Will the shelf fit into my space, and will my widgets fit on the shelf? To answer these two important questions you need some useful dimensions. Unfortunately the dimensions provided by BigDug in July 2012 were wrong. Here are the dimensions for the starter bay advertised as being 1350 wide x 600 deep x 2000mm high, when measured with my steel tape measure:
Height 2002 mm, including the foot.
Depth 600 mm, as advertised.
Width 1293 mm, i.e. 57 mm less than the 1350 mm advertised width!!
Dimensions of each shelf:
Height 30 mm.
Depth 586 mm.
Width 1210 mm.
Leading edge loading width:
Each upright has a slight 'lip' running vertically which means the actual exposed width of shelf is approximately 1207 mm. This is probably the critical dimension if you are trying to squeeze N widgets onto each shelf. In my case I had boxes 400 mm wide so I was able to fit three of them onto each shelf with a millimetre or two between them.
For completeness, you might like to know that the uprights themselves are approximately 43 mm wide across the front edge.
Each extension bay adds the width of a shelf and the width of an upright. i.e. 1207 mm + 43 mm = 1250 mm, so this dimension has been stated correctly by BigDug.
If you were to put a shelf in the lowest possible position then its upper surface would be approximately 72 mm above the floor.
The vertical position of each shelf can be adjusted in increments of 25 mm.
By way of example, I have boxes that are 332mm high, 400mm wide and 600mm deep. I can fit three boxes on each of the five shelves and can fit a sixth layer on the floor beneath the bottom shelf thus storing 18 boxes per bay, altogether.
The quality is good. Each upright is a reassuringly solid, single piece of metal, and the shelves are not flimsy. Each upright was supplied with a steel foot that can be screwed to the floor to prevent movement. I encountered no sharp burrs on any item. With the cross brace fitted and tightened the starter bay felt safely sturdy.
The feet are attached to the uprights with a small nut and bolt for which you will need a small spanner and/or nut-spinner. All other assembly can be done by whacking bits together with the aid of a mallet or a short length of 2x2 timber. It helps to have strong hands for pressing bits together before you whack them, and things do need to be whacked pretty hard. The fiddliest part was, I found, attaching the feet. Adding the cross brace was relatively easy. Overall assembly was straightforward and I completed one starter bay and one extension bay in less than an hour and a half. An extra pair of hands would have been helpful but one person is sufficient.
The shelves are NOT very suitable for outdoor use because their shape would allow rain water and debris to accumulate leading to faster corrosion.
As the shelves are made from folded steel sheet they can be buckled by careless handling before assembly. A couple of mine arrived slightly dented and had to be tapped back into shape. Once eveything is assembled damage is much less likely.
I'm very pleased with the shelves. I feel that I have bought a good quality product that I will be able to depend on for a few decades, and no aspect of it has disappointed me. Just make sure you check the dimensions I have provided, and don't rely on what BigDug write or what their customer service representatives tell you -- unless they promise on pain of death that they have personally made the measurements.