2 x 4 shelves

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Project by Sandra posted 09-20-2012 01:09 AM 12065 views 15 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a beginning woodworker, this was a bit of a challenge. While I’ve made a few simple items following plans, I had to “plan” these shelves around the specific use, and the dimensions of the wall. We are renovating our basement and needed more storage in the garage to accommodate the basement ‘stuff.’

My neigbhour had built similar shelves last year, so I took pictures, then did a lot of ‘figuring’. I wanted the bottom shelf in one section to be high enough to accommodate golf bags.

My biggest challenge was which how to notch out the wood to accommodate the foundation wall. I opted for my jigsaw and it worked well. The other challenge was going into the hardware store and convincing the guy that I did NOT need 3 1/2 inch screws to put 2×4s together, and that I did NOT want to use plywood on these shelves.

What I learned – that I really really love my compound miter saw and my Fat Max level.
That the clip on my apron for the measuring tape is garbage, and I really need to find a better system to carry around my measuring tape, pencil and screws.

-that using a cardboard template to make sure the screws are spaced evenly just might be over the top.

-that when I grow up, I want to be a carpenter.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

25 comments so far

View Von's profile


238 posts in 3671 days

#1 posted 09-20-2012 02:32 AM

heh, that 3.5” screw thing is an issue around here too. I really like how these turned out. gunna have to “borrow” yer plans when I remodel the kitchen pantry

#2 posted 09-20-2012 02:40 AM

Very interesting work,great design,Sandra !!!


View rance's profile


4282 posts in 4619 days

#3 posted 09-20-2012 02:55 AM

Very nice job Sandra. I like projects from 2×4s because I can usually get them from dumpsters for free. +1 on the Pine over plywood. The design looks sturdy. Well done, and welcome to LJ. Its good to see more women participating.

Here’s an idea from Mafe to keep your pencil in place:

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3533 days

#4 posted 09-20-2012 11:49 AM

Thanks, great idea on the pencil! Love it.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Chefdavid's profile


255 posts in 4313 days

#5 posted 09-20-2012 01:05 PM

Great work. I did something really close to what you did in my garage. Now I have a ton of storage to buy more wood!! Thanks for sharing.

-- Become a fan on Facebook...

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4799 days

#6 posted 09-20-2012 01:48 PM

welcome to LJ’s sandra

nice shelves

here is a link
to magnetic tape holders
very simple


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View nezzer's profile


26 posts in 3595 days

#7 posted 09-20-2012 04:13 PM

Yea Sandra,Nice to meet you. I am a 61 yr old woman who loves woodworking.Keep up the good work. Great project

View Grumpymike's profile


2504 posts in 3774 days

#8 posted 09-20-2012 04:18 PM

Welcome to LJ’s … Great looking shelf, thoes are sturdy enough to hold anything you want to put on them. Great Idea for the golf clubs and folding chairs and stuff that is a bit taller.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4301 days

#9 posted 09-20-2012 04:18 PM

looks good! Are any of the risers anchored to the wall? Possibly a small functional tool belt? Or build yourself a tool tote out of wood like carpenters of old. LOL! Use one my dad had…Staning up better than my metal tool boxes.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3683 days

#10 posted 09-20-2012 04:19 PM

Nice project Sandra – and even better because you learned some stuff while doing it. Are those shelves attached to the wall? Just asking because if you stack heavy stuff on them, they will get top heavy very quickly with all your shelves above midpoint.

I definitely need to get some more nice looking shelving done – this is an inspiration.

ETA: I love your sig line – I don’t want the pink hammer either!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5677 days

#11 posted 09-20-2012 07:40 PM

Sandra, nice job on the shelves. Now a few pointers:

1. The tape measure goes on your belt. If you don’t have a belt, you’re not properly dressed for the job. :-)
2. There really is no good way to carry screws, other than two or three at a time in your mouth.
3. The pencil goes behind your ear. That way it’s in a safe place while you are tearing the shop apart looking for it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4689 days

#12 posted 09-20-2012 08:07 PM

Nice storage rack. I agree that somewhere on the back wall an anchor or three should be attached to keep the shelving from tipping over. Here is a link to an angle bracket. Screw it to a solid part of the wall and underneath your back shelf.

Edit: I just noticed your electrical outlet under your rack. It might be a good time to pick up a power strip and mount it on your legs so you can plug in your tools without having to crawl up under the shelves and past the golf bags to plug in.

Hope this helps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3533 days

#13 posted 09-20-2012 09:14 PM

Thanks for all the tips

-The shelves are anchored to the studs under each of the shelves. I hadn’t done so before taking the pictures, but certainly don’t want them tipping over.

Directly across from the shelves is my workbench with a power bar, but I like the idea of another one.

Charlie – you gave me a chuckle, because I tried the pencil behind the ear only to discover that my ears stick out too much! I bought some square pencils since they won’t roll away, but I lose those just as often. I tried putting screws in my tool belt pouches, but every time I bent over, they all fell out.

Love this site.

Have a good one.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3533 days

#14 posted 09-20-2012 09:15 PM

Ooooh magnetic tape holder is now on my wish list!

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 3606 days

#15 posted 09-20-2012 10:29 PM

Great shelves.
And…I want to be a carpenter when I grow up too…. But I want a pink hammer lol :)

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