This instructable shows how I used an old oak table leaf to construct a simple yet durable wall shelf which is hung using a french cleat. I know there are lots of intructables about how to make a shelf, but I am particularly fond of the french cleat hanging method due to it's simple construction and how much easier it is to hang a shelf.
Some scrap lumber
1/4" wood dowels
wood or hot glue
tape measure or ruler
saw (preferably with a tilting table or blade to allow for angled cuts such as band or table saw)
Step 1: Select some lumber.
Here are a couple of the oak table leaves I found in my attic which were missing the rest to make a table.
Step 2: Cut the surface area.
The leaves were about 12" wide and several feet long so first I cut the leaves into 15" lengths.
Step 3: Divide to make 2 shelf surfaces.
I then cut the 15" length so that I now had 2 15" x 6" surfaces.
Step 4: The cleat "hanger"
Now cut several 1"x3/4"x9" strip(s), depending on the number of shelves you plan on building. I cut more than enough because spares never hurt.
Step 5: Cut the cleat at a 45 degree angle.
Next I cut the strip(s) at a 45 degree angle leaving a 1/4" area to drill holes in for mounting. This will make more sense later.
Step 6: Sides
I took a 12"x6" length of wood and cut it in half to make two 6"x6" square pieces. I did this because I am making several shelves. You could simply cut one 6" piece.
Step 7: Draw a pattern
Using a pencil I measured and drew the lines to make the side support brackets. I decided on a triangle using slightly different dimensions for each side. They are as follows: 4-1/2"x5-1/2"x6-1/2" The bottom I cut so that it is flat and does not come to a point. Again the pictures are worth at least several sentences.