How to Build Garage Shelves on Your Own: While you can find plenty of pre-made and easy-to-assemble storage and shelving at big box stores, the prices can be staggering. If you want to save some money—and don’t mind a little DIY work—you can build your garage shelves from scratch with scrap 2-by-4s and plywood. These shelves will be able to hold all your tool cases, hardware, batteries, and more.
This project can be completed in an afternoon and better organization will help create a more manageable workspace. To get building, you’ll need a few tools, including a tape measure, level, drill/driver or impact tool, circular saw, and miter saw.
There is a workbench somewhere, but it will take a long time to get to. These tools and cases need to be removed from the bench, but stored within easy reach. There is plenty of free wall space to use.
Make your cut list
Shelf width dimensions are hotly debated, but we settled on 16 inches deep. It’s deep enough to support tool cases and standard boxes, but low enough that you won’t lose gear in the back and have to reach too far. Our shelves are cut from 1/2-inch oriented strand board and measure six feet in length. We used a circular saw to cut our shelves, but if you bring your measurements to Home Depot or Lowe’s, they can make the cuts for you on their track saw, saving you a step. will go
We decided to use three support brackets for each shelf. We might have been able to get away with using two, but having the extra support means we don’t have to bend over when loading the shelves. Using our miter saw, we cut three lengths of 2-by-4 to make the support brackets: six pieces at 12 inches, six pieces at 10 inches, and six pieces at 8 1/2 inches.
Mark your 45-degree angles.
We used a speed square to mark 45-degree angles on each end of the 12-inch bracket cross member, and then cut it out using our miter saw. We could only see the cut with our miter saw, which has a light guide, but marking it first ensures better accuracy.
Assemble the bracket.
We assembled all six brackets using standard 2 1/2 inch screws and our impact driver. We put two screws in each connected end. The long 10-inch piece is the top of the bracket, and its length will be in contact with the shelf. This method is much stronger than extending the shelf to the wall of the bracket.
Tip: Use a 1-inch piece of scrap wood to extend the cross bracket, which will make it easier to assemble the ends rather than trying to guess where the middle is and hold it in place.
Find the roots of the wall.
Like most homes, the wall studs here are 16 inches in the center, but to verify this, we used a stud finder and marked the stud locations where we planned to secure the brackets. was made
Align the bracket.
We placed our shelves 16 inches from the ceiling and then another 16 inches below the top shelf. This should provide plenty of room for our tallest cases, without making the shelves so low that they get in the way of our workspace. A spirit level was necessary to level the brackets, which we marked before pre-drilling and attaching to the wall studs.
Next, we pre-drilled the holes for the brackets and studs and secured them to the wall using 2 1/2-inch screws. We marked the wall a little more than we liked, but we knew the shelves would cover it and it’s just the garage, so it’s not a big deal.
Screw in the shelf
Once the brackets are ready, you are ready to attach the shelf. Make sure the shelf is pushed back against the wall and then pre-drill four holes through the shelf and into the bracket. Next, drive four screws through the shelf into the bottom 2-by-4 support. Run the screws flush (or even sub-flush), so they don’t slide over anything that slides over them.