This is a great introductory welding project that is accessible to beginner's but able to be refined for more experienced metal workers. The shelf bracket is simple and looks very light. The basic design can be adapted to a number of different applications.
Step 1: Assembly
These Shelf brackets are super easy and quick to make. Start by cutting out your steel.
1. Cut 1/4" x 3" Flatbar to 10"
2. Cut 1/2" x 1" Flatbar to 12" (x2)
3. Cut 1/2" square stock to 11" - then....
Cut a piece for the full height of your shelf (24" in this case)
Cut 11" piece for each shelf your supporting. (this is for wood shelves that are 11" deep)
Start by welding the 1/2" x 1" pieces onto the 1/4" x 3" Flatbar; use a 1/2" piece as a spacer between the top and bottom of the 2 vertical members to ensure even spacing and a snug fit. The pieces should be centered on the 3" Flatbar and 1/2" from the bottom edge. Make sure the pieces are vertical/plum (90 degrees wrt horizontal surface)
Next I would setup and tack on the long vertical member, it should be relatively snug between the two flatbar pieces and thus easy to setup, but take your time because it is crucial to have the long piece straight. A jig or a series of 1/2" spacers can help to align everything.
Then weld the square stock rod from the top of the vertical to the 3" flatbar, this doesn't even need to be that precise.
Finally, weld on the 11" pieces of square stock to the vertical at even spacing (90 degrees). The spacing for these shelves was 11", make sure to account for the thickness of the wood shelf sitting on these supports if you are calculating clearances.
The grinding/cleaning should be relatively simple, but its important to be gentle and patient to keep the 1/2" square stock looking straight and sharp.
Step 2: Prepare Wood and Hang
The wood I used for these shelves was a white oak, 8/4 thick. These shelves were cut to fit specific voids in the awkward space.
As shown, these shelves are hung using only one hanging bracket, the back side of the shelves are supported by a piece of finished angle iron attached to the wall and screwed to the underside of the wood shelf.
If you are hanging a shelf on an open wall then you will need at least two hanging brackets - and it is important to hang them level to each other so take your time installing the brackets.
Step 3: Decorate and Display
Once the brackets are hung, the wood should install very simple. These are fit snug so they aren't even screwed in place, but adding a small connection to the shelf support would be a simple improvement if necessary.
Hope to make another evolution of this design soon, let me know what you come up with.