How to prop up a wooden shelf - Woodworking Street (2023)

This article shows you how to support a wooden shelf. There are really many ways to do this. It's a good idea to consider how this will be done in the early stages of your project.

You should consider things like:

  • What is the purpose of the shelf?– Are you using it to hold heavy items or just display lighter ones?
  • Is the shelf decorative in nature?– If so, you will be concerned about the appearance of the wood project. could you wantsand the shelfand alsoHide the screw holes using countersinks and wooden dowels..
  • Where are the studs in the wall?– You will want to locate the wall studs because you will be screwing them in for support. This can affect the choice of distance between shelf support pieces.
  • How much weight will you need to support?– This will generally affect the number of brackets required and also the type of mounting hardware you will use.

There really are many ways to support a shelf. Some of them are listed below:

1. Simple wooden block

To do this, attach the wood to the side supports of a bookcase, cupboard, or similar piece of furniture. Glue or screw the side pieces in place. If the screw holes are in a visible area, considerlower and use bushings.

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Another option is to just use nails and glue. You can use a set of nails to fit the screw holes. However, nails can loosen under tension in the wood. For this reason, screws are usually a better option.

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So what kind of wood should you use for the shelf?

  • plywood– This type of shelf will curve or curve. This is not a problem if the shelf supports lightweight items. For example, small decorations are good.
  • Wooden planks– These are less flexible. They can be heavier than thinner pieces of plywood. These pieces are also more solid. Possibly they could look better when stained.

2. Shelf support pin

Many pieces of hardware can be used to support shelves. These include shelf support pins.

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These pegs do just that - they hold up the shelves. First, drill holes along the side pieces. The holes in the other side piece must match. You can then adjust the height of the shelf. The end of the dowel goes into the hole, the rest extends to support the shelf.

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In fact, you'll find this approach often used with furniture from Target or Ikea. This is because the pins make assembly easy and are relatively inexpensive. Plus, you can easily adjust the shelf position to match the size of the items you need to store.

Are there problems with this approach?

  • The shelf itself is not very stable.– Often, a heavy weight near a corner can cause the entire rack to topple out of position. If this happens, all items stored on the shelf could fall and break!
  • The pins cannot bear much weight.– These dowels only penetrate the wood 5/16 inches or more. Also, the part that holds the shelf is this size. As a result, the bracket may fail if there is too much weight on the pegs (eg too many books or heavy garage items). This is a problem with cheap plastic pins.
  • you need side parts– Cabinets or shelves often use side pieces. If there are no side pieces, you may not want to support the shelves this way.
  • Problem with "L" plug -With this type of plug, the tip is round and fits into the hole as before. The end supports the shelf. Hepine "L"takes up space along the edge of the shelf. Instead of the shelf reaching all the way to the wooden support piece, it can only go as far as the edge of thepine "L". This is the case for both sides of the shelf. For this type of support to work, you need to reduce the size of the shelf to twice the thickness of the shelf.pine "L"or make other modifications to take this factor into account.

3. Shelf support

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(Video) Simple Pantry Shelving

It is often convenient to support shelves with brackets. These brackets fit metal strips, placed vertically on the wall. Metal strips are screwed into the wall studs. This is a very simple and easy approach to placing shelves like these. However, there are some things to consider:

  • Shelf strength.– You want the handles as well as the supports to be strong enough for the weight you intend to support. For example, a large number of books can be quite heavy. Shelf brackets may not be strong enough.
  • how to hold– You must fix the strips securely to the wall. You can use a spirit level to make sure they are in the correct position.
  • use wall nails– It is best to screw them directly into the wall studs. These can be located with astudy findersensor. You go through the wall and it signals when the density changes. When that happens, you've located the stallion. Nails are normally spaced 16 or 24 inches apart. However, you should check with thestudy finderand make sure there is a pin at the expected point. Once you know where the pegs are, you can determine where to place the shelf. You want to keep the brackets at the ends or in the middle of the shelf. However, you also want them to be in handstand positions.

4. Angle support

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This often allows for very secure shelving that can support significant weight, even some heavy garage items. As in the previous case, it is very important that the supports are attached to the wall beams.

How to support a wooden bookcase: more than one type of angular support

Generally, the holes in these supports are of two types:

With the first one, there is noconical chamfer angleto accommodate flat head wood screws. However, the round head screws will protrude from the brackets. This type of situation is fine on a garage shelf. However, if the brackets are in a room with thin furniture, you may want the heads to be flush with the surface.

The second type of support has holes withconical chamfer anglefor flat head wood screws. If you use this type, you can screw directly into the hole.

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angular support issues

However, there is a problem with this: if you only hand-tighten the screw, it will inevitably becomeOutside the center. It will protrude from the support. Since the screw runs at an angle, it can go through the wood at the wrong point. You can alsopush the bracket to the side and change the position by tightening the screw. Just a small change in the measured position can have a big effect as you are also trying to level the shelves. Since the head is not completely flat and comes off the holder, things can get caught in it.

So is there anything you can do about it? How can you take care of this problem? In fact, a very inexpensive tool can help. This is the self-aligning center punch. With it, you can ensure that the screw is positioned exactly in the center of the screw hole. So when you squeeze, the head will be level. It really works!

The self-aligning center punch consists of a cylindrical piece of metal, much like a common set of nails. The end has aconical chamfer angleto match the head of a wood screw. When you place it in the hole in the holder, it will automatically position itself so that the center of the punch is exactly in the center of the hole.

The punch has a spring-loaded core along the central axis of the barrel. You can tap with a hammer to leave a mark in the center of the hole. Place the tip of the screw at this mark. Once tightened, the screw will be perfectly positioned.

5. Angle Iron Bracket

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These wooden shelves are supported by metal angles. If the angle brackets are pre-drilled, you can use the mounting holes. Otherwise, you will have to drill your own holes. This can be done with a metal drill. Be sure to wear eye protection (goggles). This is important because sharp metal chips can be thrown when drilling through metal.

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Metal parts are often "pointed" and sharp. Angle Irons might be better for a garage or warehouse.

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This is another image of cheese on the shelves. Horizontal metal tubes support the shelves. Many tube type brackets are available. Some of them are screwed onto boards. In turn, the boards are screwed directly to the wall studs.

7. Box shelf

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A shelf can also be made from boxes or drawers. These can be stacked in other boxes, located below. This can be done decoratively as shown in the picture. An advantage of this approach is that boxes can be easily moved to another location.

You don't screw boxes onto studs. So this approach leaves no marks on the wall. You can move things around without having to cover those old screw holes.

(Video) Making shelf brackets with hand tools #woodworking

How to support a wooden bookcase: conclusion

In this article, we show you how to support wooden shelves. Several different ways of doing this were discussed. You can see that the approach you should take depends on the actual situation and many other factors.

So now it's your turn. Can you think of more ways to support a shelf? Do you have other things to add? Feel free to add or comment below.

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