1 of 1
Check this out!
This bypass door
hardware is the key to
Let’s face it. No matter how big your
garage is, there never seems to be
enough room to store everything. But
by making ultra-efficient use of the
narrow area on the sidewall of your
garage, this storage project can help.
The heart of the system is a series of
double-sided rollout shelves that allow
easy access to everything that can be
stored in a narrow space. With these
rollouts, you don’t have to store your
paint cans, nails, screws and other stuff four layers deep and then shuffle
everything around to find what you’re
looking for. When the shelves are
pulled out, everything is in full view
and easily accessible. Plus, the garage
looks neat and tidy when the shelves
are pushed back in.
Don’t worry if you’ve also got some
large items to store. The 16-ft.-long top
shelf is 32 in. deep to hold big storage
containers, and there’s a 3-ft.-wide section
of 16-in.-deep shelves for medium-size
items. The storage unit is 16
ft. long, 84 in. tall and 16 in.
The cost of the materials for
this project is about $800. If
you want to save some money
and don’t require as much narrow
storage space, just reduce the
number of rollout shelves. Each
rollout, including hardware,
costs about $75.
Expect to spend three or four days building this project. It’s not
complicated or difficult, but there are a
lot of parts to cut out and assemble. For
the most part, we used standard carpentry
tools, but we used a table saw to
cut the particleboard and a biscuit
joiner and pocket screw jig to assemble
the rollouts and bypass unit. The latter
tools are optional, though. You can cut
parts with a circular saw, but it’ll take
longer and won’t be as accurate. And
you can substitute screws and glue for
the biscuit joints. You can also nail
through the face of the cabinets to
secure the divider rather than use
The particleboard and framing
lumber you’ll need are available from
home centers and most lumberyards.
The bypass door track and three-wheel
rollers we used to support the shelves
may be hard to find locally, but you
can order them online at johnsonhardware.com. You can also buy the shelf
standards and leg levelers online at
Sliding storage = More convenience, more space
better access and
make small stuff
easier to find.
too. You can set
the divider wherever
you want to
The bypass unit
adds 50 percent
more storage for
tools and all sorts
of items that take
up too much wall
space. You simply
slide it to either
side to access the stuff behind.
Map it out on the wall
1 of 1
Photo 1: Mark the wall
Make a level line to indicate the bottom
edge of the top shelf, and then mark the
location of all four columns. Draw plumb
lines to mark the edge of the 2x2 cleats.
Mark the location of the top shelf and
columns on the wall before you start
building (Photo 1). This allows you to
check for obstructions and double-check
the height of the columns. Start
by deciding where the endpoints for
the 16-ft. storage unit will be. If you
have leeway, you could adjust the position
so that the end columns land over
wall studs, but it’s not necessary.
Next, use a level to see if the garage floor slopes.
Measure 81 in. up from the highest point on the
floor and mark the wall. Draw a 16-ft. level line
across the wall from this point. We used a laser
level to establish level reference points on each
end of a 16-ft. line, and measured up from these
points to mark the endpoint of the horizontal
layout line. Then we snapped a chalk line
between these points to indicate the bottom edge
of the shelf and the top of the columns. You could
also use a line level or step a 4-ft. level across the
wall to mark the level line.
If your garage floor slopes more than 1-1/2 in.
from one end of the unit to the other, you’ll have
to build some of the columns a little taller. Check
this out by measuring down from the level line at
each end. Finally, using Figure B as a guide, carefully
mark the location of the wall cleats that
anchor each column, and draw plumb lines down
from each mark (Photo 1). Now you’re ready to build the columns and wide shelf.
Figure A: Garage storage system
Figure A: Garage storage system
Figure A shows the construction and parts of the garage storage system. Modify the size to fit your space.
Figure B: Top shelf details
Figure B: Top shelf details
Align the frame and the column locations.
Assemble the columns and shelf
1 of 5
Photo 2: Assemble the columns
Wood glue creates a strong bond on
particleboard and makes a strong assembly.
Use brads to hold the parts together
until the glue sets.
2 of 5
Photo 3: Install leg levelers
Garage floors tend to be damp and unlevel.
Adjustable leg levelers on the bottom of
each column keep the columns dry and
adjust to sloping floors.
3 of 5
Photo 4: Install the columns
Slip the columns over cleats mounted to the wall.
It's easy to adjust the height and plumb the face
of the column before screwing it to the cleat.
4 of 5
Photo 5: Attach the tracks to the shelf frame
To avoid working overhead later, screw the tracks to the shelf before you
install it. Use the dimensions in Figure B to lay out the track locations.
5 of 5
Photo 6: Set the frame on the columns
Align the ends of the shelf with the
outside edges of the columns and
screw it to the studs.
Cut out the parts according to the Cutting List (the Cutting List and a Materials List are available in pdf format in Additional Information below). Then build the columns. Photo 2 shows how
to assemble the columns using wood glue and
finish nails. Let the glue set. Then install the leg
levelers (Photo 3). Mount the cleats on the wall at
each of the column locations. Use toggle-type
hollow wall anchors to anchor the cleats if there
aren’t any studs to screw into. We used Toggler
Snaptoggle anchors, which are easier and faster
to install than standard toggle bolts.
