I came across the basic idea for this will browsing through Instructables and watching Wasted Spaces looking for ways to organize my one car garage to do pretty much any kind of work from auto/motorcycle maintenance to woodworking and storage. The first time the idea sparked my interest was a partially finished basement but they used the space in between the floor joists to hold books. They had painted the ceiling to give it a more finished look and just installed horizontal boards anchored to the joists.
Then I saw a instructable by depotdevoid it was a great idea but there was 1 problem I had with it.... me and my basement. You see I'm 6'4" and the bottom of the joists is only about 7' so by the time I installed it with the handles and containers below the joist I would have to duck all the time while working in the room. So I came up with what I think is a better solution.... or at least for me it is.
Instead of one continuous track I broke mine into sections that would hold 2 containers with enough space on either side to slide it over and take it down. That way I would only need to move the container I wanted to access.
Circular saw (or any saw that will cut wood)
Clamps (not really necessary but as you will see it allowed me to cut regular strips for the track)
Scrap lumber (I used 1-1x6 about 40" long)
Screws over 1.5"
Container of your choice
$10 at Walmart for 10 containers with lids assuming you have screws or nails and some scrap lumber
Step 1: Prepping the Space
Since this is a basement project more than likely you will have nails or staples poking through the ceiling. Removal is very simple hit them with a hammer bending it over about half way. Then hit it back to other way and it will probably snap off.
Next we need to find how high we can mount the container so put it up to the into the space and mark the bottom of the lip(pic 2). Use a measuring tape, measuring from the ceiling down to the mark and add about 1/4" just for space. Mark about every four feet with the value we just came to and mark both joists(pic 3). If you are working by yourself put a nail at the beginning on one side of the row and use a chalk line to snap an even line the length of the joist. Then repeat the process for the other joist.
Step 2: Cut the Hangers
Before we can cut the hangers we need to do some measuring and this is gonna depend on the container you buy.
Measurements we need
Total length of container with lid attached - T
Length of the lip from wall of the container to outside of the lid - L
Space between joists(it should be 14 1/2" if you live in USA) - S
Max hanger thickness - Ht
Hanger Length - H
To figure out the max thickness of our hangers take (S-T+2L)/2 = Ht
To find hanger length just measure the with of your container and double it add 1" for clearance.
If you have a table saw this is easy just start cutting your boards at just shy of Ht(I recommend 1/16").
If you are like me and don't have a table saw you can make a jig. I used a B&D workmate but any bench will do. I used a scrap piece of 2x6 to elevate my saw above the table and to work as a guide for my cut measuring Ht away from the opening in my bench. Then set the circular saw on top with the blade next to the benchtop. Clamp everything nice and secure a either tie the trigger on the circular saw or use one of your hands. Begin cutting just like you would with a tablesaw including using push sticks so you dont lose and fingers especially when you get close to the end.
Now you have a nice pile of evenly cut hangers all thats left is to crosscut them at H intervals and all of the hangers will be ready.
Step 3: Hang Hangers
Since we already used the chalk line all we have to do is mark the beginning and end of each hanger leaving space in between for one to drop down.
Use either screws or nails to secure the hangers. Make sure you set the top of the hangers at the line NOT the bottom. Then fill and hang the containers and you now have easily accessible storage that is out of the way.