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Old 10-22-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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Guidelines for shelf loads on stud walls


I am planning on building three 8 foot wide, 2 foot deep shelves in my garage using 2x4s and 3/4 plywood. The wall on to which I would like to mount these shelves is a load bearing wall covered in wallboard.

The ceiling in my garage is fairly high, and I would like to have the shelves mounted up high enough so that I can put bikes and such below the lowest one. As a result, I want to avoid having any vertical support come straight down at the front part of the shelves.

I was thinking I would attach horizontal 2x4 ledgers to the studs on the wall for the inside portion of the plywood shelves to rest on, and then make 45 degree braces that would attach to the bottom of the front of the shelves and to the studs. In concept, the braces are probably similar to the premade metal braces one can buy for shelves, although I don't know if they are readily available for 2 foot deep shelves.

My question is whether anyone knows if there are guidelines as to how much load you can add to a load bearing wall and if perhaps I am creating too much of a tortional load (not sure if that is the proper term, but hopefully it is clear enough) on it by not having vertical support on the front of the shelves reaching all the way to the floor. In other words, if I had vertical support members at the front of the shelves, the wall should primarily see the vertical load where the ledgers are attached since the front vertical beams would transfer the rest of the load to the floor, thus there should be minimal tortional load on the wall. By using braces, I suspect I am creating a twisting or tortional force on the wall, and I am not sure if that's ok.

Thoughts anyone?


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Old 10-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Unless your planing on storing engine blocks on these shelves you idea will work fine.
I'd install a ledger across the wall where the bottoms of the supports are going to sit againt the wall.
It will spread the load and there will be no need to just locate the brace over a stud.


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