Instructables

Sleek/Small/Wooden Corner Wall Shelf

Hi there!  I am no woodworker, but I do enjoy a DIY project here and there.  I am wondering how hard it would be to make this corner shelf?  It looks incredible, simple, sleek, and perfect for storing computer software and the like.  I don't understand why they are selling it for 90 euros (120 USD).  It seems simple enough to make.

Would it be possible to make this in good quality?  If anyone is an avid woodworker and finds interest in this challenge, I would be very grateful if they would make a great Instructable on it.

Size: H 250mm, W 420mm, D 250mm
Material: Solid oak

Thanks very much!

Picture of Sleek/Small/Wooden Corner Wall Shelf
ilpug2 years ago
This look pretty simple. YOu could probably make one with one plank of wood, one packet of nails/screws, a drill, a handsaw, and maybe a quide square.

You could mount it with L-brackets to studs, and it would hang fine. I kind of want to do this...
imdomi2 years ago
In response. I think a 10 foot two by four would be about $5. This looks like less than 6 feet to me. Something with a nicer grain pattern may be more, but it's not a lot. Consider it a training fee, knowing how to make and fix furniture will save you future money.

I'm not a pro woodworker, but I build things often. Since you are new I would say to skip the fancy ways to do the edges and start simple. As for clamps, you do need to clamp wood, but if you don't have the cash you should be able to keep pressure on for the glue. I just made a bunch of picture frames and to glue them I used a metal square box and two heavy weight lifting weights to hold the joint tight. Clamps are easier but you can figure out another way.

You can also do without a miter box, although it's also probably cheap and worth it (but everything adds up). Draw good lines for your angles and cut just a bit outside. Use (and buy) some sandpaper (medium grain probably) to get the edges nice. [since your new i'll mention that you wrap the sandpaper around a scrap wood piece to have a flat sanding edge].

Really the best thing you could do would be to find some scrap wood and try stuff first. If no scrap is around just buy something smaller and cheaper to try first so you can see how it will all work. Something like http://www.homedepot.com/Lumber-Composites/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZbqpg/R-100075477/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=wood&storeId=10051

At only 75 cents for 8 feet (it's much narrower) you can try cutting and gluing and all that out first. I'm sure hand sawing through 2 by 4's will not be pleasant, especially if you make a mistake and need to redo things. So just make a mini version first and the final shelf will likely come out much better since you'll know what works.
imdomi2 years ago
One serious note, If you are having trouble visualizing (and planning) the cuts here is a simple way to get it right:

- get a 2 by 4 or other piece of wood

- cut two long pieces and two short pieces. These cuts need to be at a 45 degree angle. Each end of each piece should be cut in the opposite direction. For example if you imagined the end angles continued after the wood, they would come to a point (or form a triangle) on one side.

-Now you have two long and two short, glue them together like a box or picture frame (use wood glue and clamps)

-let it dry

-Now cut your box into two pieces at a 45 degree angle

-Flip one side around (should be easy to see how it goes now) and reglue.
TheGlowingCurve (author)  imdomi2 years ago
Haha, I love the mass production scheme :)

On the serious note, wow -- that's exactly what I needed to help me visualize it. I do still have two minor issues, though:

First, I still am not confident about joining the corners. I'm getting the impression that even if I have the proper clamps(?) to do that part, I should still use dowels. It doesn't sound easy to align it all perfectly and make a clean joint with the dowels.

The other problem is the money issue of getting the tools and supplies, although I am realizing I don't need as much as I imagined. I would need to buy the wood (is it really just $2-3? I'd want something good quality...), the dowels, a corner clamp(?), I guess a miter box is what makes the 45 degree cuts, and then I have a hand saw and wood glue. Am I missing anything on the list?

Thanks very much for your help!
You guys are starting to convince me to give this a go myself...
imdomi2 years ago
just a note, books are heavy, and at that price I would hope this is a shelf which isn't falling off the wall.

one option (and maybe this is the case here) is to have a wall mounted metal frame which mounts securely and then this have a metal bracket which slides on to that. There may also be metal pegs coming out of a wall mounted which lock on (maybe what those two dark spots near the middle are).

I've had simple looking shelves which which worked like this.

Here's an example of the peg option: http://www.consmos.com/bracketless_wall_mounted_shelf_hollowboard.html
headset2 years ago
I am interested in making this - the angles and fitting are no problem, but how is it mounted to the wall?

Anyone?
TheGlowingCurve (author)  headset2 years ago
Awesome! I was planning to get to it when I had some time and money on my hands, but if you do and have a little extra time, I would love to see an instructable on it! There were a few suggestions below about how to mount it. I think RedneckEngineer was saying that it looks like it's mounted with dowels, because it's slightly out from the wall. Imdomi suggested a more heavy duty alternative, a wall-mounted metal frame with metal brackets that slides onto it, like here.

