How I Built Shelves for My Garage

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This post has stuff about religion. My perspective has changed

Some time ago I put up a bunch of shelves in our garage. We use those big plastic totes to store all of our auto accessories, power tools, Christmas decorations, etc. so I wanted to make sure that the shelves were big enough for the totes and that the whole thing was sturdy enough to hold all that. It turned out to be a really straight-forward project and I had a lot of fun doing it. Here’s an overview of the process I used:


First I drew a little sketch of the whole assembly, then measured and cut the wood.

Cutting the wood


Then I squared everything up and framed it out. It’s pretty important to get it squared up right. If you’re off a little bit it’ll be bent out of shape towards the end.

Squaring it up

Making a frame

Set up the frame


Once everything is standing up the shelves get screwed into the supports, which span the width of the assembly.

Adding the shelf supports

I decided to use some heavy duty carriage bolts so that I could get the whole thing tightened down real well. I just drilled some big holes through the frame and the crossbar and bolted it through.

Drill holes for the carriage bolts

Crank em down tight


At this point the whole structure is a little wobbly and difficult to work with. I added some temporary supports to hold it all in place while I screwed in the particle board shelves.

Add temporary supports

Add some particle board shelves


Once I was finished I screwed the whole thing into the studs in the wall. This added some extra support for heavy loads. Here you can see the unpainted, finished product. I think it turned out pretty good.

With full size totes