*Wire Shelf “Cure”*
By: Harper
08 August 2008

Size, to make them easily removable for cleaning. You can use thin [1/4"] plywood on wire shelves. If you have the type with a turned up lip around the edge, cut the plywood sheets maybe 1/4" inch smaller than the shelves

If the edges of your wire shelves are smooth, the plywood can be secured to the surface of the shelf, with a few short bolts, and some fender washers, larger than the mesh of the shelves. Use smooth headed stove bolts in the corners, with the head of the bolts on the top, and the nuts underneath. Nylon Stop Nuts work well for this ... you don't need lock washers ... fewer small parts.

"Dremel" the bolts off, even with the surface of the stop nuts. If you use the type of wire shelving I describe below, you will still be able to dis - assemble the shelving without removing the plywood sheeting from them.
With "turned lip" shelves, the plywood panels don't have to be bolted to the shelves at all ...

Sand the edges of the plywood sheets smooth, and give the whole sheet [both sides] a couple of coats of polyurethane Varnish, to make them water resistant, & easy to clean.

This way, you can store soft containers on wire shelves, without worrying about anything leaking any more than you would on solid shelves.

I have a couple sets of the modular "Metro" type shelves that slide onto metal poles. These adjust in height & number of shelves per unit. They lock into place, with a split plastic sleeve that engages various grooves around the circumference of the poles.

These are quite solid, if you assemble them CAREFULLY. They are sometimes a P.I.T.A. in initial assembly, but behave fairly well once loaded.

As an extra layer of protection, I intend to drill a 3/16" hole thru each ring bracket on the shelf corners ... where they meet the poles. This will enable me to safely move the shelves, without risk of them slipping out of alignment.

Since most of the weight is borne by the wedge action of the ridged plastic sleeves around the poles, a heavy bolt is not needed here ... just enough to keep the shelf corner rings from slipping.

I like these wire shelves, and you can sometimes find them used, in restaurant or warehouse supply stores. They are nor as massive as wooden or solid metal shelves, and can be disassembled for moving, storage, or getting into tight spaces.

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