Introduction: Floating Tree Trunk Shelf

Picture of Floating Tree Trunk Shelf

We recently removed a dead tree, and as we carried the debris away I realized there was some nice wood pieces. Luckily there was a pretty narrow slice of the trunk that I happily recycled into my home as a small display shelf. The wood could be stained, covered in resin or decorated in some way, but for this Instructable I opted to keep it in its raw, beautiful state. Enjoy!

Step 1: Items Needed (besides the Slice of Tree):

Picture of Items Needed (besides the Slice of Tree):

1. Blind shelf supports

I picked up a pair from Rockler via Amazon for $20. They are sold in pairs and you will want one for every 16" of shelf length.

#8 screws at least 1 1/2" long (2 per shelf support)

2. Tools

Saw to cut the wood

Drill

Saw to cut the metal shelf support (if the shelf is less than 5" deep)

Hammer and nail (if the shelf is less than 16" long)

Only simple tools are needed, but having a friend with a woodshop is a benefit!

Step 2: Cut the Wood So There Is a Straight Edge

Picture of Cut the Wood So There Is a Straight Edge

You want a long straight edge for maximum support. For the tree stump used here, the piece was cut in half.

Step 3: Mount the Shelf Baseplate(s)

The blind shelf support comes with a pair of baseplates, set screws and hex posts.

Using a magnet, find the studs in the wall. The shelf mounting should go into a stud. For a shelf that is narrower than the distance between studs (like mine), find one stud for mounting on one side of the shelf.

Drill a 1/8" pilot hole, then mount the shelf baseplate with #8 flathead screws. Each baseplate takes two screws.

Step 4: Drill a Hole in the Shelf for the Hex Post

Picture of Drill a Hole in the Shelf for the Hex Post

Using a drill with a 7/16" bit, bore a hole in the shelf for the hex post from the blind shelf kit to fit into.

Since my shelf did not span two studs, I supported the other half of the shelf with a nail. Using a Dremel, a small groove was made in the wood where the nail would go so it would remain hidden.

Step 5: Cut the Hex Posts

Picture of Cut the Hex Posts

If the shelf is less than 5" deep, the hex posts will need to be shortened. Using a hacksaw or bandsaw, cut the excess length off from the non-threaded side of the hex screw.

Step 6: Mount the Hex Post

Using the set screw, add the hex post to the baseplate on the wall.

Since I was using only one shelf support, I also added a nail in the wall to support the other half of the shelf. To make sure I put the nail in the right spot, the shelf was hung from the single support and adjusted until it was level. A mark was made on the wall where the small groove was located under the shelf for the nail.

Step 7: Slide the Shelf Onto the Hext Posts Until It Is Flush With the Wall

Picture of Slide the Shelf Onto the Hext Posts Until It Is Flush With the Wall

Step 8: Decorate!

Picture of Decorate!

Comments

anthony.hite.9 (author)2016-05-01

Excellent! I have been coming up with ideas to use tree slabs for. You have added a idea to my book. Thanks for sharing!

mailtoshanky (author)2016-02-13

Very nice idea. Did you treat the trunk with any wood paint or polish?

hansanator (author)2015-10-27

Very tranquil. The shelf really looks like it is floating.

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