Mount the columns by slipping them over the
cleats and driving screws through the sides into
the cleats (Photo 4). We had to notch the bottoms
of the columns to fit around the protruding foundation
block. If you have a similar situation and
the block is more than 6 in. above the floor, make
sure to either shorten the rollout shelves or make
them narrower so they don’t run into the protruding
Adjust the leg levelers until the tops of the columns
are even with the horizontal line. Then set
a level against the front edge to make sure the
column is plumb. You can slide narrow shims
between the wall and the back edge of the column
if necessary to plumb the column. When the
column is plumb and the top is even with the
level line, drive screws through the side and into
the cleats. The next step is to build and install
the horizontal shelf.
Screw 2x4s together to make the top shelf using
Figure B as a guide. It’s easier to attach the aluminum
tracks to the shelf before you lift it onto the
columns (Photo 5). Use Figure B as a guide for marking
the track locations. Cut the tracks to 32 in.
with a hacksaw. Then drill holes for the mounting screws. Attach the tracks with 2-in. pan
head or washer head screws.
Mark the stud locations on the wall. Then lift
the shelf onto the columns and screw it to the
studs with 4-in. structural screws or lag screws
(Photo 6). Screw 3/4-in. particleboard to the top of
the shelf frame. Check with a framing square to
make sure the columns are at a right angle to the
wall before you toe-screw the front of the columns
to the shelf frame.
Build the rollout shelves and bypass
1 of 4
Photo 7: Cut biscuit slots in the rollout parts
Cut three biscuit slots on the face
of the sides and matching slots on
the ends of the top and bottom.
The right angle support allows us to
use the workbench top to support
the biscuit joiner.
2 of 4
Photo 8: Assemble the rollouts
Join the sides to the top and bottom of the rollouts with biscuits and wood
glue. Clamp the parts together until the glue sets.
3 of 4
Photo 9: Install the rollout divider
Use spacers to support the divider while you screw or nail it to the sides of the
shelf. Vary the size of the spacers to create different-width shelves.
4 of 4
Photo 10: Mount the rollers
Adjustable rollers allow you to fine-tune
the rollout shelves after they're
installed. Each pair of rollers is rated
for 125 lbs., for a total weight limit of
250 lbs. per rollout.
Photo 7 shows how we used a biscuit joiner to slot
the sides of the rollouts. For more information on
this “bench reference” biscuit joining method, see “Building cabinets with biscuit joints.” Mark the orientation of the parts
by putting a piece of masking tape on the side
facing you. When you assemble the parts, face the
tape to the inside of the rollout. Glue and clamp
the sides to the top and bottom (Photo 8). Glue a
second layer of particleboard to the top for extra
strength and to allow for the 1-1/2-in. roller
mounting screws. Photo 9 shows how to support
the center divider with spacers while you attach it
with pocket screws. If you don’t have a pocket
screw jig, just drive finish nails through the front
and back of the rollout to secure the divider. You
can adjust the position of the divider to accommodate
your items. We moved one off-center to allow
for 7-in.-deep shelves and built another unit with
full-depth shelves. Use the same method to build
the large bypass unit.
Finish the rollouts by attaching the roller
mounting brackets (Photo 10) and the metal shelf
standards. Draw lines 1 in. from the edge as
guides for the brackets. Drill pilot holes and
attach the brackets with 1-1/2-in. screws. Position
the shelf standards about 3/8 in. from the front
and back of the cabinet. We used 1/2-in. No. 4 flat
head screws to attach the standards, but you can also use the small nails usually included.
Mount the rollouts and bypass
1 of 1
Photo 11: Install the rollouts on the tracks
Slide the rollers into the tracks to
hang the rollout shelf. It's easy if
you pile up some scraps to support
the heavy rollout while you align
We used different techniques to hang the rollout shelves and
the bypass unit. For the rollouts, it’s simpler to connect the rollers
to the top of the shelf first and then slide the wheels into
the tracks (Photo 11). For the bypass unit, install the rollers in the
track before you mount it, and then hang the bypass by sliding
the rollers into the mounting brackets.
To prevent the rollers on the rollout shelves from bumping
into the face trim, screw 1-1/2-in.-square blocks of particleboard
to the outside end of each of the rollout shelf tracks. After
all the rollouts are hung, adjust the rollers until the spaces
between rollouts are even and the faces are flush when they’re
pushed in. Use the small wrench included with the rollers to turn the adjusting bolt located just below the rollers.
Finish up with trim boards
1 of 1
Photo 12: Add the finishing touches
Finish up by
nailing strips of
over the front
edge of the top
shelf and the
face of the columns.
stain or paint
brush a coat or
two of polyurethane
Complete the project by nailing strips
of particleboard trim to the face of the
columns and to the face of the top shelf
(Photo 12). Two 8-ft. trim pieces will just
cover the front edge. Then overlap the
side pieces at each end. We also
screwed sheets of particleboard to the
wall behind the bypass unit to provide
an attachment surface for hooks and
other hanging hardware. We stained
the columns and trim black, and the
face of the rollouts and the bypass unit
with Cabot Early American stain.
When the stain was dry, we brushed
two coats of Minwax Oil-Modified
Polyurethane finish over the whole
works to provide a little sheen and
extra protection. If you plan to stain
and finish the storage unit, consider
doing it before you assemble the parts. It’ll save you a lot of time and effort.