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paul wheaton
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About 12 years ago I got the idea of a large house where the walls had wheels. As your needs change, you can move the walls.

Then about four years ago I visited a community and they had a large shop/garage space and I suggested that they make shelves that reach the ceiling and have wheels, so the room can transform into a woodshop, kids playspace, classroom, art studio, etc. And then last year I saw that they implemented my suggestion. Very nice.

So this year we made three shelves 12 feet tall and on casters.

You can see some of them here:



This has worked out amazingly well. Freakishly well. For a while, a lot of the space was used for construction stuff. So we used the shelves to divide the space. One part was for construction and the other part was for eating. Then we moved the shelves for other needs. Then moved them again. Currently about 3/4 of the space is for farmstead meatsmith stuff and 1/4 of the space (we sorta made an adjacent room out of the shelves) is for rocket mass heater laboratory.

The shelves are 12 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep. One person can move them if the floor is clean.

 
John Polk
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Like the modular office construction. The layout can easily be modified as conditions change.
I do like permanent shelving (it's better than none), but it locks you into a single arrangement.

Your moveable shelves allows you to 'stack the functions' of a single room.
Make it whatever you need today. Tomorrow may be different.

 
Ken Peavey
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12x8x4
Thats 1.5 cords of firewood.
You don't do anything small.

A few years ago I worked in a restaurant that had a heavy curtain in the center. On slow nights, the dance floor is shut down for intimate dining. For weekends, it is opened up for a gala evening. With the room divided, private parties were possible. The place could be expanded and contracted as needed, with the added benefit of good sound control. It looks like your shop room could function the same way. The shelves will dampen lots of sound. I don't think a curtain at the rafters would be needed.

I once built some rolling shelves for a lady to put in her closet. It was a deep closet, and she needed to get to the back, but had stuff in the way. The rolling shelves did the trick, but there were 3 issues.
1-Stability. Because the shelves moved, I had to keep the thing from twisting in 2 dimensions. Looks like you have a diagonal board on the shelf over on the right. Is there one on the back? A couple of diagonal cables can do the job. I once used the steel banding that came with a pallet of studs in lieu of cable.
2-Containment. To keep stuff from falling off, I put a small ledge across the front of the shelves. This had the added advantage of making the shelf more rigid-more weight without sagging in the middle
3-Those damned cats. I advised the nice lady to check the wheels for hair clogs and add a drop of oil every now and then.

Might I suggest one addition to your shelves:
Being they are of great size, and will likely hold a great volume of stuff, anchoring the shelves to the wall temporarily can add an aspect of safety. I'd hate to see one of these fall over should the weight shift or a wheel give out. A couple of L-brackets strategically placed would give you plenty of grab.

Are the lights hanging too low?
 
paul wheaton
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It would be 3 cords of wood.

The lights are a few inches higher than the tops of the shelves.

 
Ken Peavey
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3 it is. No wonder I always run out of firewood!
Being a math junkie with the day off, I came up with this comparison...

shelf unit
12x8x4=384 cuft

My laundry room
7 wide
6 long
7 foot ceiling
7x6x7=294 cuft


 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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What a really cool idea. I'll file this one away for my next project!
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Noah Jackson
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I've implemented the caster and locking caster idea in my shop too, Paul. Thanks for the tip. It works well, and we have multiple workbenches and speciality tool tables that can be rolled together to serve as out-feed and project-support surfaces. I used casters for a rolling, double-sided pegboard as well. Recently, I found a lowering stand that I'll use to mount machinery on, that provides for more flexibility. My shop might just be a tad larger than yours, but space is still a premium, and like you, we need to sometimes move in vehicles and have a large, working space. Check this, USA made lowering/raising stand out.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002262M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER#productDetails

Cheers,
Noah

paul wheaton wrote:Here are the casters we used at the bottom of the shelves:



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000DD1EG/rs12-20
 
William Bronson
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4x8 = bunk beds! Have they seen such use yet?
 
paul wheaton
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William Bronson wrote: 4x8 = bunk beds! Have they seen such use yet?


Yes,

First, a couple. When they moved to the love shack, a guy took up residence in the same shelf. Then when that guy went home, another guy took the shelf. This was in october when things were a bit cold and beds were scarce.
 
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