2x4 shelf strength

The wood storage thread got me thinking. I have a wood storage rack made of 2x4's. The 2x4 shelf is 1/2 lapped into the upright 2x4 every 2 feet and is 24 inches long. These are placed 24 inches apart over 10 feet.
Question. How much weight can each "shelf" 5 2x4 1/2 lapped over a 10 foot span hold before I'm at risk of the 2x4 splitting, breaking, failing? Is it possible to put enough wood in a 24x24 shelf section to cause failure.
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My wood storage shelves are a 2x4 frame, 24" deep x 48" wide. The rear of the frame is screwed into wall studs, the front has a 2x4 "post" at each corner. the shelf is covered with 3/4" ply. The shelf arrangement contains 4 rows x 3 colums (i.e. 4 posts) I used to store several engines (V8) on the shelves. Based on how I imagine your shelf is constructed, I'd say your good to go!
-Bruce
Simonite wrote:

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That would depend on the details of the construction. The type and number of screws/bolts/nails/glue whatever and the exact details of the joint would ultimately limit the strength. You could come up with an upper bound just by determining the strength of the wood assuming the joint would never fail. What you need is a lower bound. As with many of these types of questions, there isn't enough info provided.
Mike
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The 1/2 lap joints are glued and screwed (4 deck screws) and then for good measure I used 16 penny nails when I attached the frame work to existing 2x4 wall studs in the garage. So the cross piece in sandwiched between 2 2x4's and half lapped into on of them.
My guess is I couldn't ever put enough wood in the space to overload but thought I'd double check here.
wrote:

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Well, there's only one way to know for sure. Sounds like a good excuse to buy a truckload of ____.(fill in the blank).
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