There’s never enough storage to get all the junk up off the floors, clear the table spaces, and make the shop fully organized, is there?

For those in industrial spaces, pallet racks let you take full advantage of all the vertical space.  It’s tough to access the topmost shelves, but you have a forklift for that purpose, right?

But for smaller shops, it takes a little more cunning to maximize shelf space.   Here are a couple of ideas I came across in my travels that might help out a bit.

Put your shelves on tracks and run them 2 or 3 deep

Shelves on tracks

Shelves on tracks

With this idea, the shelves are on tracks that are bolted solidly to the floor.  The back row can only be accessed by a one-rack-wide space, so put things needed less often back there.  We all have plenty of those.  Suddenly, for the cost of a rack’s width, we have almost twice as much shelf space.  And, even though we may have to move the shelves on the tracks, that’s more convenient than trying to access the back part of really deep shelves or cabinets.

Side Access Instead of Front

How to get the best use out of deep storage when accessing small parts?  How about a pullout set of small parts bins:

pull out parts bin

This is just another way to take advantage of depth.  I can imagine all sorts of ways beyond just small parts bins something like this might work.  Toolholder storage for the CNC would be another one, for example.

Build a step into your shelves

Storage is a matter of optimizing 3D space.  We’ve explored how to optimize the depth dimension, now let’s work on a little more height.  I love this idea of making the lower shelves pull out so they become steps:

shelf step

The photo shows a crude mock-up, but you get the idea.  Pull-out steps could take a lot of forms, so long as they’re good and strong.  They could be just a thin sub-shelf under each step, for example, instead of pulling out the whole box unit.

These are just a few shelving ideas to maximize storage and organization.  I wanted to focus on some ideas I hadn’t seen before for those interested in fabricating something especially for their shop’s layout.  If you’ve got some great shop organization ideas with photos, drop me a note.  I want to do more posts along these lines.

 

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