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Modular and Portable Shelving

by Bryan A. Thompson

Designed 8/31/02

This Page Last Updated 3/2/03



This project was designed for students, renters, and others who frequently need to move shelving.  It is designed to be an interlocking solution that does not require fasteners.  It is constructed from 2x4 and 2x6 dimensional lumber.  I cut everything to 6ft lengths (or shorter) so that when I break it down, I could store it in my car.



These figures are based on a set of 4 shelves that are each 24"D by 48"W by 72"H.

$8 - 4 2x6x6ft

$7 - 2x4x48ft (7 studs)

$10 - 1/4" Plywood (4x8 sheet)

$5 - Sandpaper and Paint


$30 for the first 40sqft of shelving, or $0.75 / sqft, and $0.55 / sqft for additional space.  This cost goes down because when two sets of shelves are set side by side, the center set(s) of 2x6es are shared among two sets of shelves.


Tools Required

Circular hand saw

Mortiser or wood chisel and hammer to create mortises in 2x6es


Extending this system

This system can be expanded by making more shelves and stacking them side-by-side or on top of one another.  When they're stacked side-by-side, the center sets of 2x6es are shared, so it's cheaper to add the second set of shelves than it is to build the first set.






Some other ideas

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