In case any of you are interested in building your own set of shelves, I’ve put together this tutorial to walk you through it. I promise it’s easy!
Let’s start with the cut list (Note: This is all based on our unit which measures 7ft tall x 8ft wide and 2ft deep):
18 2×4’s – we cut these ourselves using our mitre saw but usually both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer cutting services for free or cheap
-6 cut to 7′ lengths
-4 cut into approximately 20″ lengths (for a total of 16 20″ pieces)
-8 left alone (8ft lengths)
2 sheets of 4×8 plywood (we went with the cheapest we found and left them raw but there are certainly prettier options if you prefer or want to finish them nicely. We had these ripped long ways at Lowe’s because it was easier for us.)
-Cut into 2×8 lengths (so you’ll end up with 4 sheets of plywood)
2 1/2 in screws
Mitre saw (to cut 2x4s to length)
Jigsaw (to notch plywood)
First, we built all four frames for the shelves. To do this, you secure 4 of the 2ft boards between two of the 8ft boards like so:
Next, we secured one of the sheets of plywood to one of the frames to make the top shelf. We could have waited on this step but figured it was easier than having to break out the ladder and do it once the unit was up. Then, we laid out all four frames and started attaching our legs. We decided it would be easiest to build the unit on the ground perpendicular to the wall it was going on so that we could just lift it into place. The legs will go into the four corners as well as the middle- we secured them to all four frames.
Then, we hoisted her up and scooted her into place. It was important to us that this be very secure – nobody wants to be attacked by a large, heavy shelving unit when they get home from work. To make sure that it wouldn’t be doing any swan dives, we wanted to secure it to the studs in the wall. Our garage is trimmed out around the base so the best way to do this was to attached two cleats to the wall using scrap wood – making extra sure we hit the studs (we used my awesome new stud finder and then drilled some pilot holes into the wall to double check).
Then, we just screwed the unit into the cleats. I stood up on the bottom frame and hung onto a leg without the unit budging at all.
The worst part of the project was notching out the plywood which is the next step here. Kyle measured the distances between legs and from the outside of the frame to the back of the legs to figure out how much needed to be notched out. He marked all of these measurements on the plywood and used his jigsaw to cut in. Unfortunately, it took us about 4 attempts to get the first one to fit. After that, it wasn’t nearly as bad – we just learned to cut out a little bit more than what we marked.
The last step is to just attach the plywood to the frames – I did two screws on each end. I left the middle along because it seemed to sit pretty flush by itself but feel free to add some more screws.
Ta Da! Load up those shelves and then reward yourself with a beer or a nice glass of ice water.