Saturday, January 16, 2016

Garage Storage Shelves

DIY garage storage shelves that are low profile, off the floor and open faced.

I have always had a hard time when it comes to storage solutions.

It seems like I am forever thinking something is a good idea.  Only when I get it built, it turns out to be less than stellar.

That is why I have adopted the less is more philosophy.  The more complicated a system; the less useful.  The more individually designed a system; the less versatile.

That is really what I need in my life.


You would be hard pressed to find something more versatile than the obligatory DIY storage shelf.

Where Do I Begin?

Good question.  Their are seemingly an endless number of designs to choose from.

I see a lot of times people go for the standard 2x4 frame set up with shelves that are 18 to 24 inches deep, placed every 18 to 24 inches high.  Their is no doubt that is a very reliable design.  I have used a variation of it myself more than once.

However, in this instance I don't want my shelves to go from floor to ceiling.  I still want to be able to place floor objects against the wall in this part of my garage.

I also want these shelves to be 8 feet long and open faced.  Open faced meaning nothing secured vertically to the front of the shelves that would infringe on the eight foot shelf length.

I may want to put full length pieces of lumber on them and I don't want to mess with trying to maneuver it around vertical stability markers.

What About Weight?

This is why a lot of people go with the standard 2x4 frame shelf system.  It's strength is well known.

In fact, I'm not sure anybody really knows how much it would hold.  I guess the thought process is anything made with 2x4s has got to be strong.

I however, happen to have a program that allows me to input different variables when designing shelves.  I knew I wanted a 48 inch span between the support brackets.  I knew I wanted each 4 foot section of the shelves to hold about 140 to 150 pounds.

With those two things being set, it was a simple matter of adding different materials and pieces to the puzzle to get what I wanted.

A 2x2 piece the length of each 4 foot section and a 3/4" by 2" piece attached to the front of the shelves gives me the strength I need.

Each 8 foot shelf can hold approximately 280 to 300 pounds.

Wait, I'm not very good at cutting angles! 

Don't worry.  I've got your back.

Click here for my simple and easy method to cut boards to a specific length with angled ends.


4 - 2x3s
2 - 2x4s
3 - 1x4s
1 - 1/2" Full Sheet OSB Board
Box of 3" Screws
Wood Glue
1 1/4" Brad Nails

Cut List

The following cuts are for 2x3 material.  In my area 2x3s are about a dollar cheaper per board than 2x4s.  However, ultimately you are king of your shop.  If you feel like 2x4s, then by all means.

9 Top Pieces @ 10"
9 Back Pieces @ 8.5"
9 Cross Pieces @ 12"

Note: The cross pieces are listed on the cut list as 12".  However, on the cut diagrams they are listed at 13".  This is not a mistake.  If you watched my "How to cut boards to length with angles" video you know I like to cut pieces that require angles longer than needed.  For full details visit that page.

6 OSB Shelves @ 12" x 48"
6 2x2 underside reinforcement pieces @ 45"
3 Shelf Front Pieces @ 3/4" x 2" x 96"

Cut Diagrams


2x3s (x4)

1x4s (x3)

2x4s (x2)

1/2" OSB Board

1. Assemble the shelf brackets.  Refer to the YouTube Video above for a walk through.

2. Attach the brackets to the wall.  Preferably to studs.  Then cut the OSB Shelves to size using a miter saw.  Glue and tack the underside reinforcement board in place and lay the shelf in place over the brackets.

3. Rip the three 1x4s down to 2" widths.  Then glue and tack in place over the front of each shelf span.

4. Enjoy your new shelf system at a fraction of the price of store bought ones.

If you like this project be sure to subscribe for email updates by using the form to the left.  Also be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and never miss a new project video.  I try to post new videos every week usually on Thursdays.  Check me out on Facebook and Pinterest and until then.

Happy DIY'ing.


  1. What software are you using for the projects?

  2. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I just picked up the items on the materials list. Although the 2X2s are mentioned in the instructions, they aren't mentioned in the materials list. Looks like I'm making another trip to the hardware store. But still, thank you for sharing. I didn't know where to began without you tutorial.

  3. Stan- I have bare studs in my old hickory shed. I love your design for the brackets. Could you please send me a cut list for 1qty 8'L x2' d shelf and brackets? And sorry but I can't read the dimensions in the pictures as they get blurry when I zoom in or click on them. Thanks for your time and the videos.

    Thanks, Jade

  4. Thank you...great idea...
    I was thinking of making a similar storage shelves. However, they have to be 40" deep (yours is 10" deep). Would it be possible to use the same approach that you have done in your project??
    I appreciate your feedback

  5. I meant by your approach, is using the triangle shelf brackets.... but with different measurements.... 40" deep X 40 long X ??

  6. The expected weight to be carried on the shelf is ~ 400 lb / each (40" deep X 20 wide)

  7. I just came across your youtube channel and saw this. your right, floating shelves are great, but i think this method is more simple aesthetically and more versatile. Thanks for share. btw, what program are you using. I have a lot of shelves to make and have concerns with overloading since i'm not an engineer. lol.


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