As you can see by photo, I’ve wttached these “uprights” to a load bearing wall, hoping to have room for work bench and cabinet and tv underneath when done. Focusing on just the shelf right now- the top of this shelf where I will store kids clothes, yard tools and, some furniture parts. Ignore the clutter under the shelf as thats all temporary.

I got excited and attached to wall but am now questioning whether whether it’s safe to have this much pull on a load bearing wall. Therefore, looking for suggestions to secure so it stands on its own, and is just attached to wall.

Can’t tie into ceiling because ceiling/roofing system is butt joints with steel gussets - not meant to be pulled on.

Will take uprights down if there’s no other way- hate to waste as I spent a lot of time getting the joinery right and they were expensive. enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • 1
    what is your question? ..... please remove three of the pictures
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 2:47
  • Question was just how to strengthen uprights so not pulling so much on wall. Doing this on my phone, darn thing doesn’t give me the option to remove photos. I added them because they didn’t show up in the upload screen. Sorry. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 4:02
  • how much weight you plan to put on top of the platform. I used 1x4 for mine and they holding fine. 4x4 looks like an overkill.
    – Quoc Vu
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 6:05

2 Answers 2


Attaching to load bearing wall is not a problem, especially if you’re just storing, “kids clothes, yard tools and furniture parts”. You’re probably concerned about eccentric loading. However, the axial loading will far exceed the eccentric loading, helping to stabilize the studs.

The weak link to your design are the fasteners at the top of your vertical members. Make sure they are secured properly for withdrawal. (Don’t over drill pilot hole.)

Add 4 - 1/2” lag bolts from shelf to wall studs AND make sure the shelf joists are secured to wall ledger by using plywood and using 8d, Install 8-10 nails in ledger and secure to outboard plate on shelf.

  • Not sure I follow terminology. Taking a guess: Axial loading is the force pulling on side of wall, eccentric is force pushing downward on wall. Horizontal vs vertical. Yes, am concerned with horizontal pull. The up rights are bolted to 2x4’s, in turn bolted to wall studs using 5” lag bolts. They are self piloting meaning no predrill. Then I’ll bolt the top frame to the studs, bought 4” lags. Over kill? Yes. But sturdy to handle almost anything I want to put up there (short of engine blocks)- that’s the question. Say, broken down 14’ trampoline parts, a baby crib, clothes. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 21:52
  • Axial loads help cancel rotating (eccentric) loads. Your wall is more than strong enough to support the existing load plus the new vertical load from the shelving. What is not known is how much rotation the new shelving will cause. However, because it’s a bearing wall it will withstand more rotation than non-bearing walls.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 0:09

That is one heck of a shelf! The top of the wall has a top plate. Remove the lower 45 degree legs and fasten them to the top of the outer corners of the shelf. Use 3" wood screws. Then attach the 45 degree legs to the top of the wall where the ceiling meets it. This is the reverse of what you have now. I cant tell from the photo but make sure the rear shelf board against the wall has screws through it that enters studs. All of the other excess wood is overkill.

This will free up all the space below the shelf and provide a boundary of sorts for the items you plan to store. Don't worry, you couldn't possibly affect that wall with this shelf. The shelf would give before the wall would even budge.

  • As you point out, having the braces below the shelf does get in the way of activities, but it does mean that the brace is in compression so the fasteners are not stressed much. If you move the braces to above, then the connections are in tension and so are the fasteners. I personally would consider leaving it as is and see how it works. If it interferes with activities like parking a car, then I would change them to above. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 3:53
  • 4x4’s consist of the upright. The span is 99” even. That’s why 2x8 frame at top. The 4x4 uprights were originally just attached to the wall/studs. But the damn things were wobbly due to 5” lag going through the 4x4, 3/4” of dry wall, and another at least 1/2” of insulation before even getting to stud. So, i bolted 2x4 “trough” to wall studs, and bolted upright to those. Which fixed stability issue greatly. The shelf sticks 36” out into room. I have plenty of kid crap to put up there to try to make this functional space again. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 4:06
  • So, do I stick a post between out stretched arm down to floor or still say I flip and attach to top plate? Given I expect at least 250lbs dead weight, albeit hopefully evenly distributed. Also, you guys are awesome for replying. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 4:14
  • Months later- I did what Lee Sam recommended and attached 5” lags into studs.i finished rest of project- still trying to figure out how to mark as answered... and post updated pic... thanks again guys. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 0:27

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