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Old 04-16-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


Hi Everyone,

I have an unfinished basement that I would like to create some storage in. I have about 18' of wall available to use to build some shelving against. I wanted to run my idea by some of you experts and make sure what I have planned will work.

I'm planning to build the shelves first using 2x4s and plywood. Each shelf would be 8' long and 28" deep (will explain why so deep later). I would frame this out with 2x4s and then use 3-4 cross supports within that frame. Then attachign some plywood to the top of that frame. I then want to attach 3-4 shelves to vertical 2x4s to create the shelf. Those vertical 2x4s could than be attached to the above floor joists (becasue of where the joists are, the shelves would need to be at least 28" deep to attach both the front and back of the shelf to an above joist.

Will this idea work? Will the vertical 2x4s support the weight only being attached to the above floor joists? Should they be anchored into the concrete basement floor? Since the shelves are 8' long, I was also planning to have at least one other vertical support in the middle (splitting the 8' long shelves into two 4').

Thanks!

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


For the cost of all of that lumber, you can buy some decent Gorilla Shelves or such.

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


I also would suggest an existing system rather than all that material. I would add some safety straps to the wall.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:55 AM   #4
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


So much for DIY!
If you plan to tackle this project for among other things, the warm feeling you get when you accomplish it by DIY then absolutely go for it.
IT will depend on the amount of weight you plan on putting on the shelves but I think you'll be OK with securing it to the joists.
Don't see a need to secure it to the floor.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:22 AM   #5
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


THose are some hefty shelves, what are you planning on putting on them?
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


Just your everyday storage. Some plastic bins with xmas decorations and some boxes. Im definitely open to suggestions on how to build something practical. I looked at those plastic shelves and for a 3'x6' unit they run aabout $50. Just thought building something would be cheaper. What do you all suggest?
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


I like the Edsal heavy duty racks; they are expensive though. They are what I use in the basement. They can be taken back apart for transport; they come with plastic feet (but better to dip the legs in those cans of tool handle stuff!), and their modular design means you can put backs on them easily or change them around.

For our pantry we use those commercial grade wire shelves; they're really nice.

I also use some of the cheap plastic shelving for lighter stuff like christmas decorations; etc.

Building yourself can be nice because you can decide on which plastic bins you like and build around their size. I'm not sure I'm allowed to link this?

http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/how-...orage-shelves/

but you can google for "how to build inexpensive basement storage shelves', look for the article by Ethan Hagan. His article is missing that you should run another support under the middle of any shelves that will be holding heavy loads.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


Costco sells some heavier-duty shelving units at a very reasonable price. The heavy duty shelving units that you can get at HD are nto bad either. But stay away the light-duty steel shelving that you have to assemble from scratch, unless they are anchored against a wall and are not going to be moved.

Lastly, IKEA makes some modular utility shelving from wood that is worth a look and is modestly priced (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00058519/)
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBG420 View Post
Just your everyday storage. Some plastic bins with xmas decorations and some boxes.
I have a mix of shelving types in my basement. I have the el cheapo plastic shelves from home depot (they are 24" or 36"W and either 18" or 24"D, I bought both sizes). I also have the nicer metal ones from costco, they were about $100 for an 8' tall x 4' wide by 2' deep version with 5-6 shelves (which are height adjustable).

A couple of things I learned about store bought shelves--
- Make sure your shelving is flexible on size. Those rubbermaid totes can run on the tall side, I found that the plastic shelving did not allow for them to fit, only the adjustable metal shelving works. The same goes for Home Depot / Lowes "Medium" sized boxes

- Make sure your shelving can vertically fit in your space. My joists are only 6'10" from the basement floor, the result is that with the metal shelving I can not build them to full height, only half height, so I'm forced to double (or triple) stack boxes. The plastic shelves are only 6' so they fit OK.

- Consider raising them up a bit, esp. if they are home built. If I were building from wood I'd want to use PT for the legs, or at least PT blocks at the bottom. Anything that sits directly on the concrete usually develops a "damp" spot under it, so putting 2x4s down I'd be worried that the wood would constantly wick up moisture.

- Consider keeping them some distance (>10") from the walls. In my case I'm keeping them about 18-20", just enough so that I can walk back there. I've heard this makes it more difficult for vermin/bugs to get into the boxes (you can surround the legs of your shelving with double sided tape to help minimize bugs that way too). It also lets you inspect the walls for moisture/damage.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


I make some frames about 6' high. They are like H's with tops and bottoms and are comprised of 2 2x4's (the front and back, and 3 "rungs", the top, middle and bottom. I make the front and back 6' long, and the top, middle, and bottom are 2'. I dowel and glue these together. But you can use gussets if you don't like this method.

Then I make my shelving out of 2x material. I run a 1x2 brace from frame to frame to prevent racking. I screw the 2x shelves down. I will span 8' with no problems. You can go 12' if you want. I try to keep heavy stuff on the bottom and lighter stuff in the middle and on top. I think the cost of a 8' shelf would be around $56. Of course you can disassemble them to move them, and use the lumber again for something else. I'll use 2x6, 2x8, 2x10 or 2x12 for the shelving and I don't care if there are some gaps between the boards because I'm not storing nail polish bottles.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:06 AM   #11
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


I found this set of plans and plan on doing a variation of them in my storage area of the basement. Will need to use some pressure treated wood where they will attach to the block, even though it is an interior block and 2x4 instead of 2x2. You can use or not use the door sliders but i liked the idea keeping out some of the crud. Thought i might throw these in the mix and not to hard of a DIY, and should carry the storage your talking of.
http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...s/Step-By-Step

Last edited by mstew; 04-17-2012 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


Thanks for all the good suggestions and replies. Wanted to ask if you guys think using 2x2 would be more than enough for these type shelves. Maybe use 2x4s for the actual support structure, but 2x2 for the shelves.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:38 PM   #13
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBG420
Thanks for all the good suggestions and replies. Wanted to ask if you guys think using 2x2 would be more than enough for these type shelves. Maybe use 2x4s for the actual support structure, but 2x2 for the shelves.
I think 2 x 2 cleats will be sufficient to support the shelves assuming the span between them isn't too great.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:28 AM   #14
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


I have built many shelves exactly like you first thought of doing. Using 2x4's makes a very heavy duty set of shelves and you will never have to worry about putting something too heavy on them.

I'm putting engine parts on mine so stronger the better, mine are also free standing, not attached to anything. Several years and even a small earth quake and everything is the way I left it.

If you want something that will last forever, in the future you can put anything you would want on the shelves, enjoy doing this kind of thing, do it.

Can you save money and buy something, save time by just putting something together, you sure can but what fun is that?

Have fun!

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Old 05-25-2012, 01:11 PM   #15
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Free-Standing Shelves - Will This Work?


You guys are insane suggesting pre-made shelving being cheaper than 2x4's and plywood. Especially when you consider the size of these shelves and strength.
Here's what I found:
I want to build the same type of shelving but along the entire back wall of my 2 car garage plus I want to build a workbench that starts along the same wall but wraps around the corner. I want my shelves 3' deep. If I bought shelving to make the same structures I'm looking at over $1000. But I can get all the 2x4's and plywood for under $500. Every different type of shelving I've looked at from gorilla shelves to those cheapo flimsy thin steel shelves were $50-$130 for a 4 or 5' long section. Sorry, but there's no comparison- JBG420- build those shelves like you're thinking, you're on the right track.


Last edited by Educatednoob; 05-25-2012 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Didn't finish, hit the reply button by accident
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