Rhino Shelf DIY Garage storage shelves are structural and strong. The best on the market, in fact.
Part of that design is that Rhino Shelves were designed to use 2x4 lumber as the decking between the aluminum assemblies. Why 2x4s? Besides being a great choice, they are the strongest material for the price that is readily available. For the Rhino Shelf®, each bay (4' section) was designed to fit five 2x4s placed one 2x4 width apart. Four additional 2x4's can be used to fill in and create a solid deck effect.
For the RhinoMini each bay was designed to fit three 2x4s placed one 2x4 width apart.
Other variations for a solid deck effect are possible. Expanded metal can be put on top; 3/4" plywood can be glued and screwed to the 2x4s; or you may replace the 2x4s with 1x4s and top them with 1/2" plywood.
Wood decking is the ideal solution for the decking in any event. This allows you to easily (and cheaply) add affordable accessories!
Which 2x4? Use a local mill or lumberyard if you can. Big box stores are okay too, as long as you take the time to select the best. Buy boards 96" long (8'), not the standard 93" studs. The 96" length reduces waste when you trim your boards to fit. Also, be selective of the 2x4s that you purchase. The extra time you take to select the straightest, knot-free, close-grained boards, will be worth your time.
Now that you are a shelf builder, let me tell you about a resource that the pros use. A critical point in shelf design, whether it's for a bookcase or a garage shelf, is the amount of static load a given shelf can take given the type of wood and the dimension and the resulting "sag". Instead of looking up formulas for bending moments and beam deflection and trying to find the modulus of elasticity of various woods,
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Happy Rhino Shelving!