Overhead storage needed in single garage workshop conversion

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JKM

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Suffolk
TLDR: appropriate timber and construction methods for an low profile and cost effective overhead storage area in an integral garage.



Tools available, Tracksaw (TS55), Sliding Mitre saw (KS60- not metal cutting), MFT, Domino, 0.6-1.2-1.8m levels, cheap hammer drill, 18G nailer, drill/driver and some basic hand tools.


I am completely new to woodworking but would like to start so I need some sort of workspace. Home has a single garage that is internal to a townhouse (ground floor comprises of the garage and entrance hall to the front and a utility/garden access and WC to the rear)
I want to make the garage usable as a workshop for various projects I have planned and would intend to do any woodwork in here.


The ceilings are 246cm and I am going to resist screeding the floor as its decent fresh concrete.
Walls are bare blockwork (the dense kind). Party wall has the blocks laid on their sides and internal wall they are laid vertical so half the thickness, maybe only 10cm thick.


I have 20 + of the 64L really useful boxes (71Lx44Wx31H) that I need to store which mainly contain lightweight backpacking and kayaking gear, plus the normal light but bulky stuff such as suitcases etc.


There is a separate cache of heavy gear such as car-camping gear, Heavy tents, beds, cookers etc that are rarely used but I cant bring myself to dispose of just yet. my intention was to build a wheeled chest that all these can fit into which can double up as an assembly table at a push to sit next to an mft.


So my vague plan is….


Some sort of overhead storage area spanning the 2.8m width of the garage. It may as well be 122 wide for best use of sheet goods and that gives me a useful 3.4m2 of space. I am going to try and reserve it for the lightest stuff but if I could be safe to put 150kg that would be excellent.

It would reduce the headroom but if I could keep the bottom of the shelf at 205cm (6’8”) that would be enough for a tall person to pass underneath and still leave 40cm of space.


So I want to keep the shelf a low profile as possible. I was thinking of 45mm x 45mm or similar C24 timber spaced in 4 x intervals beneath a full sheet of 12mm ply. Does this sound strong enough? It would only take up 6cm of the height and that would be really useful. I don’t know how much strength is added by the ply and how much by the horizontal timbers, perhaps I could go down to 9mm ply to save costs and weight? But if a lot of strength is in the ply I could go up to 25mm if necessary



Also, I want a shelf 40cm wide to run around most of the remaining walls of the garage. This would mainly store the aforementioned 64L storage boxes. Ideally this would appear to be ‘floating’ i.e. no diagonal bracing from below where possible so there is head room below, but occasional diagonal bracing from above would be fine.

I hoped to find some L shaped brackets but the biggest I can find are 350mm x 300mm (London style brackets) and I worry they would be overwhelmed by the leverage of the longer shelf/weight.

It would be great to secure a shelf support from the overhead bit across to one of the end walls and then lay the ply on that.

I can also run a beam/support all around the walls attached directly to the blockwork to rest the back of the shelves on and also the ends of and cross members for the overhead section.


I could use box section steel or aluminium instead of wood but I would need a way of cutting it and I’m not sure what wall thickness I need or how to secure it to the shelf material.


Sorry if it’s a bit of a rambling post, any advice on timber thicknesses and construction techniques appreciated
 
Is there space above the garage door?
If so you could put a shelf in there.

If the ply is tensioned all round by 2x2 timber then you can use 6mm plywood - think skin on a drum.

Putting diagonals every 2 boxes would make sense too.
 
If the ply is tensioned all round by 2x2 timber then you can use 6mm plywood - think skin on a drum.

Maybe add another skin of ply underneath the large shelf to create a "TORSION BOX", there are a few threads on this if you do a search 🤣🤣🤣

Can you get a hanger off the ceiling above the large shelf, just one in the middle would help a lot?

I have used these heavy duty shelf brackets from Screwfix quite a few times, they are really strong

https://www.screwfix.com/p/hi-load-mitred-brackets-white-350-x-350mm-10-pack/56023
 
It's nice to plan and have all shiny new storage, but wood is expensive these days and only you will see it so why spend more than you need, save the £££ for buying tools and decent wood for things you make. When you have used it a bit and worked out what you really need/want then do a redesign.

