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These 2×4-and-plywood shelves are as common in woodshops as milk is in grocery stores.  Some folks get crazy and put doors on the front of them, while others like reader resq47 go for the bare-bones style pictured above — but large or small they’ll find their way into a corner somewhere no matter how hard you fight it.

We dig this type of shelving because it’s cheap, reliable, and built to any size.  Anyone considering buying storage really ought to attempt this first — if you don’t like ’em or find they’re not necessary at some point, just knock ’em apart and build something else with the leftover lumber.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


11 Responses to Flickr Pool: Shop Storage The Easy Way

  1. paganwonder says:

    After many shelf projects and modifications I’ve found 1X4’s and 1/2 inch OSB are plenty strong enough for most applications. Have also discovered that deep (or wide) shelves need to be accessible from both sides or things get lost ‘back there’

  2. KaiserM715 says:

    This the same style I used for the shelving in my shed. Cheap and effective.

  3. BigEdJr says:

    …Is that half of an arm chair sitting there? I thought I had weird stuff in my garage…

  4. Resq47 says:

    BigEdJr, actually one end of a sofa. Why pay for a curbside tag when you can find out first-hand just *how* many staples hold modern furniture together? 🙂

    2×4 (and 2×3) framing and 3/4 BC ply is overkill when glued and screwed but I also make my benches with 4×4 doug fir and tops of laminated 3/4 ply and MDF. “Good enough” sometimes isn’t.

  5. Bill says:

    Agree that 1x4s for uprights and horizontal beams are plenty. Also, you probably don’t need end beams – the plywood should be able to span that short distance without reinforcement. Also agree with the comment about keeping the depth reasonable. I usually assemble the uprights and crossbeams for the front, then it makes it easy to screw the 1×4 crossbeams to the wall for the back part – just use the front assembly as a template to mark the wall. Then start slapping the plywood, osb or whatever on the lower shelf and work your way up. I like to use screws with finishing washers. If you want to hide the contents, it is an easy next step to fab up simple cabinet doors. Nothing wrong with the example, as the maker explained he likes to build strong.

  6. Coligny says:

    I use old iron frame hospital bed as shelves with 2×4 and wood bolts… creepy but nuke proof. Alas… a little deep indeed… Should put a picture of my mess room one day

  7. Fritz says:

    I just completed a set of plywood shelves for my garage. But instead of 2×4 uprights, I mounted the back edge to wall and used 1/2″ all thread hung from the ceiling on the outer edge. It’s surprising how much more room that opens up. I’ll try and post some pics later..

  8. aaron says:

    fritz – interesting idea. i like it.

  9. Coach James says:

    “BigEdJr, actually one end of a sofa. Why pay for a curbside tag when you can find out first-hand just *how* many staples hold modern furniture together?”

    I agree. We had a heavy recliner that was worn out and needed to be tossed. I took it apart first and got several pieces of oak 1×2, lots of bolts and screws and a piece of steel plate 24″x18″. That plate was my first welding table. I salvaged so much of that chair that the stuff that went in the landfill barely filled a two gallon bucket and most of that was the foam and cloth covering.

  10. dex says:

    Why is everyone bragging about how cheap and crappy they can make shevles 🙂

    I think it’s great when someone makes them heavy duty. I’m making some out of 2×4 supports with 2×6 for the actual shelving material. Why not make them solid?

  11. Fritz says:

    I posted some pics of my shelving (hung 1/2″ all thread) to the pool. I know they can hold at least my weight…

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