I recently ordered 2 Seville 5-shelf wire shelving racks, assembled them over the weekend, and then ordered 2 more. The second batch arrived today, and I put them together rather quickly – in about 15 minutes each.
I’ve assembled many wire shelving racks in the past few years, and the process has definitely gotten easier and quicker. Here are some tips I picked up along the way.
1. Read the instructions
If you have never assembled wire shelving before, read the instructions. Make sure you understand how it’s supposed to go together.
Once you’ve read the instructions, then consider the following tips.
Oh, and always make sure you have all the needed parts before you start.
2. Don’t attach the pole segments right away
Most taller wire shelving units, such as my 6-foot tall ones, have 2-part poles that screw together. Once I make sure I have the proper pieces, sometimes I will attach them together, other times I won’t.
For today’s wire shelving rack assembly, I did not connect the poles together first. I started with the bottom segments and installed 2 shelves before connecting the upper poles.
3. Start the first shelf on its side
I start off by attaching the plastic brackets to the 4 poles – or bottom pole sections – for the lowest shelf while holding the shelf vertical.
Actually, no, the first thing I do is attach the caster wheels or leveling legs. Then I attach the first set of shelf brackets.
Holding the shelf vertically, I then insert the first 2 poles through the shelf support holes. I try to ensure that the shelf is reasonably secure around the plastic sleeves.
Then, I will weave the other 2 poles through the upper holes of the shelf – the ones that are at the top of the vertically-oriented shelf.
If I have a helper, I’m usually fine working with fully assembled poles. If it’s just me, I work with shorter half-length bottom poles.
I give those upper 2 poles a little twist to seat the plastic shelf supports a little more securely, and then lower the shelf until all 4 casters or leveling feet are on the floor.
Then, I will apply some weight or pressure on the corners of the bottom shelf, twisting the poles slightly. Or you could grab a deadblow hammer or rubber mallet, but I found that the twist-and-press approach is more foolproof.
4. Use the double-lines for guidance
Every wire shelving unit I have ever assembled had single grooves, and also double grooves at regular spacings. These double lines make it a lot easier to install a shelf’s worth of plastic support brackets at one time without measuring a thing.
5. Or use a height gauge
If you want the shelves to hold something in particular, such as medium sized moving boxes, place one on a shelf as a height gauge. Make sure there’s enough clearance and move the item around to each 4 corners to make sure your supports are all installed at the same height.
6. A dead blow hammer or rubber mallet is great for seating shelves
Sometimes a quick whack with a dead blow hammer or rubber mallet can better seat a shelf on its plastic supports.
Or… a sturdy workboot. Hey, I didn’t always have a healthy tool budget.
7. Ease shelves in place
If you slam a shelf down on its plastic supports, there’s a greater chance you’ll knock a support out of place. When that happens, you’ll have to lift the shelf, and hold it in place while you reattach the bracket halves.
Dropping a shelf onto its brackets too quickly can also lead to jamming, where one side drops quicker than the other. This can require a bit of effort to remedy, such as a quick upward strike with a rubber mallet.
15 minutes each isn’t bad, but if I wanted to move quickly, I could probably assemble one of these 18″ x 48″ x 72″ 5-shelf wire shelving racks in about 10 minutes, maybe even less.
I don’t know how long it took me to put together my first wire shelving units, but I’m sure it was quite a bit longer than 15 minutes. Hopefully these tips will help you get your wire shelving units quicker and easier.
For those of you who have assembled more than a couple of wire shelving racks yourselves, Do you have any wire shelving rack assembly tips to share?
I have found that better quality wire shelving racks are often easier to assemble. Pole sections thread together more easily, and the plastic shelf support bracket halves are better made. Lesser brackets have thinner rings and slip more easily.
I have really been liking Seville’s wire shelving racks, which I ordered from Amazon. Previously I bought quite a few of their 4-shelf units, and now 5-shelf wheeled units.
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