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Nov 19, 2014

Storage Solutions - Fold-away Shelving

We've been spending the last week or two getting the garage and house ready for winter. But mostly the garage. It's where the important stuff is kept after all. We have only a single car garage, and I like to keep my truck cozy in the winter, so we have to be imaginative when it comes to storing everything.

Enter Tom's newest "invention" - the suspended lawnmower shelf. It's a close relative to the fold-up work bench in that when it's not in use it also folds flat against the wall out of the way. This can work for any piece of equipment that you need out of the way, but that you might not want to store overhead. It's a bit of an ugly duckling - definitely function over form at work here - but it gets the job done.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

During the winter, we run a space heater when we're working in the garage. Since that has to remain on the floor, the most logical place for the lawnmower was up above it. There's also a shop vac hung higher on the wall, and the lawnmower fits nicely in between the two.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

The first thing Tom did was secure a piece of plywood to the wall to give the frame a strong surface to attach to. There are studs behind the drywall, but as we found with the ensuite shower wall, the two don't always meet.

He attached two 4 foot long 2x3s to the wall vertically about 18 inches apart, which is the distance between the front and back wheels of the lawnmower. Yours might be different so make sure to measure first. He then built a rectangular ladder-shaped frame with more 2x3s that sits between the wall uprights. This will be the shelf when the lawnmower is stored.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

The frame is 18 inches wide of course, and slightly longer than the width of the lawnmower deck. Tom drilled a hole through each of the frame "legs" about 2 inches from the bottom, and through each of the upright boards at the height he wanted the shelf. The frame was then attached to the wall with hitch pins that allow the shelf to pivot up and down. You could also attach it with bolts instead of pins.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

Note that you might have to cut off the top back corners of your frame legs so that the frame has clearance to pivot without getting hung up on the wall.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

A heavy-duty screw eye is attached to the front of each upright near the top. A cable is going to run from the screw eye, down across the front of the frame, and up to the other eye. This cable is what will support the weight of the lawnmower and the shelf.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

At the front of the frame, Tom drilled a hole in each leg, again about 2 inches in, to run the cable through. He ran the wire cable through the holes, and up to the screw eye, making sure that the cable was taut and leaving about 6-8 inches of excess wire on each side when the shelf is parallel to the floor. Remember that the weight of the lawnmower will cause the shelf to drop a bit, so it's better to have the cable slightly short.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

The cable ends are folded over and secured together with a wire loop clamp, then the ends are taped off so no one gets poked with a sharp end. A carabiner is then attached to each cable loop. 

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

The carabiners are then locked onto the eye screws. You could also use a hook instead of a carabiner, but the carabiner is safer as it ensures that the cables are locked in place and won't slip.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

The only other thing you'll need is a spare piece of 2x3 that is the length of the space from the floor to the bottom of your shelf. Pop that board under the front edge of the frame any time you have the lawnmower on the shelf and are unhooking the cables, to make sure your shelf doesn't inadvertently drop and the lawnmower then tumbles to the floor (or onto you).

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

Once the cables are hooked up you can just tuck the board in behind the lawnmower.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage


When you aren't using the shelf - in the summer we keep the lawnmower on the garage floor and tuck the space heater away under the tool bench - you can fold it up flat against the wall and it isn't in the way.



DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

Hopefully this will give you ideas for your own garage. We try to use every inch of wall space that we can, top to bottom. Someday I'll have to give you a tour.

Here are a few more shots of the suspended shelf - it deserves to be appreciated from every angle.

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

DIY fold up suspended shelf - garage

Now that the garage is under control I can concentrate on decorating for Christmas. I've already started on three different crafts and can't wait to show them to you.

Has all of this snow and cold weather put you in the holiday mood?


4 comments:

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

I bought these too and they are red, by mistake I guess cause they were supposed to be amber. I searched through 4 Home Depots trying to find more because I need them to match over my island. I can't find them anywhere!!!! It's driving me crazy! I

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

I'm yelling at my husband to come over to the computer RIGHT NOW! We need this soooo bad! PINNED! And thank you for joining the Found & Foraged link up party. We hope to see you again this Saturday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

That is the worst, when you need more and can't find them! We went through that with shelf brackets, and with tile. So frustrating! Good luck with your search!

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

Thank you! I love Tom's inventions - even the ones that aren't so pretty.