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I apologize for the complete beginner question.

I'm an Undergraduate Research Assistant trying to design a shelving 8'tall by 10' Long, 4' wide shelving unit to support about 200 lbs. I'm designing this to go over 4' 8' table, so the folks in the lab can reach up and grab any of our optical equipment easily.

My question, is how to get started? I've had luck finding components on McMaster-Carr for Struts(https://www.mcmaster.com/#struts/=1b21hmv) and braces, but I'm completely new to building things in general, and I'm trying to avoid any stupid mistakes.

Can anyone point me to any resources or tips to get started? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This is an example of the thing I'm trying to build

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Have you seen other shelves anywhere - take a good look at them - think about how they will be loaded - tipping hazard, load capacity, objects at height etc. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jan 9 '18 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ The example seems to be constructed out of Unistrut components (also available from McMaster). A video showing how to build a shelf system using unistrut is here. $\endgroup$ – BobT Jan 10 '18 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ @BobT Thank you so much. That video looks fantastic, I'll take a look! $\endgroup$ – BJC Jan 12 '18 at 19:48