Need help with a built in shelf project

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Forum topic by PeteK posted 01-29-2017 09:32 PM 495 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 1564 days

01-29-2017 09:32 PM

OK, so I’m building a built in shelf in my basement. It’s a 14 1/2’ wall that I want shelves all the way across. It’s just under 8’ ceiling down there. Here’s some of the issues I’m facing.

The wall that will be the back of the shelf is concrete as is the wall that will be on the left side. The wall on the right is a regular framed stud wall. The ceiling is drywalled, so there are studs available to mount to up there as well.

So I’m sort of at a loss for how to design this thing. I’m thinking a 2×6 about 24” down from the ceiling spanning the 14’ length horizontally. There are studs in the ceiling about 4’ apart in the center, so I thought I’d run 2×4 supports from those to the floor. From the 2×6 up, it would be a top shelf, from there down, I would have 3 sections of lower shelves. The 2 side sections I want doors on so it can be used as a pantry. The lower center section would just be open shelves. The concrete floor isn’t exactly level, so I was going to build a platform up from the floor for the bottom shelf.

So I’m not really sure how to support anything on the back side being that it’s a concrete wall. I would also like the front to be flush so I can put decorative trim all around and not have it just look like a garage shelf.

Sorry if I’m rambling, but I’m sort of at a loss. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Or if anyone knows a good resource for plans or design help.

1 reply so far

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1368 posts in 1843 days

#1 posted 01-30-2017 01:47 AM


My inclination would be to build the two flanking towers that will receive doors as separate free standing units. Then the twin towers could be connected in the front and back with rails. If the vertical posts making up the towers are 2” x 3”s, a mix of 4” screws and 3” screws could be used as fasteners and thus keep the front, back, and side rails of the towers flush. Also the same screws could be used to attach the 2” x 4” or 2” x 6” center section rails to the towers, again keeping things flush. If 2” x 4” posts are used for the towers, the 4-1/2” screws instead of 4” screws would be required. The screws would run through the edge or face of the post into the end of the rail. These long screws could be avoided if half lap joints are used to connect the rails to the posts.

Since the floor is not level, the tower posts could be outfitted with levelers. The link shows various types that might work.

A back rail could be used to fasten the shelf unit directly to the wall. Predrilling the concrete with a hammer drill and properly size drill bit would allow TapCon masonry screws to be used. At a minimum, installing some sill sealer between the shelf unit and the concrete could help keep moisture from the concrete entering the wood and thus help keep mold at bay.

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