Introduction: Over Garage Door Storage

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human tha…

I had seen this somewhere before. It is simply some "tracks" screwed onto the ceiling that allow plastic storage totes to slide into them and be securely held above the garage doors. This allows you to store things out of the way but still close by and somewhat easy to get to. When looking online, I could not find it. So I thought I would document it and put it up here on Instructables.

Step 1: How Much Space?

I had measured above my garage doors before deciding on what size totes to get. There are lots of different size totes you could use, but for the amount of space above my garage and the size of the items I was wanting to store, the 17 gallon totes seamed to be the best. In this Instructable, I will be sharing the dimensions I used to make tracks for these totes, If you chose smaller or larger totes, adjust the dimensions accordingly.

Step 2: Find the Joists

I use my preferred method of finding studs and joists. I drill where I think there is a joist and if I hit it, I know where it is. I found that my joists were on 24" centers so I decided that I would make my tracks a little longer than 48 inches to span over three joists.

Step 3: Top Piece of the Track

I cut a piece of 2" x 3" lumber 52 inches long. Since I was using 3-1/2" long screws but wanted more than 1-1/2 inches of screw going into the joist, I counter-bored three holes with a 3/8" diameter forstner bit about one inch deep. I then drilled thru the board with a 3/16" diameter bit. I drilled 3 holes, one in the center and the other two 24 inches from the center. I then put the #10 x 3-1/2" screws in the three holes and the track was ready to screw to the joists.

In hindsight, I wish I had made these a little bit longer on one end and tapered them. This would have given a funnel affect to help guide the totes into the tracks. I might make some wedges to add to the ends of them.

Step 4: Bottom Piece of the Track

The bottom piece of the track was a 48" long piece of the 3/4" thick plywood cut 5 inches wide. When screwed to the 3" wide side of the 2x3 top piece, this gives you 1" of overhang on each side. This overhang is what the lip of the tote rests on. I put eight 1/8" diameter holes down the middle of this board. These holes are for the #8 x 2" long screws. The eight holes are 6 inches apart, starting 3 inches from the end. This put the holes at 3, 9, 15, 21, 27, 33, 39, and 45 inches. This spacing made sure that, when lined up properly with the track top piece, the screws would not hit the three screws in the top track piece.

The track pieces in the middle support totes on their left and right. The tracks on the end only support a tote on one side so they only have to be 4 inches wide. These are drilled the same but the holes are not centered, they are 1-1/2 inches from one side so that the holes are centered in the top track piece.

Step 5: Hang the Top Piece

The top piece screws into the ceiling joists using three #10 x 3-1/2" long deck screws. I used an impact driver and appropriate bit to drive the screws securely in.

Step 6: Hang the Bottom Piece

I screwed the bottom piece into the top piece with eight #8 x 2" long deck screws. Once screwed in I was able to hang from the track, so I am confident that they will hold up the totes.....unless they are full of lead.

Step 7: Hang More Tracks

I cut some scrap pieces of plywood to use as temporary spacers to help with the placement of the track pieces. The top to my totes are 18 inches wide so I cut the pieces 18-1/8" long, to give a little bit of wiggle room. I clamped these pieces to the first track using small c-clamps. Then it is just a matter of fixing more tracks to the joists until you have all your tracks mounted.

Step 8: Test Fit As You Go.

Even using spacers and measuring, the best bet is to test the track spacing by sliding the totes in between the tracks.

Step 9: Using the Track Totes

Now that the tracks are all in place, it is time to use the totes to store stuff out of the way. All you have to do is lode up the totes, add the lid, and slide them into the tracks. I might add labels to the ends and bottoms to help with getting the right tote down, when I need the stuff.

Step 10: Video

As usual I made a video.

Thank you for watching.

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