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Side-wall storage in narrow garage.

Side-wall storage in narrow garage

Triangulation solved the problem of howto fit a car and a side-wall storage unit into a narrow garage. Designed and built by homeowner Henry E. Smith of Pleasanton, California, the tapering storage shelves are narrow enough near the base to let a car door swing open but extend more than 2 1/2 feet from the wall near the ceiling joists. Rectangles of 1/4-inch-thick hardwood paneling fit over the openings to each of the 12 shelves to give the unit a finished, uncluttered look.

Although your garage may have a differentceiling height or direction of ceiling joists than Mr. Smith's, the principle for building a similar unit remains the same: as the drawing at right shows, 2-by-4s angle outward from the bottom plate of the garage side wall. At the base, each 2-by-4 bolts to the side of an existing (or added) stud and angles up to join a ceiling joist (or added blocking). Mr. Smith's unit has four 2-by-4s spaced 35 inches on center. The 2-by-4s at each end of the unit fit on the inside face of the studs and join the joist (or added blocking) with a cross-lap joint.

Start with the angled 2-by-4s

Before bolting all the angled 2-by-4s inplace, Mr. Smith clamped one in position, determined the vertical spacing for the shelves, then leveled and marked their position on the studs and angled piece. He then unclamped the board, cut notches for the shelf supports, and used that board as a guide for the other angled 2-by-4s. His shelves vary from 13 to 16 inches apart, but you can adjust them to your needs and garage door clearance.

The front of each shelf support fits in thenotch and is nailed in place. At the rear, it bolts to the stud.

The depth of each shelf will differ, butthey all can be made from 1-by-12s. On the wall side, notch the boards to fit them around the studs. On the front side, they should stop 1 inch short of the outside edge of the angled 2-by-4. Nail the boards to the shelf supports.

Close in the two ends of the cabinets withtriangular pieces of 3/8-inch-thick plywood nailed to the framing. The plywood will butt against the studs, which are on the outside of the angled 2-by-4s, and should be flush with their front edges.

Cover the exposed edges of the shelvesand angled 2-by-4s with trim ripped from 1-by-12s. Trim width varies: 1 1/2 inches for the center 2-by-4s, 1 7/8 inches for the outer 2-by-4s, and 2 inches for the horizontal shelf fronts.

Removable doors from paneling

Each cubicle has its own door made froma piece of 1/4-inch plywood wall paneling. (Mr. Smith used oak.) Instead of being hinged, the doors are not attached--leaning outward from the base and resting against the back of the horizontal trim piece. Each door's width is 1/8 inch less than the opening; height is 1/2 inch greater. Measure the height following the angle.

Cut the doors for one vertical section fromthe same piece of paneling, so the grain and groove pattern will align. For a pull, Mr. Smith centered a 1-inch-diameter hole 1 inch above the door bottoms.

As the small picture on page 152 shows,the doors swing open, slide in, and rest on a 1-by-1 support nailed to the 2-by-4 shelf supports. (Mr. Smith ripped these 3/4-inch-wide pieces from a 1-by-12.) On the top level, he nailed the door supports to the studs and angled front 2-by-4.

For a unified look, a light stain covers theplywood, door panels, and trim pieces.

Photo: Tapering storage unit leaves room to maneuver along side wall of slender garage

Photo: Lightweight doors rest on narrow strips ofwood nailed to sides of shelf frames

Photo: Height will vary with each garage. Angleshown is 15|, but it can be changed to allow clearance for overhead garage door
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1987
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