Having an overhead rack in your garage dramatically increases your storage space. In this rack, you can store items like tools, paint, lumber, scrap metal, etc., until you need them again.
As such, this is a very effective long-term storage option.
In this article, we’ll take you through how you can build two sturdy wooden shelves for your garage. These shelves will be made with high-quality lumber, so they can carry big loads while remaining stable.
What You’ll Need?
To create these wooden shelves, you will need a few items. These items include:
- 50mm x 10mm Lumber
- 10mm Thick Plywood Sheet
- 12mm OSB Board
- 9mm OSB Board
- Wood Screws
- 25mm Hollow Stainless-Steel Tube
- 3/8″ X 6″ Hex Lag Screw
- M8 Flat Fender Washer
Cut Out the Blanks for The First Shelves’ Uprights
You will make two shelves; One modular storage shelf/rack and one lumber rack. So, you have to cut two uprights for them.
For the first set of uprights, place the 50 x 100mm block of wood on your workbench. Mark out five sections, each measuring about 800mm.
Cut them out using a table saw.
Cut Out the Blanks for The Second Shelves’ Uprights
For the second shelf’s uprights, mark and cut out four 500mm sections from the same 50 x 100mm woodblock.
Next, place one of the 500mm sections flat on the workbench. Mark a point 200mm from the top on one edge and 300mm from the top on the opposite edge.
Join both points with a 45° line. Divide the section along that line. Do the same for the rest of the 500mm blanks.
Now, you have eight uprights for the second shelf.
Drill Holes In The Second Shelf’s Uprights
Place one of the uprights on the build plate with its side down. Mark two points right in the middle of the upright.
These points should be 25mm and 150mm from the straight edge. Place the upright on your drilling platform and drill a hole with a diameter of 26mm and a depth of 10mm at those points.
After drilling those holes, use an M8 bit to drill the same point through to the other side of the upright. Do the same for the rest of the second shelf’s uprights.
Cut Out the Racks for The Shelves
The racks are where the shelf is going to rest on the frame. To cut them, place the 50 x 100mm wooden block back on the table.
Mark out eleven 400mm sections from the wood block and cut them out. This will be enough for both shelves.
Next, place the 10mm thick plywood board on your workbench. Mark out 22 400mm x 100mm sections on the board and cut them out.
These sections will help connect the racks to the uprights.
Drill Pilot Holes in the Plywood Sections
Take the 10mm thick boards you just cut and divide them into four stacks. Divide the top blank on each stack into two sections with a pencil.
The first section should be 100mm long, and the second section should be 300mm. Mark pilot holes at the top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right corners of the 100mm section.
On the second 400mm section, mark six equally spaced points. Place the blanks on your drilling platform and ensure the top blank sides are perfectly aligned with those on the bottom.
Drill holes through the entire stack at the points you marked. Do the same for the remaining stacks.
Join The Plywood Sections To The Rack
Place one of the racks on the workbench and place one of the 10mm thick boards on it. Next, ensure the 100mm section on the plywood is hanging over the side of the wooden block.
Make sure their sides are well aligned. Once aligned, secure the plywood to the wooden block by drilling screws through the pilot holes.
Turn the block over and place another plywood blank on the opposite side. Make sure the plywood’s 10mm section hangs over the edge, then secure it to the wooden block with screws.
Do the same for the remaining ten wooden blocks and 20 plywood blanks.
Drill Pilot Holes In The First Shelf’s Uprights
Place the 800mm uprights back on the workbench. Take one of them and place it flat on its side. You’re going to mark four points for drilling right in the middle of the upright’s side.
These points should be 50mm, 100mm, 400mm, and 750mm, respectively, from the top edge. Now, place the upright on the drill press.
Place the top section of the upright on a 2° wedge to angle it upwards. At the 100mm mark, drill a hole with a diameter of 27mm to a depth of 80mm.
This is the hole for the metal rack on the shelf. After drilling it, remove the wedge from under the upright.
At the 50, 400mm, and 750mm marks, drill a hole with a diameter of 26mm to a depth of 10mm. After this, use an 8mm bit to drill through the wood at those points.
Do not use the wedge for these holes. Repeat this process for the remaining 800mm uprights.
Cut Out the Blanks for The First Shelf
Place the 12mm OSB board on the build plate and mark out two sections, each measuring 2440 x 500mm and 2440 x 100mm, respectively.
Cut out these sections from the particle board. They will be the top and bottom shelves.
Next, place the 9mm OSB board on the workbench and mark a section measuring 2440 x 550mm. Cut it out with the band saw.
This will be the middle section for the first shelf.
Cut Out the Second Shelves
On the 12mm OSB board, mark two sections measuring 2440 x 500mm each. Cut them out using the band saw.
Next, on the 9mm OSB board, mark two sections measuring 2440 x 500mm each. Cut them out using the band saw. These are the top and bottom sections for the second shelves.
