Engine Stand Lower Shelf
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Engine stands are great things. I have a number of them to store spare engines, and blocks and such. The most compact way to store an engine is when it's assembled. Disassembled engines take up way more room. But, what do you do with the transmission or other assorted little stuff while the engine is on the stand in storage? You build a lower shelf to go on the engine stand and put the transmission/other stuff on it, that's what you do!

Here's the basic idea. A pair of solid 2x6's with some metal bracing to hold them in place. You don't want to put too much weight on a shelf like this - you could easily overload the stand and cause the base or the casters to fail. That would be bad. This is for storage of a typical automatic transmission which weighs in around 50-70lbs. The weight will be near the base, so the upright arm isn't bearing any of the new weight. It's all going straight into the main base pieces and into the casters.

Note that in this picture the shelf is not secured to the stand. It's just sitting there, and can easily slide rearward if you're not careful.  But, it gives a good overview of the parts. The 2x6's are cut to length based on the size of your engine stand. Most of mine were 29", one ended up being 30". Measure twice, cut once...

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Here's the front brackets and cross piece. The angle brackets are screwed into the front edge of each 2x6 with long screws and fender washers. This was my first one; the rest used slightly longer pieces of angle bracket. It got a 4' piece from Home Depot for pretty cheap, and cut it into short sections. The cross-piece is installed after laying the 2x6's on the engine stand base, but is done so that the shelf can easily be removed later, if desired.

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The back edge of the 2x6's need to be spaced up so they (more or less) align with the main front to back support beam on the engine stand. I found that 1"x3" strapping was about the right thickness and very cheap, so I bought a couple of pieces and cut them to fit the 2x6's - 5 1/2" long. If that seems odd, you've never dealt with standard lumber sizes. Go measure a 2x4 and see what the actual dimensions are. The strapping is about 3/4" thick. It's a tad short, but close enough. 7/8" would be perfect, but more expensive. I simply screwed it to the underside of the 2x6's with two sheet rock screws, after drilling pilot holes in the strapping so it didn't split right down the middle.

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A side shot of the strapping showing how it fits onto the end of the 2x6's.

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A side shot of the front angle brackets and cross brace that shows some more details. Note that fender washers are used on pretty much every wood screw to keep it from pulling through the large holes in the metal brackets and strapping.

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Here's the front edge of the shelf installed on a stand. Note that I drove in two small self-tapping metal screws through the top of the angle brackets and into the engine stand itself, with fender washers on them, to hold the top of the angle brackets in place while sliding stuff onto the shelf from the front. Without this, the shelf moved all over the place and was downright unsafe/scary. After this, it was rock solid - a very impressive difference for those two small screws...

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Here's the completed shelf on an engine stand. In the background you can see a transmission sitting on another shelf on another engine stand. Most transmissions will fit under most engines, at least they did in all of my cases. The rear strapping is positioned right in front of the rear vertical piece on the stand to help prevent the shelf from sliding backwards, keep the rear edges of the 2x6's from spreading apart unexpectedly, and to give it added strength.

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An earlier shot of three shelves on three different engine stands. These are each holding one transmission now, and keeping them out of my way while these engines are in storage.

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Page last updated 03/06/2010 11:49:39 PM