Building a Mezzanine for Shop Organization

With two classic Studebakers in my shop along with woodworking and welding equipment, I’ve simply run out of room in my 780 Sq Ft Shop. It seem everytime I want to do a little job I have to spend half an hour organizing my workspace to start a new project. I thought about how to maximize my working space in the shop by clearing out stuff I want to keep and store it elsewhere, but where? My shop (garage) is my workspace. I designed and built this building, the biggest footprint and tallest the township would allow me to build on my property. I have to face the facts, I’ve run out of workspace having aquired more parts for my Studebaker’s along with the material that I want to keep, but little place to store. My solution was to build a mezzanine above the two garage doors, virtually the wasted area in the shop. Building it above the garage doors would not give me much height but it would give me the much needed sq footage for storage. I decided long ago that I did not want a column in the middle of my shop, it would just be in the way. The mezzanine would be spanning twenty-four feet, the width of the shop and the 2X8 double beam would have to supported, so I decided to weld up a hanger to wrap around the triple 18″ paralam centre beam,supoorting the roof, to support the end beam of the mezzanine. I had some 4″ U channel and 4″ angle to build the hanger, with a 4′ angle to support the double 2X8″ beam. I used 4 big lag bolts and washers to bolt the welded 4″ angle iron welded into a big U-channel sized to fit the triple 18″ paralam beam.IMG_20131120_172710

Some other issues I encountered, the height of the platform so that it would provide me storage while clearing the existing garage door opening system and associated hangers that support the opener from the roof.

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I also had a window on the east side of the shop to contend with, since the mezzanine platform end would wind up in the middle of the window. I could not have a post in the middle of the window so, I built a double 2×6 header above the window supported by two 2X4’s posts laminated together on both side of the window.

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It also meant that I would have to insulate, vapour barrier and sheetrock around the window before buildiing the double 2X6 header to support for the double 2X8 beam.

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I wanted to be able to access all areas of the mezzanine and decided it was best to have a four-foot section with an opening and continue the platform to be accessed from the 2X4 foot opening and the open end of the mezzanine.

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This allowed me full access to the entire storage area by ladder.

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This will give me a lot more storage in my shop! Now to load it up with all the car parts, rolls of vapour barrier, left over bricks and rarely used tools I have lying around.

IMG_20140208_144116[1]The mezzanine gives me additional square footage for storage and sure helps to clean up my shop.

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