Good luck, pal!
oskaruin2 years ago
I suppose that except for joiner's glue in a butt end (on joints on 45-) there must be connections a «thorn is a slot» for more durable fastening. To the wall comfortably to fasten 2-strange skotchlentoy.
I think its that much because of man hours and such.
Oh, that is just too neat. It does look very simple... the only tricky bit would be the corner.

I do hope someone tackles this. :D
TheGlowingCurve (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Oh, thank you for the feature!

I thought so too. In addition to that corner, I'm trying to figure out what we would start with... a big block of wood? And those dimensions don't exactly make sense to me.

Thanks, I hope so as well. :)
This is really an exercise with what you can do with one long plank of wood, the standard 2x10 by 8 or 6 feet long. The stock could be smaller depending on what you want the width and thickness of the shelf

It helps to have a chop/miter saw but a handsaw with a miter box helps.

The top L-shape and a side is cut from one half of your stock.

Cut a 45 degree angle across the face and flip one piece over to get the L-shape. Cut the 45 degree miter joint for the corners by cutting across the thin edge. Flip that piece to make up an L-shaped corner. The other miter cuts have to be planned accordingly.

There are many ways to join the corners and strengthen up the joints. Glue and dowels, pocket hole screws, traditional joinery, etc. You would also need to mount it to the wall with additional brackets or I would just put pocket holes where you find the studs in the wall. You can fill in pocket holes with pegs or wood filler. You will rarely find a true square corner due to the finish of a wall so your perfect shelf corner may not fit so well and you can scribe/sand to fit. Good luck.

It appears to be slightly out from the wall if you look. I'd say they probably did this like the floating shelf idea with dowels. Kinda helps with the lack of true square.
Interesting comments, thanks all of you very much for all the insight. I'll be honest, I only just understood that each edge is a separate piece (spaz of a beginner, here).

I would actually want to make it a bit taller and wider, now that you mention it. It looks great at its current size, but I would personally use it as a shelf for my software boxes.

I am very limited in the tools area, unfortunately. I think I'm most concerned with joining the corners well. I don't understand how dowels would do that, but would clamps work? I really like the idea of hanging it with dowels, though.
The way you join corners with dowels is to drill a hole at the same place in the two facing 45-degree surfaces. You glue a dowel in the hole on one side, then fit the other side onto the sticking out dowel. As with all woodworking, you have to measure carefully to get the holes properly aligned when the two faces meet.

If you're limited in the tools area, and don't want to spend a lot of money (not knowing if you're going to continue doing woodworking projects), it is possible to rent the tools you need. Some of the big box stores (Home Despot, etc.) have that service available. You would need either a miter box and good quality hand saw, or a chop saw (circular saw mounted on a stand).

If you enjoy working on a relatively simple project like this, then you should consider investing in (or asking as presents!) good quality tools.
TheGlowingCurve (author)  kelseymh2 years ago
Hm, the dowel method doesn't sound very efficient, but if that's the best way to do it, then okey dokes.

Oh, I didn't know I could rent tools, nice. I may have to go with that. I don't have money to spend on buying them, really, but I might go ahead and throw a few on my wishlist. Thanks for all the help!

On another note, I still do hope someone will put together a good instructable for this. Heck, I'll give it a go if I decide to try to make it, but I'm not nearly as experienced as other woodworkers here.
The dowel method is quite secure -- the hole you drill should be exactly the same size as the dowel, so there's a snug fit. To get a really good and solid alignment, you would use two dowels, separated by an inch or two. If you make the holes properly aligned, the corner will be smooth, there won't be anything at all visible connecting the two pieces of wood.

The "official" method is called biscuit joinery, where you cut a slot in both sides of the miter, and insert a thin, oval-shaped wafer of wood (the "biscuit"). This requires a special tool called a biscuit cutter to make the slots for you; that's probably why Caitlinsdad recommended dowels instead.
TheGlowingCurve (author)  kelseymh2 years ago
I was having some trouble visualizing that, but I think I found an illustration of what you just explained to me. Although biscuit joinery sounds even less secure, because I'm guessing a thin wafer of wood probably isn't very sturdy.

Thanks again, I'm learning something new with every comment.
Oh, now I see what you're thinking! My apologies; we should have explained that for these kind of joints, you use wood glue (a thin layer) on both of the flat surfaces to hold them together. That's what provides the strength. The dowels or biscuits provide alignment and additional strength against bending stresses.
Those look like standard paperbacks on the shelf, so this might just be a straight-up 2x4 (or 2x6), and the quoted dimensions make it just over 62" long. The short dimension of 250 mm corresponds to 16-1/2", which just about matches 16"-on-center studs.

If you do the single-miter-and-flip trick five times, leaving just the two ends to be notched off, you can probably build the whole shelf with less than a five foot length.
imdomi2 years ago
I also recommend that instead of making one of these you make 100 and start your own shelf company.....and then post an Instructable about "How to Swim in Money Like Scrooge McDuck".

This is pretty much 2 or 3 bucks worth of 2 by 4 and a few simple cuts. And for $120 a piece you would have profit margins which would put drug dealers to shame.