Introduction: Storage Shelf From One $4 2x4

Using just one twelve foot 2x4 and shop supplies this simple storage solution costs less than $4.00 in lumber! This instructable was inspired by KurtH3's crate Instructable How to Make an $11 Crate with a $3 2x4

This project requires the use of a table saw and a pocket hole jig with (16) 1 1/4" coarse thread screws.

Step 1: Cut List

Start by cutting our 2x4x12 into working lengths listed below.

2 @ 15"

2 @ 16"

2 @ 37"

Step 2: Create 5/8" X 3" Material

Set aside the two 15" 2x4's for use in a later step.

- Remove the rounded corners from the two 16" 2x4's and two 37" 2x4's.

-Do this by removing 1/4" from each edge of the 2x4's.

-This will yield two 16" boards 1 1/2" x 3" and two 37" boards 1 1/2" x 3"

-Adjust your table saw blade to it's maximum cutting height and and set it to cut your 1 1/2" width in half(5/8").

- Cut all four 1 1/2" thick boards down to 5/8" thick, this will yield eight 5/8" thick boards. (four 37" long and four 16" long)

Step 3: Cut Four 5/8" X 3" X 9" Boards

Cut one of the 5/8" x 3" x 37" boards into four 5/8" x 3" x 9" boards

Step 4: Cut Three 5/8" X 3" X 32" Boards

Cut the three remaining 37" boards down to 32". Dispose of the 5" scrap from each cut.

Step 5: Sand

Take a moment to sand down all of those awesome cuts we just made.

Reflect on how awesome you are, and how much better your shelving unit is going to turn out than mine :)

Step 6: Optional Step - Tapered Legs

If you want, you can cut tapers on the bottom of all 4 legs. I made the jig being used in the picture out of scraps around the garage.

Step 7: Assemble the Legs

Using a pocket hole jig assemble the legs.

-The upper cross brace should be flush with the top of the front and back legs.

-The lower cross brace should be positioned as low as possible while remaining above the top of the taper cut in step 6.

Step 8: Notch the Legs

Create three notches in each leg to hold the front and back braces.

-Each notch should be 3" tall and 5/8" deep.

-The upper notches should be made at the very top of the legs.

-The lower notch (which is only on the back leg on each side) should be 8" from the top of the leg to the top of the notch.

* When creating the notches ensure that the pocket holes will be facing inwards on the finished bench.

Step 9: Assemble the Front and Back Braces

Nail the front and back braces into the notches created in step 8.

- Don't forget the wood glue.

Step 10: Cut Sixteen 5/16" Slats

From the two remaining 2 x 4 x 15" boards cut sixteen 5/16" thick slats.

- 3/8" thick slats would increase the weight capacity of the shelving, but would require a third 15" 2 x 4.

- A great tool for cutting thin rips can be made from my other instructable - Thin Rip Push Block

Step 11: Install Sixteen Slats to Create the Top Shelf

Install the sixteen slats cut in step ten with a 1/2" gap between them. Install using wood glue and four brad nails per slat.

Step 12: Finished Product

The results speak for themselves. A simple storage unit for less than $4.

Step 13: Endless Possibilities

The concepts from this instructable can easily be applied to a storage unit with one, two, three or four shelves.

- Not only is it less expensive than buying a ready-to-assemble shelving unit, the weight capacity is higher than the store bought units I replaced!

Please Comment on what finish you think I should apply to preserve these works of art!

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