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Old 04-21-2016, 10:42 AM   #1
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Simple Garage Shelf Question


Hey all,

Quick question. I think I am good here but wanted to confirm

Building some garage shelves between two existing walls. Total span is about 114 inches.

I need these shelves to be deep, so I am planning for 32 inches in depth. There will be one shelf on the floor and then 3 more above it with 20 inches in between each shelf. They will hold a lot of miscellaneous "stuff" but nothing super heavy......camping gear, Christmas stuff, and everything else that doesn't have another home.

Building your basic shelf frame and will lag each rear "plate" to the back wall and the "side joists" will be lagged to the side walls. Construction is 2X4 material to allow me to get maximum height between shelves. I will be running back to front 2 X 4 "joists" every 16 OC. The shelf deck material itself will be half inch OSB

The back plate will be a single 2X4 lagged against the back wall.....for the front "plate" I am going to use 2 - 2X4s glued and carriage bolted together. I plan to use one vertical 8 foot 2X4 as a "post" screwed to the front of the shelves to cut the 114 inch span in half and support the middle of all shelves. That gives me roughly 2 spans of 57 inches.

My question is, will this give me the proper support to store the stuff I mentioned above. At 57 inches I am guessing this should be more than sufficient but wanted to double check here to make sure. I am expecting some deflection but hopefully not much

Thanks all
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Simple Garage Shelf Question


By experience - no. Bet you'll end up, unless you're more stick-to-it than most, wishing your front supports were at least every 24". Even at 36" between I've seen sag.

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Old 04-21-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Simple Garage Shelf Question


To many things going on in your post for me to decipher and tell what your doing.Guess that's better than most who give way to little info.
In general I would never build 32" deep shelves unless they served a specific purpose.There will be things that get hidden in the back and never seen again or which will be a real PITS to get to when you need them.
I have brackets in my shop attached to the 16" OC stud walls that take minimal material and hold a lot of weight.They consist of 2 x4's making a right triange and a 3/4" plywood gusset glued and screwed to them.The gusset extends past the 90 degree end of the triangle by 3 1/2" allowing it to be lagged to the studs.
Quick to make and usually from scrap around the shop.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:08 PM   #4
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Re: Simple Garage Shelf Question


Your basic plan, as described, sounds pretty good if it's only lightly loaded but "stuff" has a way of getting heavy. I have two suggestions to improve load bearing. Add a third "plate" parallel to the front and back ones splitting the 32" depth to two 16" spans. That will take some load off the "front" plate which despite being doubled isn't all that robust. Second; I'd use 5/8" or 3/4" OSB for the decking. and minimize deflection.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:26 PM   #5
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Re: Simple Garage Shelf Question


I think you idea will be fine. Our old house had shelves similar to that and they worked just fine, and they were nailed, not lagged
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: Simple Garage Shelf Question


thank you all for the advice and feedback...I am planning some mods based on your suggestions
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:41 AM   #7
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Re: Simple Garage Shelf Question


I'd also use 3/4 for the shelf itself.
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