Do you know anybody who is getting a new kitchen? Some of my garage/workshop storage is old kitchen wall cupboards mounted high and some base units at the end. From my old kitchen c. 12 years ago and odd bits from my neighbours. Free!

I also have a couple of steel shelving units about 75cm apart with the gap bridged by slats off an old bed frame to give more shelf space. Free!

Roof rack bars from a car I owned in 1989, fitted upside down below the joists, to store long thin things. Free!
 
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In addition to what you are thinking how about using high tensile straps or cable to help support the centre. Not sure how your roof is put together but if you can bolt a fixing to the end of a roof joist either end, you can then drop the strap down in the centre to hold the front edge of your shelf. Creating 2 triangle supports if you see what i mean.

A strap like this Hilka Pro-Craft 2 Tonne Towing Strap 3.5m - Screwfix is pretty cheap and is more than strong enough at 2tons.

Think it should be long enough as using Hypotenuse Calculator shows the hypotenuse as 145cm (2 x = 290cm) so as the strap above is longer you could attach in 2 places on the front and leave a flat place between to make it easier to get boxes in. e.g rather than 1 centre fixing at 140 you'd have 2 fixings at 1m from either side leaving an 80cm opening. (I think 3.5m is still too long but you can route the strap under the front and around a fixing if you don't want to cut the strap.

You could do the same with steel wall straps or wood but I think the above would be cheaper and easier to work with.
 
Some of my garage/workshop storage is old kitchen wall cupboards mounted high and some base units at the end. From my old kitchen c. 12 years ago and odd bits from my neighbours. Free!

I also have a couple of steel shelving units about 75cm apart with the gap bridged by slats off an old bed frame to give more shelf space. Free!
Me too..Free is best pony !
 
Free is definitely always the best. Doesn’t matter what you buy it’s almost always gone up in price!

I also have those 64l boxes, agree they are very handy and stack well but they made a 7 box high by 3 box wide stack in the garage, in space I could I’ll afford to lose. In the end I got the smallest space I could rent in a secure storage place on a farm up the road from me. Not a solution that works for everyone admittedly but it does for me as I don’t need access to the contents if at all.

However with those out of the way I created a couple of shelves in my garage out of 41x21x2.5 unistrut compatible channel run vertically up the wall. I had the solid channel stuff so drilled out for the fixings on my drill press, but you can get the slotted version to make it easier then add some of the cantilever arms that you can get up to 600mm length to bolt into the channel.

To cut the channel I didn’t fancy days of chopping it up with a hacksaw so picked up the cheapest cut off saw I could find.

For a shelf I didn’t have enough solid ply/mdf of sufficient length but I did have some thin strips of 30x15 ish timber from which I created a slatted base to sit on top of the arms. Didn’t fix the slatted base to the arms as not needed although I could have done relatively easily.

Whilst not necessarily the cheapest option it has a clean uniform look.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

CG
 
Maybe add another skin of ply underneath the large shelf to create a "TORSION BOX", there are a few threads on this if you do a search 🤣🤣🤣

Can you get a hanger off the ceiling above the large shelf, just one in the middle would help a lot?

I have used these heavy duty shelf brackets from Screwfix quite a few times, they are really strong

https://www.screwfix.com/p/hi-load-mitred-brackets-white-350-x-350mm-10-pack/56023
Think you really need a a really sharp plane to plane any timber used in storage solutions so look at sharpening threads too... See you in 2029!!!🤣🤣🤣
 
You could even omit the sheet material if just using it to cradle long sections. With a pulley system perhaps.

Like a laundry winch but on a more robust scale.

I don't know if you'd need to add support to the existing joists such as sister joisting


Edit sorry I may have misunderstood.

Was this more like it? Only less 'delicate'.?
Screenshot_20230414_105812_Chrome.jpg
 
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Have a look for second hand dexion angle - strong and often comes up second hand, it’s easy to cut and can be bolted together.
I have similar shelves to your plans but all made from stuff lying about- big 2”angle iron welded to make L brackets supporting dexion framed shelves made from off cuts of mdf. I use the thinner Gratnell trays for lots of stuff and they can come with lids. There’s the occasional upright to the ceiling for additional bracing. There’s a lot of weight up there. Can get pics later but hopefully you can visualise how it works
 

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