robust industrial shelf construction tip

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babolottino

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hello I should make an industrial metal shelving to be placed against the wall. measures: length L 2,5 meters, height H 2 meters. depth P 1 meter. must bear heavy loads, any useful suggestions? thank you
scaffale.jpg
 

awake

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One thought that hopefully will be useful: remember that the strongest structural shape is a triangle. What you have shown may be sufficient for the load, depending on materials chosen and exactly how heavy the "heavy load" is, but the only that that keeps it from wracking (twisting from a rectangle into a parallelogram) is the strength of the welds (or bolts, if you go that route) - and based on the picture, you are looking at a pretty short weld at each joint. The rectangular bracing above the first and fourth shelf adds a bit of strength against wracking in the fore-and-aft direction, but I don't see anything that is helping in the side-to-side direction. All that to say, put in some triangular bracing and you will increase the stiffness greatly.
 

babolottino

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thank you for your suggestion. you may attach photos or demonstration images. Would you say that I should make a lattice structure like a bridge or Eiffel tower? quite right? if you can make me a sketch, sorry if I'm petulant and fussy thanks
 

awake

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Here's a quick sketch. This is based on height = 2.5m, width = 2m, depth = 1m -- not exactly what you specified above, but what you specified didn't look even vaguely like the sketch you included, so I thought maybe you had switched some numbers. In any case, this is only to give an idea of the triangular bracing.
 

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babolottino

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thanks, you have been very kind, sorry if I took advantage of your patience, which material for the columns and the crosspieces would you recommend? I'm sorry if I'm boring and I insist. Thanks again
 

ShopShoe

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babolottino,

I would strongly suggest you make your uprights ("columns") from angle that has holes punched at set distances, if you can get it in your area. With that, and assembling with bolts, you can adjust your shelves to new spacing if your needs change. Basically, like most of the shelving you can buy in everything from very light duty to very heavy duty.

As a matter of fact, if you have access to industrial suppliers, you may be able to buy shelving units suitable for your use as shipped to you in unassembled form ready for you to bolt together. I have to emphasize INDUSTRIAL shelving, not the lightweight homeowner stuff sold cheaply at home centers and hardware stores. With a little searching, you may also find a source for that heavy shelving available used. One of my favorite sources was a firm that liquidated large lots of office furniture and also handled warehouse items.

I would certainly add diagonal bracing: I was helping move items in a warehouse one day several years ago when another crew was disassembling industrial shelving that had four or five sections bolted together without triangular bracing and as they started loosening bolts the whole row started shifting away from the wall and came down as a large unit. Luckily, no one was hurt.

--ShopShoe
 

awake

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ShopShoe's suggestion is not just good, but essential if you want to be able to adjust this, or to be able to move it without a forklift. Beyond that, I am not in a position to offer advice on materials. I am not an engineer, and am not qualified to judge the strength of various materials and construction techniques - and even if I were, I'd need a lot more information, e.g., what is the maximum unsupported span, what is the maximum weight and how will it be distributed, etc.

As a home hobbyist, making my own shelves, I can over-engineer a shelf for the expected load, WITH triangular bracing, of course. (The experience that ShopShoe shares could easily have been fatal for one or more persons!!) But honestly, I don't know for sure my home-built shelves are truly sufficient, and I am careful how much I stress them. And if worst comes to worst and they fail, the only one that will be hurt, or suffer property damage, is me. I'm not willing to take that risk for someone else.
 

babolottino

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thanks for your valuable suggestions, before putting my plans into action I have to put in order and discard useful things and odds and ends thanks again for the precious suggestions I should perhaps take a high-capacity pallet rack. thanks anyway
 

cobra

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Unless you're getting the material for free, you would be better to check one of the discount stores like Costco for heavy duty shelves. I picked up a set for car parts that has six shelves that will hold 800 lbs. Comes with either feet or casters for less cost than the material to make the frame.
20200131_085843.jpg
 

babolottino

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thanks your intervention. I have to store very heavy engine parts
 

ytrose2

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Sometimes libraries get rid of old shelving, which is pretty robust as books are really heavy.
 

babolottino

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thanks guys for everything, today I made the frame, in 40x40 x 2 mm box for the uprights and 50x30x2 mm for the crossbars, I made 3 iron ladders that I combined with two-meter long longitudinal bars
I have to finish it and make the shelves hopefully it will hold, I have burned my eyes for a long time I have not welded, I am blind like humerus like a mole thanks again I will keep you informed thanks
 
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