Introduction: Cheap Garage/basement Storage Shelve From Coke Trays


This is my first Instructable! I am very excited :) I have made a few things from this site so i figure its about time to give back :p

A small background, i am a Civil engineer specializing in surveying and i LOVE cars, so i found myself when i bought my house with just a decent sized 1 car garage and enough tools/stuff/junk to fill a 3 car garage lol.

So i have been scouring the internet trying to find ways of building affordable shelves that is super easy and super simple and most of all CHEAP! I believe i have, instead of finding it, solved my own problem and here it is!

***disclaimer: Coke trays like this i believe are property of coke, i worked as a store manager for a restaurant and was given these by our coke driver. that's how i have so many of them and am able to do this project, so for this you will need to source them somehow, online, a restaurant, something to that effect. all the measurements used are for these trays too. I am sure you could use Pepsi trays or similar trays but the measurements may not be the same.

So this is my nearly complete shelve (just needs casters for the bottom to move around the garage)

All in all i spent nothing on this because it was all laying around my garage, but id expect to buy it all new, not on sale, for this to cost less than $100 depending on quality of wood, screws, and casters not including cost of trays (technically i believe coke owns them so they cant really be "sold" so you shouldent pay much if anything to obtain them) and also weather or not you stain/paint it.

Step 1: Supplies and Measurements

Supplies as shown:

18 - 1"x3"x6' medium or high Quality boards (the better the quality and finish the better the trays slide)

175 - #10 1.5" Screws

21 - Coke trays

4 - casters or wheels (not shown in photos)

Supplies per shelve (3 trays per shelve)

2 - 1"x3"x6' medium or high Quality boards

4 - side posts depending on how high/ how many shelves you want it to be

16 - #10 1.5" Screws

3 - Coke trays

Now, on to measurements! (always measurements twice cut once!!)

From the 6' 1x3's you need to cut 14 of them into one 37.25" piece (Lower and back support) and two 17.25" pieces (sliders). The remaining 4 will be turned into the uprights.

The second measurement you will need is the height of the shelve for the uprights.

you need a minimum of 6" of space for each shelve (more if your trays have larger lips on them)

I chose to make mine around 11.5''-12'' spaced so they would fill the 6' height fairly evenly

Third as you can see in the photo is on the 37.25" pieces you need to mark them into even 1/3's for the sliders to attach to. these 2 center marks will be the centers of your sliders and the edges will line up for the edge sliders.

Step 2: Start Cutting and Screwing!

Now that you have measured everything out you can begin cutting! be 100% sure everything cuts to the same length. i used the first one of each size i cut as a template to make sure every other one is cut exactly the same.

You should end up with
4 uprights (cut to be sure they are all the exact same height)
14 Lower and back support pieces (marked at ~12.5" and ~24.75")
28 Slider pieces

Next you will need to organize them all in a way you can easily grab them and start screwing or pre-drilling for screws. in all honesty i didn't pre-drill because i was using spax screws and its a garage shelve, i don't care that it has a couple cracked ends but if you do care about them you should pre-drill your holes. you should have 2 screws at every junction and be 100% sure they are centered so you will run less risk of splitting the wood or having a screw exposed.

You can see in the photo how the lower and back supports get pre-screwed and then one by one line up and square off the sliders and screw them onto the back support.

Next lay it on the ground or flat table and screw on the lower support as shown.

Now repeat for all the shelves!

Step 3: Screw the Sides On, Casters On, and Fill With Trays!

Lastly you need to mark where you want the bottom of the tray frames to be on the uprights (and be sure your rear uprights are marked an extra 3/4" up front he front so your trays sit level!!)

Once you do that, keeping in mind they need to be spaced a minimum of 6" apart, you can screw them on using 2 screws per corner as shown in the photo.

After all that stand your shelve up and be sure it sits level (make sure the ground underneath it is level before shaving off any feet!)

Lastly if you want to add casters so you can roll it around just screw them straight to the bottom corners (you may need to add small length of a 2x4 to them so the screws don't pop through the bottom of the frame)
youll also have to add a small peice of 1x3 to the rear to bring them to the same level as the front. you will need longer screws to attach the 2x4 blocks to the bottom, as the 1.5" ones wont go all the way.

All that's really left is to fill the tray frames with trays!

if you have any questions feel free to ask! Thanks!!