Long Box Storage Shelving Recommendations
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21 posts in this topic

What shelving do you use in your warehouse/backroom area to store your longboxes? Im looking for something sturdier than the base model edsols found at Home depot/lowes. Those seemed to bend under the weight after a few months of the long boxes. 

If you have photos to show off I would love to see your setup.

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I bought mine at Home Depot.  Something similar to this product (might even be the same one).   

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gladiator-73-in-H-x-77-in-W-x-24-in-D-4-Shelf-Welded-Steel-Garage-Shelving-Unit-GARS774XEG/206727800?cm_mmc=Shopping|THD|G|0|G-VF-PLA|&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0-3RxIGl1wIVBySGCh2ZzQKVEAQYASABEgJ4iPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CO-CmsqBpdcCFcVGDAodxMoNVA

I've had them for 4-5 years or so.   15+ longboxes (filled with books).   No bowing at all.   Easy to put together.  

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I use five shelf lateral files. They hold four short comic boxes per shelf. Twenty boxes per unit.

They run $1,000 a pop new, but used ones run $50-100 each.

Also use collector drawer boxes.

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On 11/4/2017 at 8:16 PM, Pike's Comics said:

My math based on average box sizes puts it around 12 boxes a shelf/48 total. 

Well I will have to take a pic. I just recently took the lids off the boxes to fit more and if I recall I can fit 7 per shelf without lids, 6 with lids I believe. The place is a mess but will take a pic later tonight and post it.

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I have used "Gorilla Racks" for years. They are steel component shelving and can be customized to any configuration. Instead of being limited to any single length or width you can build your own piece by piece. They are more expensive than the out of the box sets, but you'll NEVER need to buy another set and they will NEVER sag, break or fail. They can also be linked together to fit along any given space, two 8 foot wide sections, an 8' and a 6', 2 6' sections, an 8' and a 4' etc., and you can have it with just a top and bottom shelf or as many shelves per unit as are feasible for long box purposes. 

The ones I use are rated for 2,000lbs per shelf. 

Menard's sells them under the "Xtreme Garage Steel Component Shelf System". 

You buy the end sections (choosing depth), then the beams (choosing length), then you buy the plywood, particle board tongue-and-groove shelf sections to fit what you've chosen. They assemble quickly and last forever. I have 20 year old sections that look brand new. 

Here's an example of two linked sections: 

1994542.jpg

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I had a doozy of a time finding shelves that I liked that met the size, capacity, strength, and material requirements.  I had to custom order them from someplace whose name I can't recall but will post if I find it. 

My requirements:

Size: 84x60x30" HxWxD

Max Shelf capacity: 950lb per shelf. Total unit capacity 5,000 lbs

Narrow beam construction

Rubber feet

Black

Less than $200 including shipping

 

SIZE: I needed a rack that had 26-30" depth.  Most rack shelves only come in 24 or 48 or 36" depths which are either too short or too deep for long boxes.  Drawer boxes are about 26" so they will stick out 2 inches from the standard 24" shelves.  Standard BCW long boxes are 28-30" deep so those will stick way out.  Because I wanted to maximize height space by keeping them inside the lip of the shelves I needed the depth to be exact or slightly deeper.

I found 2 shelving companies that offered depths of 26", 28", and 30".  I went with the 30" just in case which is also great for storing CGC boxes.  2 CGC boxes back to back without their tops is 30" deep.

Max Shelf Capacity: The next criteria I had is the weight capacity.  DO NOT underestimate the weight loads of your comics.  If you buy a wide rack with 4 or more shelves and plan to fill them up completely, do the math and make sure your total load bearing capacity for each shelf (not just the vertical beam) exceeds the total expected capacity.  The shelves are the weakest link here.  The wider the shelving unit, the weaker the load bearing weight in the middle.  If you want shelves 48" wide or wider, make sure they come with a center shelf beam support or double check the max load per shelf for each.  Call and ask before you order.  I found some catalog data sheets were incorrect or mislabeled and found out for sure by calling the manufacturer or reseller.  I chose the z-line or z-beam shelving beams.  They are shaped like a Z at 2" with a recessed lip that allows a 5/8" or 1/2" thick shelving board to sit flush with the top of the Z-beam lip saving you an extra half inch in height.  This was a huge must for me as it allowed me to save up to 2 inches in storage height allowing me to use a 5th shelf.  The Z-beam with recessed shelf placement allows them to be thinner saving height space while increasing their load bearing capacity.  If you opt for the regular heavy duty shelving beams they'll be 2-3" + the 1/2"-5/8" shelving board and eat up a ton of shelf height space after 3 or more shelves are used.  If you don't care about maximizing height space and just want to be safe then go with the "heavy duty" 2-3" shelf beams as those are rated for 1000 lb+ loads.

Before you decide on the weight capacity weigh your comic long boxes full of comics and any CGC or shortboxes you plan on loading.  They multiply the weight by the total you plan to have per shelf and that's your per shelf max.  If I recall the weights were something like 36 lbs and 50 lbs for long box and CGC box or vice versa.

