Invisible Mounted Shelves





Introduction: Invisible Mounted Shelves

About: Scrap is valuable...

This instructable presents my on-going project : triangular shelves for a corner with invisible mounts.

Why invisible mounts ? Just because it is very nice, and because I like to do things the complicated way...

Step 1: Plan the Cut

I achieved these shelves using a single wood board, as depicted below.
Note the cutting lines done by hand will be on the wall (understand hidden...), and the nice machine straight cut will be the one that everyone will see !

There are actually three shelves, two are done for the moment, the last is about to come.

Step 2: Walls and Corners

Anyone who tried to put shelves or to work in corners must have noticed that absolutely no corner is 90 degrees, nor the walls are straight. So what ?
Then in most situations you will have your cut shelve, but unable to match it with the wall, as with A or B situation.
What I suggest is to take an angle, and a pencil. Put the pencil through a hole of the angle, and draw the profile of the wall on your shelve, as in the picture.
When you cut your shelve, you will have a perfect match with the wall.
Obviously, everything worked for me the very first time : The line was perfect, I hold the jigsaw 90 degrees to the board, and I did not need any sandpaper work...

Step 3: Mounts and Mounting

The idea to hold the triangular shape is a three point anchor, as depicted in the first diagram.

But then, some problems occur, on how are you going to put the shelve in place... The process that my father tough about is illustrated in the second picture. The first side of the triangle is pressed in the isolated anchor in the wall, and then the shelve is slided into the two anchors on the other side of the triangle. The picture is better than my explanation, actually...
This leads to a mandatory gap inside the thickness of the shelve, to allow the sliding process. This is why, I needed to cut an elongated hole on one side of the board., as the 4th picture show.

Step 4: Wall Preparation

The idea I have chosen is to use these plastic anchors, filled with wood pins. The wood pin will then be glued inside the shelve for a permanent use.
The first picture show a little preparation of the plastic anchors : the winglets have been cut, because the wood pins could not entered the anchor, when installed in the wall.

Also, what I suggest is to drill a hole to allow insertion of the green anchor until 2 or 3 mm remains. Then, a hammer helps to make a perfect match between the head of the anchor, and the wall.

Step 5: The End ?

Here is the hardly finished project.

I still want to do some sandpaper work on the side of the shelve, to round it, so it has a better finish. Also, I want to do some dyeing, so the pine wood will look better.

I hope you appreciated this instructable. I took me time to do it, because I do not have any table saw, nor sharp drill. I did everything, holding level with my hands. As usual, any comments or suggestions are welcome...



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    14 Discussions

    How much can that hold. It seems to me like the first time someone puts a little weight on it or something, it'll tear itself out of the wall.

    2 replies

    It is not always a matter of weight it can handle... Ask your wife/girlfriend about having a possibility to put a couple of candles, a vase with flowers, that does not weight much...

    Since it's in a triangular shape, there's support on both ends. I'd say it'd hold up at least 15-20 lbs., though it'd be better if it had four anchor points. The "invisible bookshelf" I made a while back used the same design (except mine didn't have the dowels into the wall) and is holding about 23 lbs.

    If your elongated notch was L shaped it would be more secure. The weight of stuff on top would keep it from lifting up.

    1 reply

    L shaped notch would have lead to a very thin plank over the anchor.
    Stress point of view is disastrous. It is like having the complete plank of hardly the same thickness as the quantity of material between the wood dowel and the plank top...

    Nice work. I hope you put the anchors into the studs behind the plaster though, otherwise I wouldn't be putting more than a feather on this :P

    1 reply

    Nice, but: How much weigh it can support? You should consider that if you perforate the border of the panel to house the fastener, the wood weakens a lot. Anyway, the idea is interesting

    1 reply

    You are right.
    Engineering point of view : thickness of the plank being actually supporting the shelf is the thin layer between the upper side of the hole, and the upper side of the plank. Taking a much thicker plate does not solve the problem for important loads, because of the tricky installation. Fastener does not only take shear, but tension that tends to put it out the wall... 

    The idea here was to be able to put a couple of bowls for flowers, one or two books...

    What a wonderful instructable. I'm glad that you took the time to put it up. I'm sure that there are lots of folks out there that can use something like this. The matching of the wall to the edges of the shelves is a great idea and it looks perfect. Not everyone wants to put a car battery on there shelf! Keep up the good work.

    1 reply

     There had been a lot of work, oops, rework, and finally, it works... Thanks for your comment.

    I built a wall mounted desk that had some problems with misshaped walls. While reading I was thinking L brackets with the bracket hidden behind/between the shelf and wall.