So I spent most of the weekend cleaning up the left side of the garage and stripping everything off of the walls. It looks really good, as long as you don't look at the right side of the garage!
So the plan is to build the shelves that wrap around the top of the garage first. These will be made out of 2x3's like my previous shelves, with 1/2" construction grade plywood for the top. Nothing fancy, but nice and cheap.
The back side of the shelves will be screwed directly into the studs, but the front of the shelf will need some sort of support.
- I could run polls all the way to the floor, but these would be a big pain to deal with, even if I only put a couple in over the span.
- I could make a simple diy triangular shelf bracket that sits under the shelf out of 2x3's. This should be relatively strong, and there would be nothing above the shelf blocking access to them so I would get the most use out of the space. However these shelves are 21" deep, even with a relatively shallow angle on the support this is going to eat up 18" or so of space below the shelfs.
- I could invert the triangle supports and have them above the shelf, but then I'm relying heavily on a few screws to hold this all up, and I loose storage space on the shelf.
- I could run 2x3's up to the joists in the ceiling. This is marginally stronger than the triangular shelf support, but my garage has a covered ceiling so I cant screw these directly into the joists. I would need to screw a length of wood into the joists then hang the hangers from that, loosing several inches of space above the shelf.
- Finally, the idea I hit on is to drive a 3/8" hanger bolt straight up into the studs, then use a 24" length of allthread to hang the front of the shelf from the ceiling joists. This only takes up a tiny bit of space and should be much stronger than trying to fix a 2x3 stud into the wall or ceiling and it allows the shelf itself to remain continuous.
I did a bit of weighing of my existing boxes and worked out that for each 8' span I'm never going to be putting more than 500 pounds on the shelf. Honestly I think it is closer to 200 pounds max, but I want to overestimate things. Doing a bit of math I think each hanger should be able to handle more than 500 pounds, but in practice they only need to handle 1/4 of that if I use 2 hangers and 1/6 of that if I use 3 hangers for each 8 foot span. That works out to 125 or 83 pounds per hanger, well within spec.
I have picked up the parts for the hangers as well as a pile of 2x3 boards. I also marked out all my studs along the wall.
Finally I picked up this little $30 laser level to help work out where to hang the shelfs on the wall. This worked out so much better than I thought it would. I was able to paint a level line over half my workshop and it made finding the low spots in the ceiling so easy. For $30 this is a must for any sort of work where level is important. This particular unit is a bit cheap, but it is perfectly functional. More than good enough for home use.
This weekend I'm hoping to put the frame of the shelves together and get them hung up. My hope is that this will allow me to put a lot of the loose junk in my garage back up on the wall, as well as allowing me to better visualize the remaining space (and junk) to best work out how to store it all.
Finally I have this small issue to work through. A big motivator for all this work is to get this small freezer moved away from my workbench so I have a continuous space to put all my tools. It is narrower than the opening for my garage door, so in theory I can park a car next to it without hitting it. However I only have about 6-8" of room between the fender of the car and the freezer. That is a bit tight and it makes me nervous when parking. Most of the issue is that the freezer is lower than the nose of my car so I can't see it while pulling in the car.
As a quick fix I taped this stick to the side of the freezer. It works quite well and really reduces the anxiety of parking. The cabinets I have mounted on the wall over the washer and dryer partially cover the freezer, but not fully. I'm thinking of moving the furthest cabinet over so it extends past the end of the freezer. Then filling in the new space between cabinets with a couple of big shelfs for storing larger laundry chemicals. This would allow me to fix a wall to the side of the cabinet that extends down to the edge of the freezer, forming a site line for parking as well as making a usable wall for storage of some sort, as well as dividing the washing area from whatever else I add here.