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Fun With Unistrut: Ceiling Material Storage Rack

Ulma Doctor

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#1
I had an idea for stock storage that was sure to stay out of my way.
i have collected a whole bunch of material that i was having a hard time finding nooks to store it in.
rather than have odd bits stashed around the place longer than 3 feet, i thought of an idea of how to maximize some space with only a modest investment of money and a few hours to set up

i started with:
a hunk of surplus deep track unistrut, 6 pieces , 1' long each
6, 1/2"-13 tpi zinc plated allthread cut eventually to 7" lengths each
1, 10' piece new standard unistrut from box store, cut to 3, 40" lengths
12, 3/8"x 2-1/2" zinc plated lag bolt
6, 1/2"-13 unistrut nuts
6, 1/2" square washers (1/2" fender washers could be substituted)
12, 1/2" flat washer
12, 1/2"-13 zinc hex nut

unistrut ceiling rack 1.jpg

after prepping the materials, i started the install
i started closest to the opening of the garage door so that i could gauge a safe height to make the hanger bolts
using 2 3/8'x 2-1/2" lag bolts for each hanger strut, i used an impact gun to drive the lags into the ceiling joists.

unistrut ceiling rack 2.jpg

after doing a few pull ups to test the strength and feel of the support, i proceeded to lay out and install the next 2 sets of supports
the supports are 6 feet apart at the furthest distance and 3 feet from the next support, they are 40" wide

unistrut ceiling rack 3.jpg

after leveling the supports i started loading up with materials i had stashed all over the shop

unistrut ceiling rack 4.jpg

here's a shot of the door partially open

unistrut ceiling rack 6.jpg

and fully open!

unistrut ceiling rack 5.jpg

i ended up with 1" clearance between the highest part of the garage door and the lowest part of the support strut.

i can load or unload materials regardless of the doors position, open or closed :grin:

as always thanks for reading and commenting!
 

mikey

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#2
Great idea but do you have earthquakes in your area, Mike? Just thinking that some of that material might do some damage if it fell on one of your cars during a quake. Some bungee, maybe?
 

Ulma Doctor

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#3
Very good idea Mike!
Thanks for the input.
My cars have not ever seen my garage,
My treasures (read:junk) reside there, but we would like to keep them safe too.
We haven't had a substantial earthquake in many years but you are astute for suggesting seismic restraint
Thank you!
 

mikey

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#4
Glad you're not in a quake zone. Over here, if a tectonic plate shifts over a weak spot in the mantle, we have volcanic eruptions!
 

Ulma Doctor

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#5
the media keeps telling us that we are due for a major seismic event.
the last major quake in my general area was 1989
we have quakes in the 3.0- 4.0 ever so often, but you really can hardly notice. :)
 

strantor

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#6
I've done the same thing in my garage ceiling, but used wood scraps instead of unistrut scraps. It's where I store my wood, plastic, and foam scraps. I have 4x8 sheets up there. I don't know what amount of weight is safe to load the middle of the ceiling with, but I'm probably pretty close to the limit. If you put much more up there, you might be too; I don't know. Just something to think about.
 

woodchucker

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#7
the media keeps telling us that we are due for a major seismic event.
the last major quake in my general area was 1989
we have quakes in the 3.0- 4.0 ever so often, but you really can hardly notice. :)
I'll store it for you. We don't have many earthquakes here. Just ship it here, and I'll ship it back when you need it. Of course it will be smaller when I ship it back, but it will be easier that way ;)
 

Ulma Doctor

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#8
I've done the same thing in my garage ceiling, but used wood scraps instead of unistrut scraps. It's where I store my wood, plastic, and foam scraps. I have 4x8 sheets up there. I don't know what amount of weight is safe to load the middle of the ceiling with, but I'm probably pretty close to the limit. If you put much more up there, you might be too; I don't know. Just something to think about.
thank you!
i was thinking about loads the whole time i was making the contraption.
i estimate that i have about 350 lbs of weight spread between 3 supports.
i wouldn't want to put too much more on there either!
 

