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Thread: Shelves? In dire need of lots of storage space...

  1. #1
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    Shelves? In dire need of lots of storage space...

    Hi guys.

    I'm trying to work out storage space for my very small apartment room, which I use as both a workshop and an office, and to hold most of my clothes and personal belongings.

    There's one very small, very shallow closet, and very little floor space. So, what I need is to utilize as much wall space as possible, and that requires shelves!

    My requirements are:
    1) Free standing, very tall, but stable so that it's earthquake proof (I think this can be accomplished by making it an L-shape and putting it in a corner!)
    2) Long, and no dividers in the middle, maybe even open-ended, so that I can store long boards for woodworking.
    3) Not too costly or time consuming to build. I really just need storage now and this doesn't need to be fine furniture. I'm thinking construction grade lumber and simple fasteners or simple joinery.
    4) If possible, can be knocked down/come apart for next time I move

    Any ideas on how you would do such a thing? At first, I was going to make some wood racks like this:
    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...MygSegUIARCJAw
    Except free standing.

    But, I really need shelves to store other things also, such as tools, smaller pieces of wood and materials, and personal belongings.

    So basically I'm looking at shelves, maybe 1.5-2 meters in length with no vertical subdividers (which presents a challenge for structural integrity. I need some kind of supporting braces under the shelves in the middle while still keeping the front open), L-shaped, free-standing.

    There does not need to be a back to the thing. The less material I have to buy, the better.

    Any idea how to construct such a beast? I'm having a difficult time finding a design that looks appropriate.

    Maybe vertically oriented supports under the shelves are what I need, to keep the shelves from bowing under a heavy load. Something like this, but beefier and made with 2x4's or something?

    Making this knock-downable or at least disassemble-able presents a challenge as well... Hmm...

  2. #2
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    When it comes to this sort of thing (quick, knock-down style) you can often buy for less than you can make. I have a lot of these in 3 and 4 foot lengths in some outbuildings because I needed storage and needed it "now". Wow, the prices are nearly double what I paid. I would shop around. 'Edsel' and 'Muscle Rack' are a couple of brands. These seem flimsy until assembled and loaded. I have been using mine for about 3 years without issue. I frequently move things on and off of them. Going commercial is an advantage when you don't need a custom size and don't get satisfaction from building utility items.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Dupont View Post
    …I use as both a workshop and an office, and to hold most of my clothes and personal belongings.
    …I'm having a difficult time finding a design that looks appropriate.
    My shop is large and has woodworking, woodturning, metal machining, welding, farm and vehicle maintenance, and game bird incubating brooding. Some of my experience will not apply but some comments based on experience may help.

    Clothes and personal stuff is best stored in closets, cabinets with doors, or plastic tubs to keep the dust away.

    For small tools and supplies I like roll-around mechanic’s toolboxes with some deep shelves. Easily moveable. I have a big space so I have 4 in me shop, two large.

    For general storage if woodturning blanks and many supplies I like wire shelf units from Sams/Cosco, 48x18” and assembled either 3’ or 6’ high. Will hold a LOT of weight. Can stand on floor or on wheels. I have a lot of space so I use 9 of these.

    For lumber short enough I like to stand vertically, leaning against the wall. For longer boards I mount heavy duty shelf brackets and stack boards on them horizontally.

    For other supplies and materials I mount pine 1x12 shelves on the walls. To make the best use of the space the highest are up near the ceiling, too high to reach without a step stool or an extended reach grabber. Great for spray cans and rarely accessed items. Wall space is precious, especially in a small space. Even my large shop has no unused wall space. Besides shelving, hanging cabinets are useful in places.

    For overflow I have several out buildings. I have a lot of land so this is easy.

    A small space is a real challenge regardless of the tour of work you do and tools you will use. I wouldn’t even think about organizing the space without careful planning, starting with a scale drawing of the space and paper cutouts representing both the materials you hope to accommodate, the work surfaces (benches, etc) you need, and various types of storage methods.

    JKJ

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Dupont View Post
    Hi guys.

    I'm trying to work out storage space for my very small apartment room, which I use as both a workshop and an office, and to hold most of my clothes and personal belongings.

    There's one very small, very shallow closet, and very little floor space. So, what I need is to utilize as much wall space as possible, and that requires shelves!

    My requirements are:
    1) Free standing, very tall, but stable so that it's earthquake proof (I think this can be accomplished by making it an L-shape and putting it in a corner!)
    2) Long, and no dividers in the middle, maybe even open-ended, so that I can store long boards for woodworking.
    3) Not too costly or time consuming to build. I really just need storage now and this doesn't need to be fine furniture. I'm thinking construction grade lumber and simple fasteners or simple joinery.
    4) If possible, can be knocked down/come apart for next time I move

    Any ideas on how you would do such a thing? At first, I was going to make some wood racks like this:
    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...MygSegUIARCJAw
    Except free standing.

    But, I really need shelves to store other things also, such as tools, smaller pieces of wood and materials, and personal belongings.

