Moving into a new house, we need quite a few shelving units to store stuff. We don’t have a finished basement, and we haven’t figured out how it would be finished yet, so we need some free standing shelving units that are not attached to the wall, and also have some options to move around later on.

Another reason for the free standing units was because of the flexibility. The storage section of a finished basement is normally not all completed with drywall, part of it will be concrete so it’s a bit difficult to attach something onto.

Step 1: Materials

(6) 2x4x12' Beams
(6) 2x4x7" Vertical supports
(3) 2x4x10' Frame pieces
(2) full sheet 4'x8' 3/8" plywood, plus additional 2'x4' piece (or you can use 1/2' OSB) cut to 2'x8' (actually they will be 23 7/8" x 8') Shelving surface material
3" drywall screws or 3" nails
Some 1 1/4" drywall screws

Drill or impact driver
Tape measure
A pencil
Speed square
A hand saw or miter saw / circular saw

The picture is showing my folding sawhorse in use of holding a bunch of 2x materials to make this shelving unit.

<p>When it comes to storage shelves, I think the ones that you can buy are actually not too expensive. And at least they'll have a guarantee for how much load they can take.</p>
Can anyone provide an estimate material cost? <br>Thanks heaps
<p>I went to Lowe's website, and plugged all the items into my Shopping Cart. Shows the cost, tax, etc. AND, if you really DO have a Lowe's nearby, you can pay for the stuff online, too.</p>
For this specific unit, it will use (6) 2x4x7', (6) 2x4x12', 2 and 1/4 sheet of 3/8&quot; plywood, and (3) 2x4x10'. I had some 2x4 left over to use in place of the (3) 2x4x10', so I ended up spent less than $70. If you buy everything from home center, it could be close to $100 with the price of the lumber right now.
<p>Ended up making mine using 4x6 plywood ripped in half to match the 12' drawings. My wife was skeptical until she saw the finished product, whereupon she immediately asked for another set on the opposite wall. Was feeling most triumphant at the accomplishment until actually loading them... and realizing we really do need more shelves! :)</p>
<p>Nice, simple, and sturdy design. If you follow this design exactly, be aware that 2 sheets of plywood is *not* enough to cover all the shelves. You will need an additional piece 2'x4'.<br><br>I had to make adjustments to the height of the shelves because my garage has a 7' roof</p>
<p>Two questions as I set about making these for our basement: </p><p>1) I think there's a typo in the Materials potion: vertical supports should be 7' high (not 7&quot;)?</p><p>2) Big Q: if you rip the plywood to be 2'x8'... how does that cover the shelves which appear to be 12' long? You'd end up with 16' of shelf that's 2' wide. (Should you use 4'x6' plywood ripped in half?)</p>
<p>Yup. the list does not have enough plywood. 36' of shelving and only 32' would come from 2 sheets. I didn't catch that till after I was back home with the supplies. I was able to patch things up with some scrap plywood I previously had</p>
<p>Thanks for the great instructions. I made my shelves with only a few changes. On one end, I cut the beams (and plywood) at an angle to allow more room when carrying large items into the basement since the shelves are located near a door. I also had to frame around a radon mitigation pipe. Thanks again!</p>
Looks great! Thanks for the pictures!
<p>I made my own version of your garage shelves and used your ible for inspiration. Thanks!</p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/1-Girl-2-Days-Loads-of-Storage/</p>
Nice, but I would consider a couple of changes that I think would make it even better.. <br>Instead of 2 x 4's I would use 2 x 2 which are just 2 x 4's cut in half the long way. Still <br>plenty of strength, but saves money and is less clunky, I have built a bunch this way with good results. <br>Add some diagonal elements, this stops the shelves from &quot;racking&quot;. <br>A detail picture from a unit of mine shows both elements.
Thanks for your improvement ideas and comment, russ_hensel.
great job on the shelves and the instructible
i re-used old laminate leftovers to make shelves
This is pretty much the design my father used to build a bookcase for my first apartment (it was dismantled and replanted in my home, then taken part in pieces and reassembled when I moved again a year later...with some modifications). The structure is more or less the same, save that there were sides and a back and additional decorative pieces attached on the front of the shelves to give a uniform front even while stained/painted for a nice two-tone color. He only had basic measurements to go by since it was conceived and constructed from four hours away, but it fit well enough. Customizing it for its current location to go around a large beam in the ceiling was fun (*sarcasm*). But the basic structure is incredibly sturdy and holds a lot of weight.
Thanks for the comment, StoryAddict. <br>Yes, I agree, the basic structure is very strong. I learned this basic form from an old builder, as an engineer, I modified it to be more efficient in support. Also, I used plywood instead of OSB, I think plywood would hold them together better. <br>There is room for improvement - by using construction adhesive at each joint will make it even stronger if it's build for heavy duty application, for my basement, this is plenty sturdy.
Just what i was looking for to organize my garage. Great instructions!

About This Instructable


621 favorites


More by Jzbowmannz: Making Entryway Storage Bench Making Modular DVD Storage Towers Making Garage Storage Cabinets (I)
Add instructable to: