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Can anyone help me build a simple frame out of 2x4s?

Hi all 👋

I hope this kind of community support request is okay but here's the deal: I have a storage unit that is pretty full but has a lot of vertical space. I would like to fit my car in there because I'm going on travel for a few months, but in order to do so I need to build a wooden frame of some sort around the car so I can stack boxes on top. It only needs to support a couple hundred pounds of boxes spread along the entire length of the frame. I was just thinking of doing this with a bunch of 2x4s spaced about 2 inches apart on top of a simple frame. I have used OnShape before but a long time ago and I tried getting back into it to sketch this but it's taking a while for even this very basic frame. I'm wondering if someone could just help me draft it — I'm sure an experienced person could do it in 10 minutes or less, and I'm willing to pay whatever's fair if that's necessary.

The frame just needs to be:
  • 15 ft long
  • 7 ft wide
  • 6 ft tall
These are inside dimensions that I've already padded by 6-12 inches to be safe, and since I'll be building it around my vehicle I won't need to worry about having to precisely drive into it or anything like that. What I would like to be able to gather from the resulting diagram is how many 2x4's to buy and where to make the cuts (and presumably how to fit them together).

Also another side question that might perhaps be more ideally asked separately but is there a way in OnShape to determine how much load such a frame can bear? I'm fairly confident that the tolerances will be well within limits given what I plan to put on the frame, but I'm just wondering for future reference if there's an easy way to specify the materials and ultimately calculate the load-bearing strength at different points, or if that's done primary in other software.

Thanks!

Best Answers

  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓
    @HouseOfBreadCrumbs



    Not enough info to really know what you are looking for

    But here is one idea built around an existing wood frame structure

    I’m assuming the floor is a slab on grade and not a wood floor being as you’re going to be driving on it. Although you can design wood floors that could handle the load of a car, and even pour concrete on top of such a wood floor. But let’s assume this is a slab on grade. So where that post is more towards the center, if an inspector saw this, he might want you to do a sawcut and put a spot footer there. But if you have a substantial slab there — let’s say at least 4 inches with 2000 or 2500 psi concrete, and if there’s some type of welded wire fabric or mesh or a grid of rebar in the slab, and you’re not going to load up that platform, then you’re probably not going to have any kind of a problem

    Installing a spot footer does not require that much effort. So if this was my project, I would install one. So after you cut the slab for this footer, drill laterally into the edges of the concrete where the cut was made, and insert some dowels in there — meaning, cut some pieces of half-inch rebar and drill holes right in the center of the edge of the slab and install these before you pour the concrete for this footer up to the top of the slab

    If you  have decent footers around the perimeter, you could avoid putting that post toward the center, by using a bigger beam and doing a free span.

    If your perimeter footers are not the greatest, then you could dig from the outside, under where the posts are going to go in the exterior walls, and you could pour spot footers that way

    Between the post and the long wall on the right, that’s 10 foot. So you should be able to drive a car under there and still have room to open the car door

    This is basically the strength of a floor using 5/8” T & G plywood 

    But this design does NOT use 2x4’s for the floor joists

    Although there is no reinforcement or hardware being shown here — you would have to use such In a number of areas. Rebar in any footers. Lag screws. Joist hangers. Post base. And other items also.

    And I would definitely pre-drill where you put that 2 x 6 ledger up against the back wall, because some of that old wood dries out and can split.

    But if you’re willing to pay someone here, then I would suggest you try and find somebody in your area, such as a licensed engineer, or some Architectural CAD service, where they draw up plans and submit them to cities or counties.

    Because all I’m doing here is just giving you some general info regarding some of what you’re possibly up against, or what you might encounter 
  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓
    If you’re only going on vacation for a couple months, save yourself the hassle. Go rent another unit for 2 months — just for your car. And leave all those boxes on the ground in your existing unit. You’ll save yourself the time of constructing something that could be dangerous. You’ll save yourself the expense of all that heavy wet wood that you get from Home Depot, where often the hem fir twists up like nobody’s business.

    make it easy on yourself.
    rent an additional unit for a couple months


  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓
    @HouseOfBreadCrumbs

    You might consider some industrial shelving, provided you have a car that isn’t to wide.

