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Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

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  • Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

    Hello,

    I am looking to build a VERY simple but very stout shelf above my workbench in the garage. The workbench is on one wall of the garage. It will be a high shelf. It will be roughly 18 inches down from the ceiling, about 13 inches deep and 8 feet or so in length. My thought is to be able to put all of my smaller hand power tools in their cases up on that shelf to free up room on the shelves under my bench. It will carry things like circular saws, sanders, nail guns, biscuit joiner, jigsaw, etc. I also have a 4 foot fluorescent light hanging down over my work bench currently and I want to fasten that to the underside of the shelf so I can still have plenty of light.

    I am trying to figure out the best way to build this so that it’s as strong as possible. I am kind of envisioning a really beefy floating shelf but not sure if that’s the best way to go. I don’t want it to sag under the load obviously and I don’t want to use angle brackets to support it if I can avoid it.

    If I lag bolt a simple box frame to the studs and screw my shelf to that, do you think that would be strong enough?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  • #2
    Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

    To handle the weight of the tools, you'll need some kind of support that reaches the front. You could use some chain hangers from the ceiling that catch the front of the shelf. It means you'll have some chains in the way in the front, but they're small and only slightly annoying. Definitely lag the back of the shelf to the wall, along with the hangers. If you don't support the front of the shelf, it will eventually start to droop and then stuff will start sliding off.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

      I encountered the same dilema when I first needed some storage shelves. I thought of all kinds of shelving options and procrastinated for weeks because I didn't think metal brackets belonged in a woodworking shop. Finally one day I bought some metal brackets, screwed them to the wall studs, ripped plywood for the shelves and DONE. The shelves are strong enough to hold an anvil collection.

      If you decide to go wood, I am not convinced floating shelves will be strong enough. At least I don't think the ones I make from hollow core interior doors will be. They are strong enough for anything a homwowner will put on them eg pictures, but I wouldn't trust them stacked with tools.

      Tom

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      • #4
        Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

        Originally posted by VASandy View Post
        To handle the weight of the tools, you'll need some kind of support that reaches the front. You could use some chain hangers from the ceiling that catch the front of the shelf. It means you'll have some chains in the way in the front, but they're small and only slightly annoying. Definitely lag the back of the shelf to the wall, along with the hangers. If you don't support the front of the shelf, it will eventually start to droop and then stuff will start sliding off.
        Thank you....

        Great idea. You think really heavy guage chains or something a little lighter duty? I don't want to go skimpy but dont want overkill either.

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        • #5
          Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

          I built a similar shelf a couple months ago, only mine is narrower (64") but taller (46"). The unit is divided into two separate areas and has pine rail and stile doors with white 1/4" MDF for the panels. It's packed with power tools and such.

          I attached two 2x2 to the wall. One is as wide as the unit, the other is the same minus the combined thickness of the unit's walls. One is right below the top shelf and one right below the bottom shelf, inside the storage unit. I used screws to attach the unit to the 2x2.

          If you plan on building yours so it touches the ceiling then I would be confident that all will be good and strong enough if you sit the bottom of your shelf on a horizontal 2x2 attached to the wall like I did. The front of the top which is in contact with the ceiling could be then attached by means of wood screws to the ceiling joists right above.
          In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

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          • #6
            Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

            Originally posted by darius View Post
            I built a similar shelf a couple months ago, only mine is narrower (64") but taller (46"). The unit is divided into two separate areas and has pine rail and stile doors with white 1/4" MDF for the panels. It's packed with power tools and such.

            I attached two 2x2 to the wall. One is as wide as the unit, the other is the same minus the combined thickness of the unit's walls. One is right below the top shelf and one right below the bottom shelf, inside the storage unit. I used screws to attach the unit to the 2x2.

            If you plan on building yours so it touches the ceiling then I would be confident that all will be good and strong enough if you sit the bottom of your shelf on a horizontal 2x2 attached to the wall like I did. The front of the top which is in contact with the ceiling could be then attached by means of wood screws to the ceiling joists right above.
            Hi Darius.

            Thank you very much for your help.

            Mine will actually be a little different. It won't actually touch the ceiling. It will just be one single shelf about 18 inches down from the celing.
            Last edited by Tom5151; 02-06-2009, 03:31 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

              Tom,

              A little confusion then. Mine is about 24" from the ceiling (10 foot walls in the garage). So your scenario is exactly the same as mine.

              As I wrote, nothing collapsed since November, although I have been considering a steel bar or two to be attached to the roof of the unit, angled up a couple inches (where the unit's roof touched the wall) and then bolted to studs in the wall. I am confident that the shelves will not sheer the screws (4" lag bolts) so the purpose of the bars would be to minimize the chance of the top pulling away from the wall. They would need to be attached to structural elements of the unit such as vertical side walls of divider walls. I figure a bar 8 to 10 " long (my shelves are 16" deep) would ensure that the unit stays put for a long time.
              In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

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              • #8
                Re: Beefy Garage Workshop Shelf

                Originally posted by darius View Post
                Tom,

                A little confusion then. Mine is about 24" from the ceiling (10 foot walls in the garage). So your scenario is exactly the same as mine.

                As I wrote, nothing collapsed since November, although I have been considering a steel bar or two to be attached to the roof of the unit, angled up a couple inches (where the unit's roof touched the wall) and then bolted to studs in the wall. I am confident that the shelves will not sheer the screws (4" lag bolts) so the purpose of the bars would be to minimize the chance of the top pulling away from the wall. They would need to be attached to structural elements of the unit such as vertical side walls of divider walls. I figure a bar 8 to 10 " long (my shelves are 16" deep) would ensure that the unit stays put for a long time.
                got it......you are correct....i was not understanding. Thank you again for the advice......

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