Instructables

Build Easy Free Standing Shelving Unit For Basement or Garage

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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.

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

(6) 2x4x12' Beams
(6) 2x4x7" Vertical supports
(3) 2x4x10' Frame pieces
(2) 4'x8' 3/8" plywood (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

 

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

The picture is showing my "Folding Sawhorses" in use of holding a bunch of 2x materials to make this shelving unit. Click the link to see it. 

 

 

Step 2: Dimension

Picture of Dimension

Our basement has 9' ceiling, based on your application, the shelving units could be different than what I have here.

 

We have a lot of file boxes that will fit into 3’ space when they stack together, so that's what I chose for beam spacing.

We wanted to have the bottom shelf a foot above the ground in case of water heater tank rust out or some other water damage (we all have that experience).

Normal sheet goods from home center comes in 4’x8’ size, so it’s kind of nature to cut them in half – 2’x8’, only make sure to tell the person in the store to count in the width of the saw blade (1/8”), otherwise, you are going to end up with two half sheets that are not the same dimension in width.

Brooklyntonia made it!1 month ago

I made my own version of your garage shelves and used your ible for inspiration. Thanks!

http://www.instructables.com/id/1-Girl-2-Days-Loads-of-Storage/

garage shelves icon.jpg
Can anyone provide an estimate material cost?
Thanks heaps
Jzbowmannz (author)  DigitalRambler1 year ago
For this specific unit, it will use (6) 2x4x7', (6) 2x4x12', 2 and 1/4 sheet of 3/8" 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.
Nice, but I would consider a couple of changes that I think would make it even better..
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
plenty of strength, but saves money and is less clunky, I have built a bunch this way with good results.
Add some diagonal elements, this stops the shelves from "racking".
A detail picture from a unit of mine shows both elements.
DSC02532.JPG
Jzbowmannz (author)  russ_hensel1 year ago
Thanks for your improvement ideas and comment, russ_hensel.
great job on the shelves and the instructible
Jzbowmannz (author)  EnergyHandyman1 year ago
Thanks.
useraaaaa1 year ago
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.
Jzbowmannz (author)  StoryAddict1 year ago
Thanks for the comment, StoryAddict.
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.
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!