Paint All the Shelf Components
Place the uprights, shelves, and racks on a covered surface. You can either paint them, apply a coat of wood varnish, or stain them.
If you paint them, apply two coats for the best results. Leave the components to dry after painting.
Screw The First Shelf’s Uprights to The Wall
Mark a point about 5m up on your wall for the first upright. Next, mark another point about 2400mm away from the initial point.
When making the points, use a spirit level to ensure they are both on the same horizontal line. Connect these two points with a line and mark out a point every 600mm starting from the first point.
Now, drill an 8mm hole at the first point and insert an anchor into it. Take one of the 800mm uprights and secure it to the wall via a lag screw and washer through the top hole.
Once you’ve secured the upright to the wall, ensure it is properly vertical using a spirit level. Next, mark out where the last two holes coincide with the wall using a marker through the hole.
Drill the walls at those points and insert an anchor in the holes. Secure the upright to the wall through those holes using a lag screw and washer.
Tighten the screws properly. Repeat this process for the rest of the four uprights at the points you marked along the wall.
Attach The Racks to The Wall Uprights
Take one of the support racks and slide its overhanging plywood ends in the first wall upright. Ensure the rack’s bottom is 220mm away from the bottom of the upright.
Place a spirit level on the rack to make sure it is level. Attach the rack to the upright by drilling wood screws through the pilot holes on the plywood.
Take four more racks and repeat the process for the remaining four uprights on the wall.
Attach The Top Shelf to The Racks
Place one 2440mm x 500mm 12mm board on the racks. Make sure it is well aligned with the edges of the outer racks.
Use a pencil to mark out where the uprights intersect with the shelves. Remove the shelf and place it on your workbench.
Draw 100m deep recesses from those points that you marked. Cut out the recesses with a jigsaw. Place the shelf back on the rack; it should fit right into the uprights.
Push the shelf until it is flush with the rack and the uprights. Secure it by drilling in some screws to join it to the racks.
Attach The Middle Section To The Racks
Place the 9mm 2440 x 500mm board under the shelf’s racks. Align it with the racks to find out where it intersects with the upright
Mark out where the uprights intersect with the board and draw 100mm recesses at those points. Cut out the recesses with a jigsaw.
Place the shelf back under the racks and push the shelf in until it is flush with the racks and the uprights. Clamp it to secure it in place.
Drill some screws to join it and the shelf racks.
Attach The Bottom Rack To The Uprights
Place the 12mm 2440 x 100mm board right at the bottom of the uprights. Align it with the edges of the upright and make sure it is flush with all of them
Secure it to each upright using two screws for each.
Cut Out the Metal Tubes For The Top Rack
Place the 26mm metal tube on your workbench. Mark out five 500mm sections from the tube. Cut them out using the angle grinder.
Place each one of them inside the holes in the uprights. Make sure you push them down the bottom of the holes in the upright.
The first shelf is complete. Let’s move on to the second one.
Install The Uprights for The Second Shelf
Mark out two points 4800mm apart about 3m up on your wall. Make sure they are on the same horizontal line with each other.
Mark points every 600m between those two points. You should have eight points in total. Drill a hole with an 8mm bit at the first point, then install an anchor in the hole.
Take one of the 500mm uprights and secure them to the wall with a lag screw and washer via those holes. Once the upright is secure, ensure it is perfectly vertical using a spirit level, then mark the spot where the second hole coincides with the wall.
Drill that hole with the same bit and install an anchor there. Secure the upright to the wall with a lag screw via that second hole.
Repeat the process and attach the remaining seven uprights to the walls.
Install The Racks on The Second Shelf’s Uprights
Take one rack and slide it to the top of the first upright. Make sure the top of the rack and the top of the upright are on the same level.
Also, make sure the rack is level using a spirit level. Secure the rack to the upright by drilling screws through the pilot holes on the plywood.
Repeat the process to attach racks to the remaining seven uprights.
Install The Top Shelf
Place the two 2440mm x 500mm boards on the racks. One board should cover the first half, and the other should cover the second half.
Place a 50mm wide and 500mm long blank over the gap between the two. Secure the blank to both shelf sections using screws.
Make sure the shelf pieces are well aligned with the racks, then joint both of them together using screws.
Install The Bottom Shelf
Place the two 9mm 2440 x 500mm boards under the shelf’s racks. Align them with the racks to find where they intersect with the uprights.
Mark out where the uprights intersect with the boards and draw 100mm recesses at those points. Cut out the recesses with a jigsaw.
Place the shelves back under the racks and push them in until they are flush with the rack and the uprights. Clamp them to secure them in place.
Drill some screws to join them to the shelf racks.
Good job! Now you have a heavy-duty shelf capable of carrying all your heavy tools and hardware without buckling.
Load it up with lumber, tool or anything you like.
If you need a little more help, you can download the Blueprints For The Shelves to aid you while building it.