The shelving unit is in service! I ended up using 1/2” plywood all around instead of vertical 2×4’s. I also decided not to depend on the garage walls for primary support, so it can be moved if desired, though I did screw it to a plywood strip that was pre-mounted on the wall. Even though the unit is strong enough on its own, that simple action added a ton of rigidity. Here’s what it looks like, all full of hastily loaded junk, but keep in mind the paint is actually gray (bad lighting for photos!):
I had to build around the concrete ledge along the bottom of the garage wall in order to maximize storage space. The unit is just a hair over eight feet tall, placing the top about 10 inches below the ceiling. I also intentionally set the unit away from the side wall, leaving just enough room to hide my stepladder in the “pocket” on the end:
The doors/face aren’t done yet, but these shots give a little better look at the overall structure:
I moved the bottom shelf up enough to clear the aforementioned concrete ledge (maximizing the size of the shelf), which left enough room to “coax” my furniture movers underneath. I don’t mind leaving those on the concrete floor, though I’m sure I will regret that decision when the spiders find them. Speaking of concrete, I didn’t want to leave exposed plywood edges directly on the floor, so I mounted 2×4 rails on the bottom. I did this by shimming the unit off the ground, making sure the front was slightly higher than the back (to account for the garage floor slope), placing the rails directly on the floor, and screwing the pieces together.
All four shelves are fully supported by 2×4’s all the way around. Overkill, perhaps, but this helps with overall strength/stability as well. These shelf supports are attached to the plywood frame with simple screws. The screw heads are fully countersunk and filled in with wood putty, so they aren’t visible unless you really look for them. The plywood sides are connected by biscuit-reinforced butt joints—my first time using a biscuit jointer. Attaching the second side panel was a royal pain due to some curvature in the plywood, made worse by a relative lack of long clamps, but it’s done and holding. For the moment. :-)
My next task is reclaiming some oh-so-precious wall space by getting the extension ladder off the wall and onto the ceiling. I got started on that but ran into a couple of snags, so I will post about it at a later time.
-- "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?"