    I have some industrial shelving. It’s very sturdy. It doesn’t rack or sway when I push on it. The end frames are welded. And I can assemble or break it down to move to the next location within minutes

    Provided your vehicle — with the mirrors folded in (if they do fold in), isn’t more than 6-1/2 feet wide, you MIGHT be able to make some shelving work

    If you were a decent driver, that’s capable of maneuvering your vehicle, without banging up against the rollup door jams, to where the passenger side is right up against some 2 feet deep shelving, we’ll that might give you about a foot or so to open the door and squeeze out

    If you have a hatchback, that would be even better, provided your nimble enough to crawl from the driver seat to the back and out the rear hatch

    I have one vehicle that doesn’t have a hatchback, but the rear seats both fold down to where it would be possible for me to actually crawl out the trunk. And since I wouldn’t be doing this a lot, it’s definitely something I could consider

    Three sets of industrial shelving from Costco would give you more shelf space than the platform you wanted to build. So you could put all of this shelving up against one side, running just shy of the full depth of that 10’ x 20’ garage, provided the inside depth is an actual 20 foot

    So at the same time that you’re checking the inside depth, make sure you also have an actual 10 foot wide width, at both ends and within the center of that 20 foot depth. And I say this because things are not always built square.or parallel

    Also note, that with a wood platform, unless everything was bolted together, &/or possibly screwed in places, well it just would not be very portable. And it’s going to take a long time to put together and take apart. And it very likely would end up costing more than you would want it to

    So you might consider the cost of renting an extra storage space for a couple months against spending around $1000 for some industrial shelving that you can easily break down and cart off to your next location

    https://www.costco.com/whalen-industrial-rack%2c-77%e2%80%9d--x-24%e2%80%9d--x-72%e2%80%9d.product.100178373.html

Answers

  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓
    @HouseOfBreadCrumbs



    Not enough info to really know what you are looking for

    But here is one idea built around an existing wood frame structure

    I’m assuming the floor is a slab on grade and not a wood floor being as you’re going to be driving on it. Although you can design wood floors that could handle the load of a car, and even pour concrete on top of such a wood floor. But let’s assume this is a slab on grade. So where that post is more towards the center, if an inspector saw this, he might want you to do a sawcut and put a spot footer there. But if you have a substantial slab there — let’s say at least 4 inches with 2000 or 2500 psi concrete, and if there’s some type of welded wire fabric or mesh or a grid of rebar in the slab, and you’re not going to load up that platform, then you’re probably not going to have any kind of a problem

    Installing a spot footer does not require that much effort. So if this was my project, I would install one. So after you cut the slab for this footer, drill laterally into the edges of the concrete where the cut was made, and insert some dowels in there — meaning, cut some pieces of half-inch rebar and drill holes right in the center of the edge of the slab and install these before you pour the concrete for this footer up to the top of the slab

    If you  have decent footers around the perimeter, you could avoid putting that post toward the center, by using a bigger beam and doing a free span.

    If your perimeter footers are not the greatest, then you could dig from the outside, under where the posts are going to go in the exterior walls, and you could pour spot footers that way

    Between the post and the long wall on the right, that’s 10 foot. So you should be able to drive a car under there and still have room to open the car door

    This is basically the strength of a floor using 5/8” T & G plywood 

    But this design does NOT use 2x4’s for the floor joists

    Although there is no reinforcement or hardware being shown here — you would have to use such In a number of areas. Rebar in any footers. Lag screws. Joist hangers. Post base. And other items also.

    And I would definitely pre-drill where you put that 2 x 6 ledger up against the back wall, because some of that old wood dries out and can split.

