The Idea: Garage Storage Re-Do

Not long after we moved into our home we realized that shelving was needed for the garage.  So we put up some very simple, but very sturdy shelving.  It needed to hold way too many plastic tubs as well as whatever else we could fit up there.

They were good and have served us well and would continue to serve us well, but we’re of the belief that we can do better.  Especially since we are barely able to have enough room to walk through… usually.

And so the research started.  There are many options out there and I was almost leaning toward simple metal free-standing shelves.  Most of the wall mount options either did not give a good estimate for how much weight they could hold or they were not deep enough.

Then I came across a DIY plan for some garage shelving and since it includes sliding doors, of course my significant other voted for the option of being able to hide things.

Source:  The Family Handyman

The design described and illustrated was very close to what we would need and so we moved out of the research phase and into the design.

It was close and 90% of the design is exactly what we need, but our design does change a couple of things beyond some simple dimension adjustments.

  • Depth is increased by about 6″.  This will allow more tub storage as they can be stored depth wise.
  • Not wall mounted.  Building on top of cap blocks has a couple of benefits.
    1. Moves the weight from the wall/studs to the floor
    2. Allows even the top of the unit to be used for storage
  • (Possible) Plywood backing

And so, here are the initial drawings that I’m planning to use…








Simple Child’s Stool or Bench

I wanted to create a simple child’s bench, but one that allowed a fabric storage cube to fit in the middle for storage.  They seem to be the perfect size for a toddler 18+ mos. old (and still good for a 2 1/2 yr old).

Here’s what I created…



Be sure to countersink the screws… Which I apparently did not notate.  I did not do anything fancy with the screws.  Just…

  • 3 into the legs from the top
  • 3 through the feet into the legs
  • 2 into the shelf through the legs

They can easily be stained… But I did not do this.  I’ll use the excuse that I like the look of crayons and other toddler markings on the wood and absolutely not because I was lazy.

They seem to be very sturdy at this point.  I feel like I can sit on them with no problem… And stand on them.  But not sure that, as designed, an adult should stand on them much, but it probably would not be difficult for the design to be slightly modified to reinforce.

Garage Workbench #2

Similar to my first workbench, I needed to create a 2nd.

A couple of differences though:

  • Meant to hold a miter saw
    • 2nd table’s height was designed so that with a miter saw on top, the top of the miter saw is flush with the top of my first workbench
  • Table dimensions are smaller
  • Added a lower shelf

Here’s the basic design:



  • Same basic materials as my first workbench
    • Used 8 Strong-Tie connectors this time though
    • Originally got a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood from the first workbench, so re-used leftovers for the top and shelf
  • Lower shelf is against the lower crossbars
    • Meant to hold a shop-vac, with the intention of hooking it up to my miter saw
  • Added middle crossbars, similar to the plans of that inspired my design, but did not use that for the shelf support.
    • Long bars only have 2 screws into the brackets on left and right sides (none on the inside).  This is to allow the bars to be removed easily for access.
  • Used pronged tee nuts and associated hardware to secure miter saw

 Project Finish:


Garage Workbench

Got tired of not having anywhere to put things down and work on them in my garage.  Its a single car garage and is mainly used for storage.  Its never seen a car before.  Aside from storage though, I of course keep my tools there.

So I did a bit good of Googling and found a bunch of options around, but settled on a simple design that is reinforced by some metal brackets.

Here’s my basic design.

workbench design


Basic Materials:

  • 3/4 plywood
  • 2×4’s
  • 4 x casters (Lowes)
  • 4 x Simpson Strong-Tie 2×4 Rigid Tie Connector (Home Depot)
  • 2 x Box Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive Screws #8 (Home Depot)
  • Other wood screws for top to frame (1 5/8″ I think)


  • Does not show brackets, but only used 4.  1 for each top corner
  • Unlike the plans I found, did not build with a bottom shelf.  It is still very sturdy though
  • Above plans show 2 plywood pieces on bottom of the frame.  Ended up not doing that… But the concept would be a partial torsion box, which adds strength… If needed.
  • Could only find casters with small enough connection heads at Lowes
  • Simpson Strong-Tie products needed were only at Home Depot
  • Top board overhangs frame by 2″ on each long side.  Flush with short sides.  Personal preference though.  My thinking is that it will give me something to clame against.
  • Be sure to countersink screws

Added feature(s):

  • With overhanging sides, added aluminum corner brackets along the length.  This should help prevent the long plywood side from splintering.
  • Planning to add a power strip of some kind… Somewhere.  Still trying to figure out best way to implement.

Project Finish:


Original source for plans: