You can never have too much storage - especially in your garage or workshop.
We recently published a guide on How to build a workbench which required some intermediate D.I.Y. skills. This is a step-by-step guide to building some matching storage, which can be completed by a beginner.
First thing to do is build the base frame from your Structural Pine. This needs to fit exactly on top of the base sheet of ply. For my set of shelves the two lengths will be 1220mm and the two widths will be 540mm.
It always pays to check your lengths and widths by matching them to your base, as well as measuring. There are sometimes slight discrepancies in the sizes stated, so it’s good to double-check.
Cut the lengths with a saw. A handsaw is ideal, although I often also use an electric jigsaw to save time.
To fit the base frame together, use two of the 65mm screws at each join. Make sure everything is square and then drill holes before putting in the screws. This just makes joining things much smoother.
It pays to get a Philips drill bit for your electric drill to put the screws in with. It’s much quicker and easier than using a hand screwdriver.
Once your base frame is complete, repeat steps 1 and 2 again to get a top frame that is exactly the same as the base.
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Start with the base strut when building the side frames. This will be the same width of the base plywood, which is 610mm in the case of my shelves. The base strut of the side frame will sit on top of the end of the base frame when you put everything together.
The height of the side frames will depend on the number of shelves you want and the types of containers you plan to use. Lay things on the floor to get a feel for it, and make sure there is plenty of room to lift containers in and out.
For my shelves the sides are 1.5m in length, so measure four of these and cut them the same size. I bought 3.0m lengths of Structural Pine, so in theory I could just cut them in half, but measure everything and trim if needed.
Once cut, fit the side struts to the base struts, just as you did with the base and top frames.
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Time to insert three shelf struts in my side frames to get three shelves. The widths of these are 540mm.
Lay everything out on the floor to make sure you’re comfortable with how things will fit together with your containers. Then measure exact measurements for where the shelves will fit, so they are equal on both sides.
Use two 65mm screws to secure the shelf struts on both sides. Throughout building the frames, stick to using the 65mm screws. The 40mm screws will used later for attaching the ply.
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The frames are now all complete. I like approaching projects in this way as it keeps things simple. The modular approach also means you can mix and match shapes and sizes.
Using the 65mm screws, attach the sides to the base and top frames to construct a solid skeleton.
Paint the frame before adding the top and bottom sheets of ply and the shelves. You can leave it as plain wood, but it looks far better painted. I used a water-based Brunswick Green pot of paint. I bought a litre, but used less than half. A 250ml pot should be enough.
Water-based paints dry quicker than oil-based, but it’s still worth leaving the frame to dry overnight so that you don’t smudge paint everywhere when finishing the shelves.
Put the 1220 x 610 x 12mmbase sheet of on first, with the skeleton upside down. Drill holes before putting in the screws, and use the 40mm screws to fit the base.
While the shelves are upside down you can also add the caster wheels. Use swivel wheels or the shelves will be hard to move around. Also make sure they can take some weight - mine are comfortable with up to 70kg. Attach the caster wheels to the base using button head screws. Position them just inside the corners of the base.
Turn the whole structure up the right way and then add the 1220 x 610 x 6mm top sheet and the 1200 x 396 x 7mm shelves, again using 40mm screws.
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You can add as many extras to your storage unit as you like. I just added a hook to the side. A hook is handy for keeping extension leads tidy, or just for hanging up your hoody when you get hot. I tend to either lose mine or get it covered in paint!
Add your plastic storage containers and trays and your new storage unit is complete. You can increase storage size as needed, adding more units side-by-side. Or perhaps you might like to build our matching workbench now…