Shelving board (Decking Material): This is where you can save the most money.  Shelf decking is not only expensive but expensive to ship.  Half or more of the cost of custom ordering shelves is in the shipping of the unit because they require freight shipping and the decks are bulky.  I recommend that you buy your own decking separately.  You can use wood, composite, mdf, or plastic board with wood being the cheapest cost and have them cut to size at home depot or lowes for free if buying the boards there.  Make sure you measure 3x and have accurate measurements.  Most shelving units consume an additional 1/8-1/4" from the width and depth due to the shelving rivets holding the shelving beams to the vertical beams.

DO NOT go too cheap on your decking.  This is where your comics rest and the weakest part of the shelf.  Weak boards will fail before the shelving beams.  For 600lbs or more it is recommended you use at least 1/2" ply wood.  If paying more for the stronger sturdier composite, mdf, or plastic board you may be able to go thinner to 1/4"-3/8".

Another reason to use composite or plastic decking is for their low VoC and minimal acidic decomposition.  There's a long thread on here somewhere that talks about the risks of wood shelving.  I went with the wood anyway as I found a way to apply a low or zero VoC sealant that should not harm nor offgass and seals in the wood.  This was a PITA requiring a day of sanding and sealing with multiple coats on 6 pieces of 60"x30"x5/8" plywood.  If you can afford it just do the composite or plastic.  If you're on a budget, look for a penetrating low or zero VoC sealant that completely penetrates and coats the wood sealing it in complete but doesn't generate toxic or volatile off-gassing. Let the wood dry and sit for a few days as the sealant hardens and the minimal residual odors dissipate.

The shelving beams took 6 weeks to make and ship.  The frustrating part was specifying exactly which beams I wanted as it is not their standard build configuration.  When I received the shipment, I found that the shelving beams had been manufactured backwards/inverted such that the shelving boards couldn't sit recessed in the Z-beams.  I complained and they redid them and shipped a brand new set for free.  No idea what to do with the random 20 pieces of extra useless beams. 

Rubber Feet: Ironically, the manufacturer didn't sell rubber feet to help distribute and soften the weight on the floor.  I had just installed new durable but padded vinyl faux wood flooring and didn't want it scratched or pierced by the sharp vertical beam ends.  I did manage to find rubber feet from Granger that were an exact fit for the L-shaped vertical beams for only $6.

Building the shelving unit: Materials needed: a rubber mallet, a hacksaw, a sander or sand paper, a thick towel or blanket, a day where noise is not an issue in the house.

The 2nd hardest part is hammering the horizontal shelf beam rivets into the vertical beams.  To prevent damage to the paint job of the beams, prevent warping the beam, and destroying your mallet, use a thick towel or blanket over the surface of the beam you're hammering.  Some beams will slide in easy.  Others will require you to call upon the might of Mjolnir and go medieval on them with all your might.

The hardest part is inserting the decking boards into the recessed Z-beams.  Normal flat non-recessed L-shaped beams will be easier as you're just laying the board on top.  The recessed beams are susceptible to the flexing/shifting of the vertical and horizontal beams turning your perfectly squared rectangle shelving unit into a rhombus or parallelogram.  You may find that you may still have to shave off an extra 1/8" from one or more edges/corners of the shelving board (hello hacksaw/sander and more sealant).  Start at the bottom shelf. Make sure you insert the boards after building each shelf and before building the next shelf above it or you will have a hard time getting a large shelving board into a lower shelf.  Use the rubber mallet to coerce a stubborn edge or corner but watch for chipping the wood.

It took me a full day to build doing it myself.  With an extra hand it would have taken less than half the time.  But now they are done and they fit and work perfectly allowing 16 long drawer boxes per shelf or14 CGC boxes per shelf.  I get 2 drawer boxes stacked on top of each other secured behind and inside the lip of the Z-beam that provides extra leverage securing the outer drawer box shell when pulling the inner boxes most of the way out.

More than 2c but maybe that'll help some one or convince others just to live with the 2"-6" overhang of the 24" shelves.

 

 

Edited by justafan
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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 9:23 AM, chrisco37 said:

I bought mine at Home Depot.  Something similar to this product (might even be the same one).   

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gladiator-73-in-H-x-77-in-W-x-24-in-D-4-Shelf-Welded-Steel-Garage-Shelving-Unit-GARS774XEG/206727800?cm_mmc=Shopping|THD|G|0|G-VF-PLA|&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0-3RxIGl1wIVBySGCh2ZzQKVEAQYASABEgJ4iPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CO-CmsqBpdcCFcVGDAodxMoNVA

I've had them for 4-5 years or so.   15+ longboxes (filled with books).   No bowing at all.   Easy to put together.  

Just to follow up here, the link isn't the exact shelving I have (linked product is wider).   As I said above, I have 15 longboxes on it currently (3 shelves worth).  I have 2 more shelves that I just have boxes, packaging material, etc on.  So, the shelving that I have would hold 25 longboxes total if I filled every shelf with them. 

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On 11/9/2017 at 9:19 AM, chrisco37 said:

Just to follow up here, the link isn't the exact shelving I have (linked product is wider).   As I said above, I have 15 longboxes on it currently (3 shelves worth).  I have 2 more shelves that I just have boxes, packaging material, etc on.  So, the shelving that I have would hold 25 longboxes total if I filled every shelf with them. 

