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Overhead Storage Packs in Two Surface Spaces

Most people would be happy and satisfied to find a way to use previously wasted space. Bobby Huffman of Edina, Missouri, did that, then he discovered wasted space within the wasted space. Now he has a clever use for that, too. 

As the loft was being built above the workbench in his new shop, “which was space going to waste,” Huffman says, he realized amid construction that he could add a second floor directly below the loft floor to create plenty of storage surface for long pieces of metal.     

“That second floor is about 7½ feet high. I measured the reach of the forklift since that’s how I’d put away those large pieces of metal and loaded pallets,” he explains. 

On this second surface, he organizes the angle iron, tubing, and flat bar, giving each type of steel its own section; the storage will accommodate 20-foot lengths. 

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The entire structure is built from materials Huffman had on hand. “The I-beams and posts were salvaged from an old brick building in town,” he says. 

“One of those I-beams has a chain hoist suspended from it for hanging items to work on,” Huffman notes. 

He has a neighbor who likes the setup so much, he’s been over several times to take measurements for something similar in his own shop. 

All of the overhead storage is also accessible by a walk-up ladder. Besides pallets of sheet metal, Huffman stores buckets of oil and seasonal items such as barbecue grills. 

Since his long pieces of metal once had to sit outside in the snow, he is very happy with the improvement.  

a $2,500 winner

Huffman is the next recipient of a $2,500 Firestone in-store credit offer for having his idea chosen as the Idea of the Month. Enter your idea here! 

More about Bobby huffman

Operation: His recently downsized custom hay operation in Edina, Missouri, lets Bobby Huffman work full time for an implement dealership yet retain a smaller hay business.   

Complementary hobbies: He also does fabrication and repair in his shop, so Huffman recently built an accumulator for small square bales that is operated with a skid loader. 

Family: Huffman and his wife, Sarah, have four children. Just 100 yards away live Bob and Karen, Huffman’s parents and the original property owners.   

Current project: The metal press Huffman is building will use the hydraulic cylinders from a bulldozer.

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