Diy Shelves 1.8mx1.8mx0.6m

30 Dec 2022 - Nathanael Gandhi

Building your own storage shelves can be a fun and rewarding project. Yes you can just buy some, but where is the fun in that?

I recently found myself in need of some storage shelves to hold the ever increasing amounts of “useful” stuff I own. Looking at Bunnings, I found some nice and fairly inexpensive shelves that would do the job, however, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should also design and build my own, so that is what I did.

The design intends to mimic the rough dimensions of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) shelving units to enable a fair comparison between building one yourself and getting it off the shelf. The COTS shelving units appear to have dimensions around 1850 x 1850 x 540mm with 4 shelves. They are typically made from metal and sport adjustable shelving heights. I plan to increase the width to 600mm to minimise material wastage while increasing the storage surface area slightly, and make the shelves from wood to suit the limited space and tools I have on hand to complete this project.

My design of a shelf calls for a simple box with joists, topped with some MDF. This is the attached to other shelves with uprights to become free-standing. I will be designing this with 4 shelves, however, future versions may only use 3 shelves.


  • Pencil/pen
  • Square (rafter/combination/etc)
  • Measuring tape
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill/driver


Cut List


  • 4x Single Shelf
  • 4x 70x35x1800mm Framing
  • 32x 60mm Screws Assembly

Single Shelf

  • 5x 70x35x530mm Framing
  • 2x 70x35x1800mm Framing
  • 1x 1800x600x3mm MDF
  • 20x 60mm Screws
  • 6x 16mm Screws

Single Shelf Frame

COTS Shelving


I chose to use ‘Framing Non Structural Untreated Pine’ due to its availability and cost. At $2.37 / metre it seems like a great deal, however it did involve spending some time to pick out pieces that were free from knots and bowing.


This type of wood is not recommended for use under load so I would implore you to consider using graded wood of MGP10 or better for your own projects.


The depth of each shelf is 600mm as this is easily cut from a standard sheet of ply/mdf with very little waste. This is also the width I plan to build my workbenches in the future.

1.8m is high enough to maximise storage space without being too dangerous for lifting items on and off the shelves.

Keeping the length to 1.8m also allows me to simplify the cut list. If you are using a mitre saw, setup a stop block to make repeated cuts at identical lengths. In my case I’ll be using a circular saw and the first cut piece to mark all my other cuts, reducing the chances of measurement errors along the way.


Checkout the CAD model that I designed in OnShape here.


The cost for the framing timber includes wastage material, however, as I use screws and MDF in various other projects, some of which suit the 1200x600 offcuts of MDF, I have only included the cost of the screws and MDF used below.

  • $11.73 for 112x 60mm Screws
  • $0.60 for 24x Screws
  • $23.72 for MDF
  • $79.66 for 14x 70 x 35mm 2.4m Framing Non Structural Untreated Pine
    • OR $178.08 14x for 70 x 35mm Outdoor Framing MGP10 H3 Treated Pine 2.4m
    • OR $190.8 for 12x 70 x 35mm Outdoor Framing MGP10 H3 Treated Pine 3.0m
    • OR $200.34 for 7x 70 x 35mm Outdoor Framing MGP10 H3 Treated Pine 5.4m

Total cost: $115.71


This project was a fun and practical one for me. If you just need a storage shelving solution, go buy one, if you need an excuse to do some woodworking, feel free to follow, modify or ignore this project as suits you!