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Upgraded my storage system - Pete O - 12-27-2015

I've just about completed a project that has occupied all of my days off for about the last 6 weeks.
It started with me trolling eBay for some kind of cabinet to increase my storage in the shed, it had become a bit of a disaster area as these pics show.
I stumbled across an ad for a 'compactus' that had only a few hours to go, with only the starting bid. Just over a hundred bucks later, I dragged this home. The trailer is full of sheet metal parts and the back of my 4wd is overflowing with shelves for the thing.

I cleared the area for the 'tardis' to be installed and borrowed a friend's laser level to set out the rails that the shelf units roll on. Shooting levels was very encouraging, all within 1-2mm, until I got to the part closest to the corner and found that it was 22mm higher than the rest of the rails Bash  which meant I had to pack the whole thing up to that level. Lots of scrap metal packing, a couple of dozen 6mm dynabolts and a bag of mortar mix for grout got me to this point

It was at about this stage that I mused to my good lady how it was a shame to waste all that space above the compactus, given that the roof of the shed is about 5 meters high it would be great to put a mezzanine above it but I'd need to find some steel for nothing, or close to nothing.
2 days later a dumpster dive resulted in this following me home
then a second trip to the same dumpster resulted in all the steel for a very solid 2700mm x 4670mm mezzanine floor Thumbsup
Used pallet racking of various weight ratings, the heaviest of which was 125x70mm channel section beams.

To be continued.....

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Vinny - 12-27-2015

I need to find one of them dumpsters!

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Pete O - 12-27-2015

Yeah that dumpster was gold. I can see how people get addicted to dumpster diving.

I had to make some of the main beams longer to span between posts in the shed, there's a lot of work in scarf jointing these things.
Cut the ends
Ground them to match, bevelled the edges and clamped them down on another piece of beam to get them straight

Ran a bead of weld along the join on the inside, then veed the outside down to the weld and filled 'er up.
Had three of these long beams to do, took me a full day to do the three scarf joints. Used a heck of a lot of mig wire and had to go out for a gas cylinder change-over as well. Sweat

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Pete O - 12-28-2015

I got a local fabrication shop to make all the cleats for the mezzanine, figured it made sense to get them done on a punch and shear rather than drill all the holes. I should have told them not to linish the corners and debur, would have saved a fair bit of labor cost I think. These were the most expensive part of the project.

Welded the cleats onto the shed posts to hang the main beams

The other cleats were a darn sight easier, done at ground level with the weld horizontal
Had a bit of help painting all the welds

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Highpower - 12-28-2015

Graemlin .... err.... Pete! Smile

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Pete O - 12-30-2015

Made a simple jig for welding the cleats on the end of the joist beams, didn't take long to get them all welded on.
I used a hand winch to raise the two beams that go along the walls,

unfortunately there was nothing suitable above the outer end of the third beam so I got creative with my engine crane- lifted the middle of the beam high enough to get a bolt in one end, then cradled the beam on top of the engine crane to get the other end on. What could possibly go wrong?
Stood the post up under the corner and assembled the meccano set

Was a nice feeling to get the floor screwed down.
No handrail yet, I have plans to add a retractable staircase so the handrail will come after. For now it's ladder access.

Assembling the compactus was a pain in the neck, did the bulk of it solo when help was unavailable. There were about a million 1/4" screws and nuts.
This project has transformed my storage for everything from lathe & mill tooling to paint tins and fuel cans. The old kitchen cabinets are on the burn pile awaiting the end of bushfire season. Got all our camping gear up on the mezzanine which freed up space on my existing shelving for stuff that is used more frequently. I've reclaimed a full bay of floor space that was covered in what my wife unkindly refers to as 'junk'. About one and a half bays of the compactus are still completely empty and about 40 or so shelves not yet installed. Will have to work on accumulating enough tools to fill it up.
I now have enough free floor space to have a couple of projects like my bandsaw refurb under way and still get the car in for servicing.  Big Grin

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Vinny - 12-30-2015

Ya need to teach the wife that it's not "junk". It's "junque". That's 'cuze it's the good stuff!

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Roadracer_Al - 12-30-2015

Fabulous project! Nicely executed.

Don't you just love these kind of projects which you just know will serve you for a lifetime?

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Mayhem - 01-01-2016

Excellent job Pete

RE: Upgraded my storage system - Black Forest - 01-01-2016

How hard are the units to roll when fully loaded? How much weight will each shelf carry? A very interesting solution for tight spaces. I would have to design some sort of push button atomic remote system.

Great fabrication of the red stuff!