Wasted Space Garage Storage Shelves - 202
How to Create Garage Ceiling Sliding Storage
If your garage is getting cramped with clutter, some sliding ceiling storage might be just the thing to get infrequently used items out of sight and put away. Measure the length of the carriages that will hold your sliding storage and cut your lumber to prepare for carriage assembly. Assemble the cut lumber into carriage pieces by gluing and screwing 2x4 boards and plywood strips together. Install your storage by fastening it securely to ceiling joists. After that, your ceiling storage will be ready for action.
Measuring and Cutting
Determine the width between carriages.Position one of your 2x4 boards so its narrow edge is flat against the lip of the long edge of a tote. Use a clamp to hold the board in place against the tote at its middle. Repeat this process on the other side. Measure the distance between the inner edges of the boards to find the carriage width.
- Depending on your space limitations, you may need to use smaller totes, especially if you plan on installing your sliding storage above your garage door.
Mark your 2x4 boards and plywood for cutting.Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark both of your 2x4 boards at 4 ft (1.2 m). Measure and mark off your plywood in eight strips. Four strips should be 3 in (7.6 cm) wide and 4 ft long. The remaining four strips should be 5 in (12.7 cm) wide and 4 ft long.
Cut the 2x4 boards and plywood.A miter saw will be ideal for making the simple cuts where your 2x4 boards have been marked, but you can also use a circular saw. When cutting your plywood into strips along the marked lines, use a circular saw or table saw.
- When sawing your lumber, be sure to wear safety glasses. Small pieces of sawdust can get in your eyes and cause irritation or injury.
- In a pinch, you can use a hand saw to cut your lumber. However, this will take a considerable amount of time and elbow grease.
Assembling the Carriages
Glue together a 2x4 board and 3-inch plywood strip.At this point, you should have four 2x4 boards 4 ft (1.2 m) long. Position one of the boards on its long, narrow side. Apply a wood glue to the upward facing part of the 2x4. Lay a 3-inch wide (7.6 cm) plywood strip flat on the 2x4 so their ends are evenly aligned and the 2x4 is centered under the plywood.
- To ensure that the 2x4 and plywood strip aren’t jostled and knocked out of alignment, hold them together with a clamp until the glue finishes drying. Dry time should be indicated on the glue’s label.
- This plywood strip, and another you'll be adding to this same 2x4, will overhang the 2x4 on both sides, as the plywood strips are wider than the 2x4.
Add support to the 2x4 and plywood strip with screws.Measure and mark the plywood along its center in 10 in (25.4 cm) intervals. Fasten the strip and board with 2-inch (5 cm) screws at these marks to connect and reinforce the board and strip.
Attach a 5-inch plywood strip to the 2x4.Reorient the 2x4 so the attached plywood strip is facing downward. In the same fashion as the previous strip, glue and screw a 5-inch (12.7 cm) plywood strip to the upward facing, long, narrow side of the 2x4.
- When finished, the 2x4 should have two plywood strips attached. The 3-inch wide strip will form the bottom flange of the sliding storage carriage, the 5-inch wide strip the top flange.
Assemble the remaining 2x4 boards.Like the first 2x4, you’re going to attach two plywood strips to each of the boards along their long, narrow sides. Each board should be comprised of one 3-inch wide strip and one 5-inch wide strip.
Installing the Sliding Ceiling Storage
Locate joists for installing the carriages.Use a stud finder to locate ceiling joists. These will provide the best support for your sliding storage. Using your level as a edge, draw lines along the joists to outline where you’ll be installing the carriages. Each line should be separated by the previously measured width between the carriages.
- Avoid installing sliding storage less than 2 ft (61 cm) away from lights and garage door springs. If you’re concerned your sliding storage might not fit above your retracted garage door, avoid installing it in the path the door travels.
- Verify that joists fall along your drawn carriage lines by poking through the ceiling with a nail. If you hit hard wood, the joist is there and your carriage lines will be sufficiently supported.
Fasten your carriages to the ceiling.Hold a carriage up to the ceiling at the marked joist line. The 5-inch plywood strip of the carriage should be flat against the ceiling. Screw the carriage into the ceiling at this line at 12-inch (30.5 cm) intervals with 3-inch (7.6 cm) screws along the flange straight on. Repeat this process until your carriages are arrayed in pairs.
- These screws are not intended to be the primary support of the storage, but instead will hold the carriage in place while testing it and installing your main anchors (lag screws).
Test your sliding storage.Take an empty bin and try slide it into the space between carriages. If the tote does not fit, you’ll have to unfasten the screws and reposition the carriages. After checking the fit of the tote, remove the tote and set it off to the side.
- While testing your carriage, you'll have the perfect opportunity to check it with your level. If your carriages are not fastened level, totes may slide out over time.
Anchor carriages to joists with lag screws.Drill a 3/16 in (.5 cm) guide hole through the top flange so the hole terminates at a joist. Use a ratchet or socket to fasten the flange to the joist with lag screws. Repeat this on the opposite side of the fastened lag screw. Use at least four lag screws fastened at no less than two joists per carriage piece.
- Storing items in your sliding ceiling storage that weigh more than 210 lb (95.3 kg) could cause the tote to fall. If the storage pulls free of the wall because of too much weight, it could also damage the ceiling.
- Improperly using or handling power tools, especially saws, could result in serious injury or property damage. Always use caution when using tools.
Video: Garage Storage Shelves - 161
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