Those shelves are becoming annoying. I mentioned last post that I made a template to rest on the floor from a scrap board, thinking that I couldn't possibly have any problems knowing where it drill in the exposed studs to make the shelves perfectly level.
After I got the shelf boards cut a little shorter than the narrow wall of the shed, they all went onto the template-installed brackets beautifully (after I flipped it to account for some brackets having holes on the left instead of the right like the bracket I used to make the template. I had checked the level on the floor under them first, and it was fine.
So yesterday from the project for the day. I set about installing 2 more shelves abbutting the new ones. I predrilled holes just like in the first, accounting for the number of brackets I had remaining. The shelving boards were nice and flat, how could anything go wrong?
The cruelty of the Universe is SUBTLE and unending...
I attached the 40 shelf brackets. I placed the shelf board on the brackets. To assure the shelves abutted the previous ones, I clamped the ends together. The shelf was 1/2" above the bracket nearest the previous shelf.
HUH? How was that possible?
I placed the board template next to the bracket; it was in the right place. All 4 brackets were. I was frustrated. It is possible to be both frustrated and patient at the same tie. "Frustrated" is a momentary annoyance, "patience" is long term. Patience usually solves frustrations.
I removed the brackets. I physically held a bracket up under the shelf and marked new spots to drill. I drilled. I reinstalled the bracket. Then I checked the shelf for level with a 4' long level. It was 1/2" off. Worse, it leaned forward a bit.
Frustrating. I'm not obsessively perfectionist, but I do want shelves to be pretty much level. So redid the brackets, changing exchanging the left-hole brackets for right-hole ones to make the holes a bit apart so the lag screws wouldnt get into the wrong holes.
Then I loosened the clamps holding the shelf to the previous one. It popped down 1/2".
I went away from the toolshed for the day. Trying to solve problems when you are frustrated is not a good idea!
So I went back at it this afternoon. Well, I should mention something about the shed. It was built almost 30 years ago. Because local property assessment laws said a ground-contact outbuilding would be taxed but a "temporary" one (such as a shed set on cinder blocks would not), I built it that way.
Over the years, apparently, the cinder blocks have settled a bit, and the shed (basically just an empty box with a floor and roof) had slowly twisted to adjust. The floor is no longer level. The wall studs are no longer perfectly vertical. Nothing about it, in fact, is still square!
Damn! Well, the structure is still sound. I do not intend to rebuilt it just to make the shelves level! But I still wanted the shelves to be level. So with the new shelf board clamped to the previous new shelf, propped the far end of the new shelf to were it was level lengthwise and and narrow-wise.
Surely the brackets would fit squarely under the shelf... HA!
Well, I have some packets of shims. These were as long as the brackets, going from 1/4" to 0. Holding the shim against the stud and holding the bracket to the shim, it was utterly, perfectly level!
I glued the shim to the stud and went off to weed the garden for 30 minutes while the glue dried. I went back, knowing I would see the bracket fit perfectly under the shelf! How could it be otherwise?
It was 1/4" off.
The cruelty of the Universe is subtle and UNENDING...
I can't make shelves level in both directions in a shed box that isn't square in any dimensions. I'm sure a professional could, but apparently I can't!
I'm going to just put the last 2 shelves on as best I can, screw a 1"x2" board on the front of the shelves so nothing can fall off, and call it done. Declare victory and walk away.
I have too many other things to do...
And I should mention that I have a newer real toolshed next to it. Concrete floor, build like a small house, solid. Yes, I have that much gardening stuff to need the old one too. I think I'll have some company build a 2nd like it to store the stuff in the old one and be rid of it.
But I still want the old one until then. I have 1/4 of my basement filled with stuff that belongs in a garden shed. And until THAT stuff is removed, I can't set up my shop equipment without crawling over stuff everytime I want to use a tool.
Fill the old shed with stuff from the basement, organize the basement, do woodworking over the Winter. That's the plan...
But I still can't believe how frustrating just adding level shelves were...