    But if you’re willing to pay someone here, then I would suggest you try and find somebody in your area, such as a licensed engineer, or some Architectural CAD service, where they draw up plans and submit them to cities or counties.

    Because all I’m doing here is just giving you some general info regarding some of what you’re possibly up against, or what you might encounter 
  • Options
    HouseOfBreadCrumbsHouseOfBreadCrumbs Member Posts: 20
    steve_shubin said:
    @HouseOfBreadCrumbs



    Not enough info to really know what you are looking for

    But here is one idea built around an existing wood frame structure

    I’m assuming the floor is a slab on grade and not a wood floor being as you’re going to be driving on it. Although you can design wood floors that could handle the load of a car, and even pour concrete on top of such a wood floor. But let’s assume this is a slab on grade. So where that post is more towards the center, if an inspector saw this, he might want you to do a sawcut and put a spot footer there. But if you have a substantial slab there — let’s say at least 4 inches with 2000 or 2500 psi concrete, and if there’s some type of welded wire fabric or mesh or a grid of rebar in the slab, and you’re not going to load up that platform, then you’re probably not going to have any kind of a problem

    Installing a spot footer does not require that much effort. So if this was my project, I would install one. So after you cut the slab for this footer, drill laterally into the edges of the concrete where the cut was made, and insert some dowels in there — meaning, cut some pieces of half-inch rebar and drill holes right in the center of the edge of the slab and install these before you pour the concrete for this footer up to the top of the slab

    If you  have decent footers around the perimeter, you could avoid putting that post toward the center, by using a bigger beam and doing a free span.

    If your perimeter footers are not the greatest, then you could dig from the outside, under where the posts are going to go in the exterior walls, and you could pour spot footers that way

    Between the post and the long wall on the right, that’s 10 foot. So you should be able to drive a car under there and still have room to open the car door

    This is basically the strength of a floor using 5/8” T & G plywood 

    But this design does NOT use 2x4’s for the floor joists

    Although there is no reinforcement or hardware being shown here — you would have to use such In a number of areas. Rebar in any footers. Lag screws. Joist hangers. Post base. And other items also.

    And I would definitely pre-drill where you put that 2 x 6 ledger up against the back wall, because some of that old wood dries out and can split.

    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/3d9295aea733a4e8de4143aa/w/2c05503e41b1aa47265677a9/e/d8d122d359e3694d46e7c3fa

    Wow, thank you so much!!! You went above and beyond my request. That looks really nice. I think I will do pretty much exactly that, except I think will have to add leg supports on all sides. You are right I should have probably provided a bit more information, like what I can do in terms of ground support and the details of the storage unit itself.

    The storage unit is is on a flat grade with a smooth concrete floor, but it's a Public Storage unit (i.e. the private company), so I can't drill into the walls or the floor -- the frame needs to be free-standing on its own. It's a 10x20 unit with the entrance on one of the 10' sides. I was planning to do all the cutting at home, drive my car in and just assemble it inside around the car.

    You've already done so much to help me so I hesitate to ask for any more, but what do you think is the easiest way to exam this document to pull the information I need from it? Basically I want to just go to home depot and buy x amount of 2x4s and plywood panels. Do I just hide various sections one at a time and check out the sketches for each part, or is there some simple/elegant way to do it that prints out a list of parts? I vaguely remember there was a way to generate some sort of parts diagram last I used this software... but I'm not sure that's the best way.

    Again, thank you so much for your help with this! 🙏😁
  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022

    After reading your second post, well that puts a completely different light on the matter

    And please be aware that all I was doing in the first post that I made above, was just giving some general ideas of the type of things that you might encounter or come up against. But I was not giving you specs on how to go about building any such thing

    If this thing is going to be freestanding, than what I’ve shown above, does not have any relevance to what you are talking about or proposing to do. And you should not use what I have shown as a guide for what it is that you want to do

    Amongst other things, and before doing anything, you need to talk with the owner of that property. You need to convey to the owner and clearly define to that owner exactly what it is you propose to do on their property. And you need to get their written consent / permission to do any such related project on their property.