Now that you have had these a few years has there been any bowing?

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Just wasted my time with this cheap nightmare 

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-24-in-D-x-48-in-W-x-72-in-H-5-Tier-Steel-Freestanding-Shelving-Unit/50403882

Ran $100, problem is it's cheap flimsy metal, and the top half has no secure way to attach to the bottom half.  They expect it to balance on the thin, flimsy L brackets.  

 

Any current recommendations for decent metal shelving that fits long boxes?  I don't trust plywood boards based on past experiences at work.   Trying to avoid this happening again :)

 

123.jpg

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16 minutes ago, waaaghboss said:

Just wasted my time with this cheap nightmare 

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-24-in-D-x-48-in-W-x-72-in-H-5-Tier-Steel-Freestanding-Shelving-Unit/50403882

Ran $100, problem is it's cheap flimsy metal, and the top half has no secure way to attach to the bottom half.  They expect it to balance on the thin, flimsy L brackets.  

 

Any current recommendations for decent metal shelving that fits long boxes?  I don't trust plywood boards based on past experiences at work.   Trying to avoid this happening again :)

 

123.jpg

Couldn't you simply bracket the shelving to the wall in a few key places?  Might end up being overkill but would save you from this happening, no?

image.png.a9abc899367c19d1dac91548d17a80b9.png

 

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Just now, Crops068 said:

Couldn't you simply bracket the shelving to the wall in a few key places?  Might end up being overkill but would save you from this happening, no?

image.png.a9abc899367c19d1dac91548d17a80b9.png

 

It's in my basement a few inches off from a wall, so not really ideal.  I agree I probably should secure it to the wall, which I will do at some point, but this flimsy thing started to topple with me testing it by putting 1 short box per shelf.  The design for the shelf is flawed, as the upper brackets sit on the equally thin lower brackets, making the entire thing wobbly out of the box.  I just cant trust that with my comic collection :(

 

Plus 1 of the 8 brackets was an inch shorter than the rest, so it's going back anyway.  And mine didn't come with the rubber feet (:

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2 minutes ago, waaaghboss said:

It's in my basement a few inches off from a wall, so not really ideal.  I agree I probably should secure it to the wall, which I will do at some point, but this flimsy thing started to topple with me testing it by putting 1 short box per shelf.  The design for the shelf is flawed, as the upper brackets sit on the equally thin lower brackets, making the entire thing wobbly out of the box.  I just cant trust that with my comic collection :(

 

Plus 1 of the 8 brackets was an inch shorter than the rest, so it's going back anyway.  And mine didn't come with the rubber feet (:

Wonder if this would work out better?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Muscle-Rack-Black-5-Tier-Heavy-Duty-Steel-Garage-Storage-Shelving-48-in-W-x-72-in-H-x-24-in-D-UR-245PBB/305553565

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6 minutes ago, Crops068 said:

It looks like it uses the same bracket system, but in the middle where the top and bottom connect, they added some sort of sleeve that might solve the wobbliness of the top.  Just not a huge fan of this design after putting the one I got from lowes together, the brackets just don't inspire much confidence :(

 

I'm liking the look of these two, just a little more than I was looking to spend, but I guess it's probably not a bad investment. 

https://www.amazon.com/Safco-Products-5244BL-Boltless-Shelving/dp/B009YUXRCA/ref=sr_1_50_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=heavy+metal+shelves&qid=1608793718&sr=8-50-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFZTE5INUNHQUpUSU0mZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA2NDA3MzZTREQ3ME5NOFBJVk0mZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMTA0NzUxNDNFOTlTR0c1TVFQV08md2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGZfbmV4dCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gladiator-4-Tier-Welded-Steel-Garage-Storage-Shelving-Unit-77-in-W-x-72-in-H-x-24-in-D-GARS774XEG/206727800

 

Thanks for the suggestions though, I appreciate the help :)

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1 minute ago, waaaghboss said:

It looks like it uses the same bracket system, but in the middle where the top and bottom connect, they added some sort of sleeve that might solve the wobbliness of the top.  Just not a huge fan of this design after putting the one I got from lowes together, the brackets just don't inspire much confidence :(

 

I'm liking the look of these two, just a little more than I was looking to spend, but I guess it's probably not a bad investment. 

https://www.amazon.com/Safco-Products-5244BL-Boltless-Shelving/dp/B009YUXRCA/ref=sr_1_50_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=heavy+metal+shelves&qid=1608793718&sr=8-50-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFZTE5INUNHQUpUSU0mZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA2NDA3MzZTREQ3ME5NOFBJVk0mZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMTA0NzUxNDNFOTlTR0c1TVFQV08md2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGZfbmV4dCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gladiator-4-Tier-Welded-Steel-Garage-Storage-Shelving-Unit-77-in-W-x-72-in-H-x-24-in-D-GARS774XEG/206727800

 

Thanks for the suggestions though, I appreciate the help :)

Those 2 are definitely constructed better.  Good luck with your search, hope you find something more affordable!

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