This sturdy set of shelves was made from basic materials available from Lowe's or Home Depot. 2x4s make up the legs and rails (horizontal pieces.) The legs are 40 inches long. Plywood sheets of 3/4x24x48 make up the shelves. Of course, the 4 shelves can be cut from a single sheet of plywood. The shelves in these pictures were pre-cut and sold by Lowe's.
Rails support three sides of every shelf. There are no rails at the front so as to provide maximum clearance for placing items on the shelves. The vertical spacings between the shelves were chosen based on the size of the materials to be stored.
Notice that the bottom rails are set above the floor. This helps to prevent the shelves from rocking on an uneven floor.
No finish was used.
All Rails Rest in Mortises
The end of each rail rests in a mortise cut 1/4" deep. This ensures that the frame will be strong. DO NOT build the frame without the mortises! I would cut the mortises 3/8" deep if I were making these shelves today.
Not Seen ...
Each rail is attached to each leg using two Kreg Heavy-Duty pocket screws with the pockets cut into the end of the rail.
Notching the Shelves
Here you can see how all shelves but the top shelf are notched at the corners to make room for the legs. Since the size of the notches isn't critical, allow a little extra room for the legs.
A Word to the Wise ...
Don't assemble the entire frame and then discover that you can't fit the shelves in without disassembling the frame. Be sure to think ahead. I recommend that you assemble the side frames first, and then figure out how to assemble the back rails and shelves with the side frames.
The ZIP file contains all of the pictures and the INSTRUCTIONS.PDF file. BE SURE TO READ THE "INSTRUCTIONS.PDF" FILE that's included in the ZIP file.