    Putting any type of weight overhead on a freestanding and/or a floating structure can be a very dangerous thing. Building any such project out of wood should not be left up to amateurs

    Any such project should be left to properly licensed entities operating under and within the confines of the local and pertinent government entities

    Once I heard — freestanding — floating — wood — with what could be significant weight overhead, all I can say is — I would definitely not feel comfortable trying to go into all the aspects here in this forum, of what it would take to properly get this job done

    Please disregard my first post


  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓
    If you’re only going on vacation for a couple months, save yourself the hassle. Go rent another unit for 2 months — just for your car. And leave all those boxes on the ground in your existing unit. You’ll save yourself the time of constructing something that could be dangerous. You’ll save yourself the expense of all that heavy wet wood that you get from Home Depot, where often the hem fir twists up like nobody’s business.

    make it easy on yourself.
    rent an additional unit for a couple months


  • Options
    HouseOfBreadCrumbsHouseOfBreadCrumbs Member Posts: 20
    I see. We are considering other options like maybe just storing the car with a friend too, but we may need the same frame for another purpose so it was also of "two birds with one stone" kind of thing. Thanks for the time you put into it anyways. 😄
  • Options
    HouseOfBreadCrumbsHouseOfBreadCrumbs Member Posts: 20
    I'll mark your answer as accepted anyways, in the event that gives your account higher "answer score" or something. 😁
  • Options
    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓
    @HouseOfBreadCrumbs

    You might consider some industrial shelving, provided you have a car that isn’t to wide.

    I have some industrial shelving. It’s very sturdy. It doesn’t rack or sway when I push on it. The end frames are welded. And I can assemble or break it down to move to the next location within minutes

    Provided your vehicle — with the mirrors folded in (if they do fold in), isn’t more than 6-1/2 feet wide, you MIGHT be able to make some shelving work

    If you were a decent driver, that’s capable of maneuvering your vehicle, without banging up against the rollup door jams, to where the passenger side is right up against some 2 feet deep shelving, we’ll that might give you about a foot or so to open the door and squeeze out

    If you have a hatchback, that would be even better, provided your nimble enough to crawl from the driver seat to the back and out the rear hatch

    I have one vehicle that doesn’t have a hatchback, but the rear seats both fold down to where it would be possible for me to actually crawl out the trunk. And since I wouldn’t be doing this a lot, it’s definitely something I could consider

    Three sets of industrial shelving from Costco would give you more shelf space than the platform you wanted to build. So you could put all of this shelving up against one side, running just shy of the full depth of that 10’ x 20’ garage, provided the inside depth is an actual 20 foot

    So at the same time that you’re checking the inside depth, make sure you also have an actual 10 foot wide width, at both ends and within the center of that 20 foot depth. And I say this because things are not always built square.or parallel

    Also note, that with a wood platform, unless everything was bolted together, &/or possibly screwed in places, well it just would not be very portable. And it’s going to take a long time to put together and take apart. And it very likely would end up costing more than you would want it to

    So you might consider the cost of renting an extra storage space for a couple months against spending around $1000 for some industrial shelving that you can easily break down and cart off to your next location

    https://www.costco.com/whalen-industrial-rack%2c-77%e2%80%9d--x-24%e2%80%9d--x-72%e2%80%9d.product.100178373.html

  • Options
    HouseOfBreadCrumbsHouseOfBreadCrumbs Member Posts: 20
    That's a good idea as well. I will definitely look into that and see what I can do. I'm fortunately nimble enough to crawl out of my trunk if I have to. 😄
    @HouseOfBreadCrumbs

    You might consider some industrial shelving, provided you have a car that isn’t to wide.
    ...
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