Monday, October 25, 2010

Making a Double-deep Box Shelf

So here I am with my 300 boxes, and I figured out what to do with them (storage-wise). I can't just stack them one atop the others. It isn't stable, it is impossible to get to any boxes that have other boxes on top of them, and the boxes on the bottom will collapse in time. The answer is three 8-foot wide 7-box tall double-deep box shelves, each of which will hold ~100 boxes (98 to be exact).

I create these box shelves from 2x3s, which are strong enough to bear the weight of even a paper-filled bankers box (15 pounds) without sagging unacceptably. It's true. Check out the "Shelf Sag Calculator" aka "The Sagulator" if you doubt me.

Here's a picture showing the frame at the back of the box shelf:

The horizontal 2x3s are separated by 12" uprights, placed so that two boxes will fit on either "wing" with three boxes in the center of each shelf.

Then I had to figure out where the studs were in the wall. I know there is a purpose-designed magnet stud-finder thing you can buy. I even think I have one, somewhere in one of the boxes... Lacking the stud-finder, I used powerful magnets we'd been using on our fridge:

Back-most frame attached to the wall, I created two more frames, effectively identical to the frame in the back. The challenge now was to attach the three frames so they will support both the boxes in back and the boxes in front. Each box is 16" deep, so two boxes is 32" deep. 2x3s are 2.5 inches wide, so the three of them use up 7.5 inches, leaving me 24.5 inches of space. Divided by two.

I cut a handful of studs into 12.25" lengths, and used them to space the three frames the proper distance apart:

And on the "public" side, I used three angle-cut 32" pieces of 1x3 at top, middle, and bottom to brace the piece and maintain the spacing:

And, voila! Behold the finished frame for the double-deep box shelf:

1 comment:

  1. If I were posting this again, two things I'd add:

    1) Use 2x4s for the middle frame. The extra width provides more surface to support the front of the back boxes and back of the front boxes. If you use 2x4s in the center, you'll need to cut the spacers a bit shorter to compensate.

    2) It's easier to slide the boxes in and out if you have a 'rail' of sorts. This can be as flimsy as a 4" strip of 5/16" board. You can buy a 4'x8' and cut it in thirds (each 32" by 48"). Then you can cut them in twelve strips so each is 4" x 32" - simply lay the 'rail' in the center of where the boxes will go.