View Full Version : Need metal shelving unit to store portfolio boxes and some books..ideas?

Larry Kellogg
25-May-2014, 11:18
I need a wall of metal/wood shelving to hold my portfolio boxes full of prints and some photography books, two shelves worth. Something 5 feet wide by 8 feet tall would do the trick. Someone told me about a flat metal shelving option but I have forgotten the name. I would like something free standing, and modular, not too expensive, but of good quality. It would be great if I could order the solution online and get it shipped to me.

The wall of shelving behind Joel Meyerowitz would be nice to have: http://www.fngmagazine.com/2012/04/leica-portrait-joel-meyerowitz/ Scroll down to see it.I don't print bigger than 16x20 at the moment.

Maybe this: http://www.justshelfit.com/heavy-duty-shelving-rack-for-storage-48-24-8-high-with-4-shelves.html with additional shelves? It's only 4 feet wide, five feet would be better.

If there are local manufacturers in NYC that can do this cheaper, that would also work.

Any ideas?



Bruce Barlow
25-May-2014, 12:33
I get my shelving from The Shelving Store online. Chrome wire, they hold 500 pounds apiece, have flexible designs, and I think are not badly priced. There are 10% off deals all the time. Shipping is expensive, but after all, they're heavy. I have been happy with the quality.

Don't know offhand if they'll go 8' tall. They custom-cut posts, and may be able to do 8'.


Larry Kellogg
25-May-2014, 14:18
Thanks Bruce, that's an idea. I'll compare your option with the one I found to see what comes out to be cheaper. I think mine will hold more weight. Yes, shipping is expensive!


John Kasaian
25-May-2014, 17:15

25-May-2014, 17:54
Yes, Costco. They sell the heavy duty chrome wire shelving units. I think they are 4 or 5 ft wide, 18" deep and 6 ft tall. They come with heavy duty casters too. I think they are $80 per unit now. If you bought all the parts seperately you would easily spend $250-300 each. Now the slick thing is they mate with all the other 1" tubing wire shelf parts. I make whatever size I want by buying parts and accessories from other suppliers. The flexibility is staggering and the price is unbeatable for the level of quality and strength. They look nice too. Pick up at a your local Costco because they are extremely heavy, they would be a fortune to ship.

25-May-2014, 19:18
I've been using the InterMetro shelving from The Container Store. (http://www.containerstore.com/shop/shelving/interMetroreg/bestSellingSolutions) Usually, I get it on sale and it comes in any configuration. I'd probably get the Costco version, but I wanted white shelving and Costco only has the silver.

25-May-2014, 20:09
Some of the online restaurant supply stores have heavy duty wire shelving for cheap. Check out tigerchef.com, webrestaurantstore.com, or precisiontools.com.

Larry Kellogg
26-May-2014, 05:53
Thanks for all the tips. I don't own a car, so I'm going to have to figure out some other way to get the shelves if I buy in New York.


26-May-2014, 06:19

For low cost and light weight this plastic unit is as a pretty nice shelving unit. Very easy to assemble. Each shelf has capacity of about 200 lbs.

I have a couple of metal tubular unit of similar capacity but the Home Depot HDX units are lighter, easier to assemble, and easier to move around. Also very inexpensive at about $52 per unit.


John Kasaian
26-May-2014, 10:26
This looks like the unit I have in my garage--free shipping if I read correctly

Larry Kellogg
26-May-2014, 18:19
I think I'm going to go for something 8 feet tall. I live in a small apartment and need to go as high as possible.


John Kasaian
27-May-2014, 06:05
I think I'm going to go for something 8 feet tall. I live in a small apartment and need to go as high as possible.

Check out the ebay seller--IIRC they have listed other models of shelving with free delivery.

Drew Wiley
27-May-2014, 08:53
Wire racking is good because it allows air circulation around the boxes. The cheapie stackable versions from the usual suspects are OK for light loads, but not for anything heavy. I wouldn't want them here in earthquake country either.

