How to Build Heavy Duty Wall Shelves

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Build Heavy Duty Wall Shelves
Make your own set of heavy-duty shelves. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Heavy-duty shelving comes in handy in the garage or work shed for storing bulky and weighty items, such as work tools and machinery. Building a set of heavy-duty wall shelves is not a difficult task and will make all the difference to your space once the myriad items that are stacked in piles or on the floor are stored safely and securely on your new shelves. To add to the shelves' utility, cover each end of the shelving system with pegboard to hang extra tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • 4-inch drywall screws
  • 2-by-2 inch, 8-foot planks (13)
  • 1-by-8 foot, 3/4-inch plywood sheets (5)
  • Clamps
  • 1 5/8-inch screws
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • 2-by-3 inch, 10-foot planks (3)

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  1. 1

    Measure and mark five 8-foot long level lines spaced 2 feet apart on the wall where you want to install the heavy-duty shelves. Use a stud finder to mark the position of the wall studs on each line.

  2. 2

    Place an 8-foot length of 2-by-2 lumber on the first level line. This will be the first shelf cleat (support) for the heavy-duty shelving. Secure the cleat to the wall with two 4-inch drywall screws driven through the cleat into each stud point along the length of the lumber. Repeat on the remaining wall lines so there are five cleats installed.

  3. 3

    Clamp on one of the stiffening aprons along the length of the plywood then turn the plywood over and secure the stiffening apron to the plywood with a 1 5/8-inch screw driven through the plywood into the apron every 10 inches along the length of the shelf. Remove the clamps from the shelf and then repeat with the remaining four shelves and aprons.

  4. 4

    Place the apron-free side of one of the shelves over the bottom wall cleat, with the apron on the underside of the shelf at the front. Drive 1 5/8-inch screws through the shelf into the wall cleat every 10 inches along the length. The shelf will hang down slightly at this point with the weight of the apron, but it will be adjusted later with side supports. Repeat with the remaining shelves so that all five shelves are attached to the five wall cleats.

  5. 5

    Stand two lengths of 10-foot, 2-by-3 lumber upright on either side of the ends of the shelves. These should be flush with the front stiffening aprons and flush to the floor.

  6. 6

    Bring the shelves to level and clamp them to the side support planks then drive two 3-inch wood screws through the side support planks into the stiffening aprons.

  7. 7

    Position the last upright 10-foot, 2-by-3 lumber plank in the centre of the shelves. Secure the central support plank in place with two 3-inch wood screws through the plank into the stiffening aprons as you did the side support planks.

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