Are you a do it yourself kind of person? Is HGTV or DIY network something you can always get into? Do you need an on wall floating storage shelf? If you answered yes to any of these questions then this DIY project is for you!
So what do you need to get started? Here’s the rundown.
First off you need a plan. Dimensions, location, style, color, and cost are all part of this. You are also going to need a sketch of the project so you know what you want the final outcome to look like. Below is a sample plan for a floating self. Use it as a jumping-off point. Here’s a hint! Look at the other pieces of furniture near the location for the new piece. What style and color are they? Choose a complementing color and a similar style to really bring the room together.
The items listed below are what you will need to build the plan example above. Though the tools required will not change from project to project, the materials are based on the plan. Spend some time and measure twice before you make the first cut. It’s an important motto for any woodworker to follow, but it’s especially important when constructing furniture with the help of ra9.
- Finishing Nail Gun – (An old fashioned hammer and box of finishing nails will work just as well.)
- Hand Drill
- Screw Driver Bit
- Table Saw (Circular Saw may be substituted in a pinch.)
- Random Orbit Hand Sander
- Laser Level
- Hand Level
- Stud Finder
- Shop Rag
- The Materials:
- 4×8 Foot Sheet of ½ in cabinet quality wood. Oak, Birch, or High-Quality Plywood will all work.
- Wood Glue
- 1 Inch Wood Screws
- 2 Inch Wood Screws
Stain or Paint (spray paint, when used correctly, or a roller will create a smooth even coat if your selected color scheme involves paint. For the application of any Stain, make sure you have two rags available to use the wipe on wipe off method.)
This project requires more planning and drying time than anything else. From conception to completion the entire project should take no more than a single day, with only about an hour being spent on construction. The important thing to remember is that the glue and paint/stain need to dry overnight before hanging.
Let’s get started!
So you think you are ready to get this whole thing underway? First off, before we start going through the steps required for building our bookshelf, let’s make sure you have everything listed above. Check it twice and then read on.
Step 1: Mark it out.
With your plan in hand layout your 4×8 sheet and draw out your cuts efficiently as possible. Make sure to use as much of the wood as you can to cut down on scrap and extra purchase requirements.
The finished product should show all cut lines clearly and be laid out so that the grain on corresponding pieces travels in the same direction. (Hint; Put the longest cut lines in the middle of the sheet so that a single cut will break the board down to a more manageable size.) Once you have everything marked out label each piece according to the plan.
Step 2: Make the cut.
So, if you are sure you measured twice, turn on the table saw and start making your cuts. As the hint above let on, make the bigger cuts first. Trust me this will help with cut control. Cut out all of your pieces and make sure they are separated by the labels you added in Step 1.
Step 3: Frame it out.
To start putting this whole thing together you need to think of it as a puzzle. Start on the outside and work your way in. That said, you need to frame out the main box for your shelves. Take the top, bottom, left, and right boards and lay them on your work area.
Frame the box by applying a bead of wood glue along the top edge of the left upright. Square the edges and use the triangle to insure a 90-degree angle with the top board. Then use the finishing nail gun to secure the joint. Then apply a bead of wood glue along the end of your bottom shelf. Secure this shelf with a 90-degree angle to the left upright two inches above the base using the triangle. Secure the joint with the finishing nail gun. Lastly, apply a bead of wood glue to the opposite end of the lower shelf and the top of the right upright. Secure the upright in the same fashion as above, using the triangle and nail gun. At this point, you should have a completely framed bookshelf.
Step 4: Fill it in.
Now take the center shelf and apply a bead of wood glue to each end. Slide the center shelf into the frame by placing it at an angle and slowly moving it to a 90-degree angle with the uprights, using the triangle to insure the joints. Secure the joints with three nails on each side and wipe up any extra wood glue before it sets.
For the last bit, we need to add the cross supports that will allow this unit to firmly attach to the wall. Dry fit the top support under the top shelf and drill two guide holes on each side along with four along the top. Remove the cross support and run a bead of wood glue along the three sides in which you drilled and then refit the support. Attach the support with the 1-inch wood screws and countersink each screw a small amount. Repeat this process with the center and lower cross supports.
At this point, the basics should be handled. You should see in front of you an exact replica of the plan.
Step 5: Finish it out.
Now it’s time to get your storage unit painted or stained. First, you need to use the random orbit sander to quickly even out the entire project. Any missed glue that is now dry should be sanded down as well as any rough spots. Once you have completed this process wipe down (dust) the entire project and prepare your selected paint. Make sure that once you’ve painted the entire project you let it dry completely before hanging or adding a second coat.
Step 6: Hanging
To hang your new floating storage unit use your stud finder and pencil to mark the location of at minimum three studs within the area you wish to hang the unit. Once the studs are marked, use the hand level to draw a light vertical pencil line along each studs center path. Place the laser level at an appropriate height and have a friend hold the unit in place on the wall. Pre drill a guide hole through each cross support into the studs behind. Remove the unit from the wall and apply a bead of wood glue along each support and along the edges of the unit.
Refit the unit to the wall and then use the 2 inch woodscrews to affix the unit firmly to the wall. Make sure the entire unit is level after placing each of the first few screws and after all are attached. Lastly make sure you wipe up any excess wood glue which has been forced out from the edges of the unit.
The Finished Product!
Now you should have a complete and functional storage shelf produced at a cost lower than many prefab units you can buy in the store. Enjoy!