Randy Moe
27-May-2014, 10:59
I like open wire as it doesn't collect as much dust. Amazon sells at a good price, and even the cheap ones with steel wire and plastic locking collars are very strong.

Costco sells good HD pallet type racks for the cheapest price. I bought 2 of them and erected them into 24" feet of linear racks x 6 ft tall. I can walk on the top.

27-May-2014, 12:24
Metro commercial-grade shelving and the Inter-Metro home-grade shelving are my preferred units. I have the standard issue 6' tall x 4' wide units, and have stacked the bulk of my book library in numbered cardboard legal file boxes, 24 per unit, using the top shelf of the unit for lighter stuff, for approximately 1,000 to 1,100 pounds per unit. On the light side, I have one unit in my office, containing an Epson 3880, 2 Epson 1400s, and miscellaneous other computing and printing accessories. All you need to assemble a Metro or Inter-Metro unit is a rubber mallet and a short 2 x 4. http://www.metro.com/shelving If you are really desperate for space, track shelving may be in order. I bought the units at "The Container Store", a chain, but lots of stores sell Metro, and I am sure that some must deliver. If you are willing to make several trips on foot, the components aren't terribly heavy, just bulky.

BTW, I am not particularly strong or adept at tools. The shelves are a dead cinch to put together, very easy on the "assembly required" scale of difficulty.

27-May-2014, 13:15
+1 on the online restaurant supply houses. But also see if used restaurant supply locally.

Drew Wiley
27-May-2014, 15:09
Go with chrome or stainless (if you can afford the latter). Remember, anything coated with vinyl (common on white wire racking) is going to seriously outgas plasticizers over the long haul and be bad, bad, bad in any archival sense.

27-May-2014, 19:50
Good quality electrostatic paint shelves should be fine too. You can Google something like : museum shelving systems to have an idea.
Prefer full surface, not mesh wire, especially if you wish to use it with books.
The deep needed for your portfolio boxes.
Enough shelves, don't stack too much boxes even if boxes look solid.

Larry Kellogg
28-May-2014, 16:09
Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm going with an open shelf system from www.shelfit.com: http://www.justshelfit.com/steel-shelving-rack-for-storage-24-x-48-x-8-3-with-5-shelves-open-clip-unit.html The unit is 8 feet 3 inches high, 24 inches deep, and the shelves don't take up as much vertical space as the heavy duty one I posted earlier in the thread. So, I can get about 9-10 shelves, of a little over 6 3/4 inches high which will fit two portfolio boxes. I'm going to leave 16 inches on the bottom for books.

The company is on Long Island and will deliver into NYC for a flat $100 charge. There was a small up charge to get one in white, and another charge to reinforce the shelves with rebar on both sides so that they can hold up to 400 pounds each.

It's going to be fun to put together, but I think it will give me a lot of storage space. New York is a crowded place. The future has always been about expanding vertically!

Rick A
29-May-2014, 08:11
Go to a restaurant supply and buy metro shelving. It's modular and comes in a variety of sizes.

29-May-2014, 09:21
Though it pains me greatly to agree with Drew on anything, I did discover that I am actually using wheeled chromed modular wire shelving (likely Costco) for enlarging paper and old portfolios in the back of a storage closet. This type of inexpensive, heavy duty, configurable shelving and its cheaper variants are both widely available, as well as used commercially, virtually everywhere these days for loosely organized storage and display. Very utilitarian/industrial.


Warning: The above pic is not LF, because it is not black and white. :eek: :p :rolleyes:

Larry Kellogg
29-May-2014, 15:32
Ah, well, too late, as I have placed my order. I didn't want wire shelving, I wanted smooth shelves, just to guard against making a wire impression on what was stacked up. Ginette counseled against wire shelves.

I was happy to be able to get white, so the shelves will look more like a piece of furniture, and not shelving from an auto parts store. ;-)

I'll let everyone know what I think once I get the shelves installed.