Build Your Own Wood Shelves

If you know how to build your own wood shelves, you can turn any room in your home into a more efficient storage space with more display surface. From the living room, kitchen and bedroom to the guest room or bathroom, simple floating wall shelves are the type of woodworking project that even novices can handle.

What You'll Need
To do the floating shelf project, you'll need an 18-inch hollow core door, table saw, ?-inch bit and drill, long screws, wood glue, hammer, brads and safety gear, such as goggles and ear plugs.

Making The Shelves
Cut an 8-inch wide piece of the door. Hollow doors have corrugated cardboard braces in the center, so scrape those away so the cleat will fit inside. Sand the piece until all rough edges are smooth. Then, stain or paint the piece as desired.

To give the illusion of no supports, floating shelves are secured on the wall using cleats. These are strips of wood almost the length of the shelf that are drilled into the wall studs in such a way that the shelves fit perfectly over them. To make cleats, you'll need to measure for cleat thickness exactly. Measure the inside length of the door, from top to bottom, as well as the exact width. Cut a 2- x 4-inch piece of wood at the same length as the cleat. Then fine-tune the other measurements for height.

Hanging Cleats
Lightly mark the place where you want to hang the shelves with a pencil. Use a stud finder to locate studs within the walls, and then mark those lightly with a pencil. Pre-drill through the cleat and into the studs with a ?-inch bit, and then install a screw at each place until the cleat hangs sturdy and straight.

Hang The Shelves
Ensure that the floating shelf will fit the cleat exactly, hold the shelf up to the cleat and do a dry fit-one that doesn't involve glue or screws. Make any adjustments to fit as necessary. When you are certain the fit is precise, apply wood glue to the top of the cleat, and then fit the shelf over it. Secure the shelf to the cleat using brads nailed in from the top of the shelf down into the cleat.

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