13 years ago
The storage shelf project I used as justification to buy a welder is now
complete. (and I ended up with a second new welder as well). Here's the
project told in pictures....
I ended up using all angle iron in the design. I started out thinking I
was going to use square tubing but migrated to the angle iron design with
some feedback from people here. I think square tubing creates a stronger
design and more refined looking design for a given weight of steel but it's
more expensive and would create a bulker design. The angle iron allowed me
to create shelf frames where the wood shelf fit inside the angle iron frame
which was turned with a flat edge down. This made for a very shallow but
still strong shelf (3/4") which helps maximize storage space.
I went with a design that allowed me to build separate units and then I
bolted them all together for stability. I used no diagonal cross bracing
and when free standing, they would wobble a bit because of that. Still,
they were plenty strong enough tho allow me to climb them even when free
standing without fear. If they were to be used free standing instead of
bolted into a larger structure, I would have added some cross bracing.
It was certainly a lot of work, and hard to justify if the goal is to save
money. Only if you could get the material at a large discount (or free)
could you justify the project on a cost basis. However, for those of us
that just love designing and building or own custom stuff, it was a great
project and I'm very happy with the result (the wife is too).
It was also a great learning exercise to develop my fabricating skills.
Nothing very complex, yet plenty of mistakes to make and tricks to learn
along the way. It would be a good first project for anyone just learning
As my basement project continues, I'll probably end up building some more
shelves of the same design, and who knows what else. I can't wait to get
the basement done so I can move on to building my new shop area. But it's
all going to take a bit of time and other work I've been ignoring as I
played with my new tools calls....
Thanks everyone for the advice you all shared on the project.