Ulma Doctor

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#9
I'll store it for you. We don't have many earthquakes here. Just ship it here, and I'll ship it back when you need it. Of course it will be smaller when I ship it back, but it will be easier that way ;)
Thanks Jeff!
that's one heckava idea!
now if i could only send you house payments and electricity bills too, i'd appreciate if you could make those smaller in the process too!!! :D
 

chips&more

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#10
How about putting electromagnets all over your ceiling?;) Flip a switch and the metal would get sucked up to the ceiling. Turn the switch off and back down into your hands! It’s a million dollar idea, I’ll share it with yah!
 

extropic

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#11
How about putting electromagnets all over your ceiling?;) Flip a switch and the metal would get sucked up to the ceiling. Turn the switch off and back down into your hands! It’s a million dollar idea, I’ll share it with yah!
AND, the clatter would be instant indication of a late night power failure (no point in just sleeping through it).

Mike,
Nice rack.
 

kvt

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#13
I though All of Cal was a major quake zone and AZ and NV were going to be ocean front properly. Just use the HF ratchet straps to hold it all down I'm sure they would survive a Quake..
 

brino

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#15
How about putting electromagnets all over your ceiling?;) Flip a switch and the metal would get sucked up to the ceiling. Turn the switch off and back down into your hands! It’s a million dollar idea, I’ll share it with yah!
Could be part of an anti-intruder/anti-theft system too!
The burglar trips one switch and is immediately hit with 350lbs of steel stock.
-brino
 

Ulma Doctor

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#17
I though All of Cal was a major quake zone and AZ and NV were going to be ocean front properly. Just use the HF ratchet straps to hold it all down I'm sure they would survive a Quake..
sometimes i wish this place would sink into the ocean.
if you have ever been in Hwy 580/Hwy 205 rush hour Traffic, you'd wish the very same thing ;)
Thanks Ken, for the idea of the strap!
 

woodchucker

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#19
sometimes i wish this place would sink into the ocean.
if you have ever been in Hwy 580/Hwy 205 rush hour Traffic, you'd wish the very same thing ;)
Thanks Ken, for the idea of the strap!
Every time I am in Ca, I wonder how you guys do it. I couldn't take it.
BTW that was a nice rack too.
 

Ulma Doctor

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#20
Every time I am in Ca, I wonder how you guys do it. I couldn't take it.
BTW that was a nice rack too.
I often wonder how i do it too!
my folks live 90 miles from me in an area that doesn't have a lot of population.
if i could swing it i would live in their area in a minute ;)

thanks for the compliment!
 

MSD0

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#22
the media keeps telling us that we are due for a major seismic event.
the last major quake in my general area was 1989
we have quakes in the 3.0- 4.0 ever so often, but you really can hardly notice. :)
Are you in the Bay Area (CA)?
 

Ulma Doctor

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#23
Are you in the Bay Area (CA)?
No sir,
Out over the Altamont Pass in the central San Joaquin valley.
We ate about 50 miles east of the San Andreas Fault.
It's still an earthquake zone
 

woodchucker

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#24
50 miles is nothing geologically speaking.
you will shake ,rattle and roll... I think I'll make a song out of that ;)
 

Ulma Doctor

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#25
50 miles is nothing geologically speaking.
you will shake ,rattle and roll... I think I'll make a song out of that ;)
i agree, we are close.
the faults in the bay area run mostly north-south, and most of the trouble spots are in the Bay Area and the Santa Cruz area- Southern Ca gets their fair share of quakes too.
but up here we have bigger threats from flooding of the San Joaquin River in heavy rain years than quakes.
maybe i'm kinda used to the idea of the ground shaking a little.
what gets me is how people in Tornado and Hurricane zones act like those events that happen EVERY YEAR, like they was nothin' o_O :eek:
we get a big ground shake every 15 yrs on average. :dread:
 
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