basement shelves


Old 12-16-05, 11:07 AM
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basement shelves

I'm in the planning process of building shelves in my basement. I was surfing the web and couldn't come up with any plans...any idea's on were to look?...I'm looking for simple storage shelves (2x4's and plywood or osb)

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Old 12-28-05, 08:13 AM
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if you don't figure out something else, and you don't need them to be pretty at all (just functional), here's what my completely not-handy husband & I built:

a great heavy duty shelving unit for our garage using 2x4s, 4x8 plywood sheets (or are they 4x6?) cut in half lengthwise and some metal connector brackets we found at Lowe's. the brackets weren't cheap (maybe $5 each?), but for people who have no clue how else to build shelves, they were fabulous, super strong & easy to use. each bracket is pre-molded to accept 2x4s from the top, bottom and 2 more going out at right angles, and they have all the holes for where the screws need to go. all you need to do is decide how tall you want your unit, how wide, how many shelves, etc. then you cut all your wood. you need to notch out the corners of the plywood shelves so they will fit right inside the 2x4 frame. and that's it.

you can use the brackets for anything - shelving, tables, desks, whatever. we made a really big shelving unit for our big Xmas boxes & stuff we store in our garage - a bottom shelf up about 6" from the floor, then a middle shelf, and a shelf on top. i think we ended up spending about $100 on all the materials (12 brackets, 2 sheets plywood - had 1/2 sheet leftover - four 6' 2x4s, and about 1,136 +/- screws), but we couldn't have bought a unit premade for that $ in that exact size. also, when we moved, it was easy to disassemble & take with us & reassemble!
Old 12-29-05, 11:17 AM
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ThomasB -

Here's what I did for my basement shelves. Over the years we have pretty much settled on storing most of our stuff in the boxes that reams of paper come in (my wife works for attorneys and I'm in the computer business, so we get tons of these free). The only caveat is that these are not adjustable once built.

Basically, you build a shelf unit. You build what looks like a ladder for each side of the unit, and then build as many of these as you need. The height of the rungs of the ladder give you the height of each shelf. The width the of the shelves can be anything you want it to be.

(Keep in mind you need to get your own measurements)
I figured out that the shelves should be large enough to hold four of this size box. That way, you only ever HAVE to move one box to get to another. This worked out to 2'L X 2'W by about 2'H (how convenient!).

I bought two 12' treated 2X4 for the bottoms of the uprights to rest on (concrete floor should have PT wood on it). Then figured how many of these shelving units I needed and bought regular old pine 2X4X8 lumber. Figure the number of units X 2 + 2 (for the end of the unit) = the number of 2X4s for the units. Then I figured four shelfs per unit so I needed one more 2x4x8 for each unit. Then I bought enough 3/4" 4X8 plywood for the shelves and had my local big box store cut them in half lengthwise (each 4X8 will yield eight 2X2 shelves).

Rip all of the 2X8 plywood down to 2X2.

Rip a 2x4 in half lengthwise to make 1X2s and then cut them into 2' lengths. Lay out two 2X4s, flat on the floor. Measure up from the bottom to the height of each of your shelves. If you are doing a bottom shelf to keep stuff off the floor, don't forget to take that into account! It's easiest to lay the 2X4s next to each other and make one mark across both at the same time. Separate the 2X4s and lay a 1X2 across the 2X4s at the mark (paying attention to whether it needs to go above or below the line) and screw or nail. Use the length of the 1X2 to get the distance between the 2x4s. Do four of these (or however many you need) up the length of the 2x4s and you will have something that looks like a ladder. This is your first end unit. Make another just like it.

Do the same for another, making sure your measurements are the same. Then, flip this over and put another series of the 1X2s on that side, at the same height as the before. This is a middle unit. Make as many of these as you need.

Now you might need some help.
Stand up an end unit on the 2X12 PT on the floor, with the 1x2s facing inside. As is turned out, the place I wanted to put my units ran parrallel to the floor joists above. BUT! With the spacing I used, the upright parts of the 2X4s above the highest shelf fit right on the outside of the floor joists. So I just nailed them to the floor joists.

Now, take one of the 2X2 plywood shelves and put at the bottom of this end unit. Place a middle unit next to the shelf. I found it easiest to then have someone place a second shelf at the top, press the middle unit against it and use this as your spacing. This is a lot less measuring and squaring, etc. Then nail or screw this middile unit into place. You sould now have one complete unit. Continue down the row using middle units until you get to the end and then attach the end unit.

Go back and toe nail the bottoms of the ladders to the 2X12 using the shelf as a guide for spacing. Place all the rest of the shelves and you're done!

Sounds complicated, but take a look here for some pictures, and it should all make sense. Click on "basement gallery" and look at the first 4 or 5 pics.


Good Luck, Hope this helps!
Old 10-28-08, 05:07 AM
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Thumbs down Basic Storage Shelves

I found some instructions for just the kind of shelves I was looking to build at this website:

My question is on the shelf-frames. Can someone lay out the dimensions of the 2x3 frame pieces? Obviously, they have to end up being 2'x8'. Is there any tip on making sure they end up being square? Seems like whenever I try to build something it ends up being off somehow.

Old 10-29-08, 08:57 PM
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Looks like in this design that the frame for each shelf is actually the full 8' length and then the leg gets attached to the front of the frame and protrudes. If you put them all the same length you should be good to go.
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