and all the way to the top).

The filler boards give the side panels something to be nailed onto, other than just the vertical supports.

Not pictured are the vertical fillers for the back panels, as well as cosmetic fillers on the front, just to keep the front flush.

Note: If you plan to use plywood panels that are pre-cut to 4'x4', plan ahead better than I did. I achieved an overall length of 12 feet by using 8' horizontal members uncut, and trimming the shorter pieces to account for the width of the vertical supports. The result was a vertical support in back that did not line up with the seam between the first and second 4' back panels. I hacked around this by offsetting the filler boards, and it turned out fine. The better plan would have been to remove half the extra length from the 4' boards and half from the 8' boards.

I am the master of my 312-cubic-foot domain!

Snood can be addictive.

Day 4 (Wednesday, after work), got in a token 1.75 hours.
Chose shelf heights carefully so that Big Boxes will fit on the bottom, as well as between the top and the ceiling.

The five hours Ben worked with me on Day 7 were crucial.

We worked efficiently and finished all the layers, then the bottom half of the back & sides.

All the junk needs to be somewhere else...this is where the shelves will go.

Day 8 - The driveway, about 9:00pm

You can't tell from this picture, but Sarah and I had to push really hard to move this thing against the wall.
Look carefully & you can see a hint of the 24 square feet of pegboard that are on each side.

Woo hoo!

Later (April), you can see some of the pegboard on the end.

There is one more page with pictures of the tools used and more description of the construction.

Last revised 23-Mar-2002

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