Make and Install Lightweight Shelves that Seem to Float on the Dining Room Wall without Any Visible Means of Support
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by Ron Hazelton on November 22, 2014 in News
by Ron Hazelton on October 28, 2014 in News
Viewing Project in Storage & Cabinets > Cabinets > Shelving
RH: My next House Call takes me to Tucson, a growing city surrounded by stunning desert landscapes. It’s home to Scott and Donna Lane, who’s garage has also been growing, at least the contents have and they’ve decided it’s time to clear the clutter. Hey guys!
SL: How are you?
RH: If I didn’t know better I’d say you were preparing for a garage reorganization project.
SL: Yes, we are.
DL: Sure need it.
RH: You got a head start on me here. Gosh, I’m kind of sorry I missed this before you took it out.
SL: We sure could have used your help.
RH: Yeah, I’ll bet you could have.
SL: Well, we’re glad you’re here now.
RH: All right, well, let’s step inside and take a look at the space.
SL: All righty.
RH: So, this is the garage, huh?
SL: Yes, sir. This is the garage and I haven’t seen it this clean since we moved in.
RH: It’s almost too clean.
SL: Feels kind of naked in here.
DL: It is.
RH: You work out here? It’s a working garage?
RH: What do you do?
SL: I have an old Corvette that I have to do repairs on and I find this to be a real neat area to work in.
RH: Okay, so you need both the working space and storage space judging by everything I saw in the front yard out here.
RH: All right. So what we need to do is come up with a system that’s really flexible for you that can meet both of those needs and I think that I got something in mind.
SL: That sounds super.
RH: Now, this is what I’ve got in mind for you guys. This is actually a grid system and in fact what I’m thinking about doing is covering almost this entire wall with these grid panels right here. Now, there are a variety of accessories and fittings and fixtures that hook onto this grid which means that you can set this wall up pretty much anyway you want and you can change it easily. The grids have predrilled holes allowing them to be screwed directly into wall studs spaced 16 inches apart. So, the first thing we want to do is see if our wall has typical stud spacing. Our electronic stud sensors find the studs all right, but not where we had hoped they would be. Well, I’ve marked the location of all the studs on the wall here and as you can see we’ve got not 16 inch centers but more like 24 inch centers. That means we’re going to have to install these firing strips. We’ll attach these to each of the studs and it’s to the firing strip that we’ll attach the grid panels. The firing strips need to be five inches apart and parallel to each other so we snap chalk lines across the wall to mark their location. We use a nail gun to attach the firing strips. Now, it’s important to maintain good balance, especially off the ground.
RH: We drive the nails into the firing strips at the point where they cross each wall stud. With all the firing strips in place we’re ready to begin attaching the grids. We hold the panels in place, drill pilot holes then attach the grids to the firing strips with screws. The edges of the grid panels overlap each other. Screws lock them in place. Well, you’re grid system is up. I got to tell you, this stuff is really strong. You could make a climbing wall out of this but . . .
SL: We could do extreme sports here in the garage.
RH: I’m probably suggesting something you shouldn’t . . .
SL: Probably. Yes.
DL: It says do not climb on grid system.
RH: Okay. Donna’s right. But the strength of these grids is really impressive. With the grids up we can install a variety of shelves, drawers and work surfaces. The best part is that all these different components simply snap right onto the grid and they’re very sturdy. This work surface can support 200 pounds. At this point the hardest part was just deciding where to put everything.
DL: Hold anything and everything.
SL: This is going to be just super.
RH: In a couple of hours we’ve covered the walls with grids and storage units but there’s more to do. We’re going to take advantage of an often overlooked area, the ceiling, by installing overhead storage bins. First we attach brackets to the ceiling joists with lag screws. These bins can easily hold up to 40 pounds. To open them you simply push upward, then forward to slide the bin off the support frame. Yeah, this just great. What neat storage for clothing, seasonal items, holiday decorations, things you don’t need to often, you want them out of the way. I like this . . .
DL: It’s going to come in real handy.
SL: It looks really slick.
RH: Yeah, it does look slick too. Well, we got you in pretty good shape guys. The laundry is ready to go over here.
SL: Looks beautiful.
RH: This side of the garage storage. Work space over there, place for the tools.
SL: Finally a place for everything.
DL: You can put them all away now.
RH: Ah, no excuses.
SL: No excuses.
RH: No excuses right?
RH: There’s one thing though that really bugs me about this garage still.
DL: What’s that?
RH: And that is the floor. Like a lot of folks you got some pretty ugly oil stains down here.
DL: I’m tired of tracking oil into the house.
RH: That too. I think I’ve got a great solution for you. We lay down a poly vinyl floor covering which needs no adhesive. It’s resistant to just about everything: oil, antifreeze, salt and it’s ridged so that dirt can simply be hosed or swept through the grooves and right out of the garage. As soon as we unroll the vinyl Scott uses a broom to push out any air bubbles. Now the idea here it to start in the middle and work toward the edges.
DL: Wow! What a difference!
RH: Now, this is what I call a garage make over.
RH: Now you got a garage that’s suitable for that.
DL: That’s why we bought a house with a garage was for that car.
RH: Well, I think you got it now. I have one favor to ask you.
SL: Certainly. Anything.
RH: Could I have a ride?
SL: You bet! Let’s go!
RH: Guess I’m not driving, huh?
SL: No, not this time.
DL: I don’t get to drive it very often so you can’t.
RH: Well, I may not get behind the wheel of Scott’s prized Corvette but I’m going to tell you I think this garage make over is as slick as a sports car and just about as fast. We did all of this in a single day.
Ron found himself in Tucson, Arizona for this next visit. This growing city surrounded by stunning desert landscapes is home to Scott and Donna Lane, whose garage had also been growing