Future Shop Shelving #1: OK - it's not all wood!

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Blog entry by curliejones posted 01-06-2013 01:03 PM 2149 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Future Shop Shelving series no next part

I have previously commented on the transition to a new workshop knowing this would be a long, long, process. But with each journey, you must take one step at a time. Last year I built a garden shed/greenhouse as a first step. Mowers, tillers, chainsaw, etc. all have a new home thus clearing the current “shed’s” dropshed.
I just began phase two – and this involves closing in about 2/3 of the carport. The motivation to write about it came from the shelving I installed the last couple of days. I found some shelving components that really impressed me, and that’s takes some sorting thru all the trap that’s in the retail marketplace these days.
I began by ordering a couple of Rockler #39227 lumber storage racks, on sale just before Christmas. The brackets included are 14” long, rated for 200 lbs each (wow!) and brackets and tracks are all galvanized for protection.
Here’s where it got complicated – Each lumber rack kit comes with 2 dual-track standards that are 2 ft long, as well as 6 of the 14”, 200 lb rated-brackets. I wanted a shelf around some of the carport perimeter walls and higher than head high. I didn’t want to sacrifice floor space and need to place stationary tools right up to the wall. With six brackets and only two standards I definitely needed more shelf standards and the quest was on.
The Rockler folks were helpful and referred me to John Sterling clan. One small complication cropped up here – John Sterling is now owned by Knape & Vogt, who also sell their own dual-track shelving hardware, but in a variety of colors meant for interior and protected areas. The customer service person I reached at K&V was not at all aware of the Rockler lumber rack, but was willing to ask until he found that K&V does indeed supply it and what parts are included. This info got me started with online shopping until I found a good source with excellent pricing. During this search is where I learned the versatility of this series of shelving and found a variety of hardware to complement what I had.
The Rockler “lumber rack” is comprised of parts from the John Sterling Fast-Mount dual-track shelving series. They sell other neat things in this series such as steel hangers meant to be screwed into the top plate of a stud wall. These can be used where a shelf standard will be placed between wall studs. The hangers are very strong and are meant to support the loaded weight of the entire shelving unit. Additionally, there are a variety of shelf brackets available for this line and some have a hinged brace that returns to the wall standard and boosts the rating to 300 lbs. ea. These brackets do require a little more space beneath the bracket, but are available in lengths up to a whopping 20”. I bought several 14” brackets, four of the 20” braced brackets, and a half-dozen of the 4 ft standards.
In the pictures you see where I hung 3 of the 2 ft standards on one wall and three of the 4 ft standards on another wall. The shelving material was made up of a 1X12 edge joined to a 1×4. This is where a project can be fun. After reading and hearing of the popularity of plate joiners, I bought a barely used one made by DeWalt a year or so ago. This was my first opportunity to use it. The biscuit joiner and the clamps I’ve collected came in very handy for this part of the project. After an overnight set, I screwed some 1-1/2” wide ¾” SY pine along the two outside edges and along the front overhang to help distribute the loading. They are primed and painted and ready to handle “stuff” from the workshop. I can add more brackets to these standards as needed, but really want to keep this above head height. With the heavy-duty rating of the hardware, I think any additional shelves will simply be 2×12s at 8-10 ft. Like I said, these are temporary quarters while I tear down the old and build the new workshop. I found Mills Fleet Farm to have good pricing on the components compared to others and even got lucky with a shipping promotion they were running. Their service was excellent on the two separate orders I placed with them and their online capability really makes shopping with this upper Midwest chain a pleasant experience, even from rural southeast Louisiana. I personally have no connection to the company and this was first experience with them. They are now on my list of places to check regularly, now that I’ve found them. This shelving method is sturdy, versatile, and easily movable to the new workshop, once it is completed. It also can be easily added to with the variety of bracket lengths and types currently available. Let’s hope Knape & Vogt keep this John Sterling product in their offerings. I was not previously aware that you could buy such a substantial set of standards and brackets, then again I tended to make all I could out of wood. This is certainly more space=saving than the wooden shelf units I’ve designed and built for the current workshop, now 35 years old. There’s certainly something to said for a project taking time – you can learn a lot along the way and maybe even end up with a better end!

-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"

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