    So basically I'm looking at shelves, maybe 1.5-2 meters in length with no vertical subdividers (which presents a challenge for structural integrity. I need some kind of supporting braces under the shelves in the middle while still keeping the front open), L-shaped, free-standing.

    There does not need to be a back to the thing. The less material I have to buy, the better.

    Any idea how to construct such a beast? I'm having a difficult time finding a design that looks appropriate.

    Maybe vertically oriented supports under the shelves are what I need, to keep the shelves from bowing under a heavy load. Something like this, but beefier and made with 2x4's or something?

    Making this knock-downable or at least disassemble-able presents a challenge as well... Hmm...
    This is a classic case where you have to pick two of the three options. Your needs are sturdy, long, and cheap. Pick two.

    I don't think there is any way to accomplish what you need without a compromise or saving up money for materials
    Last edited by Jason Buresh; 05-18-2022 at 12:00 PM.
    Always put the crappy side against the wall

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Dupont View Post
    1) Free standing, very tall, but stable so that it's earthquake proof (I think this can be accomplished by making it an L-shape and putting it in a corner!)
    Earthquake proof isn't that simple. But if we omit this requirement, here in US every hardware store sells stamped steels utility shelving units, like this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-5-...78W5/203828250

    They're good. You might want to build boxes or cupboards that fit this unit, or just cover it all around with 1/8" plywood. I think they're better than wooden shelves because they carry way more weight, occupy less space, shelves can be adjusted, they can be disassembled when moving, they're just a little bit more money than cost of wood and fasteners. Also they're 30 mins project once you decide to shell some money out.

  6. #6
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    Epilog Mini 24-45W, Corel Draw X6, Photoshop CS5, Multi Cam CNC

  7. #7
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    Back many years one of my jobs was delivering furniture for my parent's store. All of the cabinets were secured to wall studs using "L" brackets for earthquake safety.

    In my shop for wood storage a simple design was used:

    Wood Rack End View.jpgWood Rack.jpg

    This was made using half lap joints and carriage bolts.

    It would be easy to scale larger or smaller.

    You might also try searching on > adjustable shelf bracket < The metal strips and the support pieces could be added to create more shelves without all the wood supports.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
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    The cons of open shelving; Dust is a major issue. It collects on everything on an open shelf. If there is no diagonal bracing, it won't come close to withstanding an earthquake. It probably won't help you, but in my area, out of style used brown furniture is an incredible bargain on Facebook Marketplace. I wanted to build some shadow boxes for ancestral artifacts. Picked up a corner curio cabinet for $20. I couldn't buy the glass for that. So very cheap storage is out there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert L Stewart View Post

    These type of shelving units should not be taken for granted. I was skeptical at first, but they are extremely stable and can carry the load.
    Adjust ability is a big plus and for the money are hard to beat. I cannot build anything that will come close for the money.
    I have several of these units from Amazon and Sam's club.
    I'm going to say the biggest problem will be finding them in stock.
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.”
    Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    "Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."
    Henry Ford

  10. #10
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    That’s the type of wire shelf I referred to in my reply. I have 9 of these in the shop and at least 25 in garage, storage room, storage buildings, and barn. I rarely need or use the casters unless I want a little extra space underneath. The open wire makes them excellent for drying woodturning blanks. There’s days. they come with sturdy plastic (vinyl?) sheets thafit the shelves where the wire might not be appropriate.

    CAB35518-E713-4FBD-A9B4-4EC8F2F5300A.jpeg

    The shelf spacing is adjustable and very strong. The four vertical supports come as two shorter that screw together but can be left unconnected for two shorter units.

    Be aware that there at least two different quality levels of this type of shelf. The better quality has a central support truss down the center of each shelf. Those i’ve bought from Sams have always been the higher quality. Note also that there are cheap imitations out there that are thinner gauge wire and much flimsier. They rust easily too. Learned my lesson on those.

    JKJ

  11. #11
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    The advice being offered here is basically good, but the OP has a location of Tokyo. Assuming that is correct, most of the purchase options suggested won't apply. When he says he has a small room, I suspect most of the folks here have workshops that are two or three times the size of an apartment in Tokyo. Think US tiny house but smaller. Per internet, the average living space in Tokyo is 41 square meters (440 square feet) not counting bath and entry areas which might add another 15-20 square meters. The OP's room could very well be smaller since less than 20 sq meters (or smaller) is supposedly most common.
    Last edited by Dwayne Watt; 05-19-2022 at 4:52 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Watt View Post
    The advice being offered here is basically good, but the OP has a location of Tokyo. Assuming that is correct, most of the purchase options suggested won't apply. When he says he has a small room, I suspect most of the folks here have workshops that are two or three times the size of an apartment in Tokyo. Think US tiny house but smaller. Per internet, the average living space in Tokyo is 41 square meters (440 square feet) not counting bath and entry areas which might add another 15-20 square meters. The OP's room could very well be smaller since less than 20 sq meters (or smaller) is supposedly most common.

    Correct. My room is very roughly 5x3 meters. Actually a little less because it's not rectangular. Really tiny!

    Other rooms are larger, and I have *some* storage space I can use in some of them, but it's limited as we have a new baby and a ton of baby stuff now!

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