Simple Floating Shelf




Introduction: Simple Floating Shelf

I always wanted to build my own floating shelves and had seen some
similar ideas but they were not quite as solid so took a little time to think
about how I could improve on the ideas I had seen and still keep it simple.
This is what i came up with.

Step 1: Materials

1) Piece of solid wood for the shelf
2) 6mm thread bar
3) 6mm nuts x2
4) 6mm expansion bolts x2
5) oil to finish wood off (optional)

Step 2: Tools

1)spirit level
2) steel ruler
3) Pencil
4) selection of drill bits
5)Drill with hammer function
6) hacksaw
7) orbital sander
8) Pliers
9) Spanner

Step 3: Prep, Mark, Measure

I started by giving the shelf a sand with the orbital sander just to clean up any very rough
spots and remove any splinters. (wanted to keep the shelf fairly rustic looking.)

Note: If you gonna radius the edges be sure to keep the back edges square
otherwise i will look funny where it meets the wall.

Next mark a line along the center of the length of the shelf then
take a rough measurement to get an idea of the pitch of the holes for fixings.
Try to leave at least 30mm from the edge of the shelf and also look out for things like knots,
nails, (if you are using a reclaimed piece of timber) or any other thing s that might get in the
way of your holes. (mine came to 490mm)

Note: I didn't mark exactly 30mm from each end and the measure the distance between those points.
I just held my ruler along the back of shelf eyeballed the distance i wanted from either end and rounded
to the closest even measurement.

Step 4: Mark Out Holes for the Shelf on the Wall

Hold the shelf up to the wall to get idea of exactly where you want it and make a reference mark.
Now from your reference mark a horizontal line an then measure and mark the pitch of your holes
according to the measurement calculated in previous step.

Step 5: Drill Holes in Wall

Now starting with the smallest masonry bit you have (my case 3mm) drill holes into
the wall on marks you marked out for shelf. Start your first hole without hammer to
prevent drill from running off of marks and once started switch over to hammer.
Go up in steps until you get to final size for expansion bolt. Try to keep drill as straight
and level as possible while drilling holes.

Step 6: Measure, Mark, Drill.

Now measure the exact pitch of your holes in the wall and mark the pitch on the back of your shelf.
Now drill 6mm holes on your marks on back of shelf.
Note: Make sure to check length of bit to depth of shelf and mark bit with a piece of tape to make
sure you don't drill right through the shelf.
Now counter bore your holes with a 12mm bit about 10mm deep.

Step 7: Assemble the Fixings

Disassemble the expansion bolt keeping the bolt for future project. Turn
a nut onto thread bar then slip on the washer and then turn into expansion 

Step 8: Secure, Measure, and Cut Fixings

Insert the thread bar into the hole in your shelf  until t is all the way in then
mark and measure the depth of the hole.
Now insert the expansion bolt into the wall hold the thread bar with a pair of
pliers and tighten the nut with a spanner.
Now taking the measurement from earlier mark +-5mm shorter and cut off
remaining length of thread bar.

Step 9: Finish With Oil or Varnish

I just gave the shelf a coat of teak oil for light wood to seal and protect it.

Step 10: Mount and Enjoy

Finally all that is left to do is slide the shelf onto the fixings stand back, admire, and enjoy

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    6 years ago

    Could this be done in dry wall to hold light wt decorative items. ?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    How thick was the wall to hold this? Did you drill into wood studs? Would expansion bolt work in studs?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes it's for concrete walls.

    You could put more weight on it if you put the threaded rod all of the way through the board, and counterbore the front of the bore like you did the back of it and put a washer and nut on the front and tighten it to the wall. Then brad nail an trim edge to the front of the board. But the edge of the back of the board would have to be true 90 degrees to the top of the shelf or it could tilt up or down when tightened.

    If it tilts up you could call it a preload and put even more weight on it. Ha ha.

    zork the destroyer
    zork the destroyer

    7 years ago

    Is this for concrete walls? If not what is the hammer drill for?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Good work, I suggest to use TMT bar which can be hammered in both parts using drill bit slightly smaller in diameter than bar.


    10 years ago on Step 10

    leonroode... i salute your sharing of the wonderful floating shelf.....cheers!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks - this is a great instructable. I used it to make a spice shelf for my kitchen, using recovered construction scaffolding wood!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    So, How much weight do you thing those thread bars can take before they fail?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    @reptedjess the weight factor would realle depend on what thickness thread bar you use. The two i have made have both been with 6mm bar because they are intended for light stuff but if load factors were higher i would use a thicker thread bar. but also remember that the depth of the shelf will play a huge factor in the whole equation. ie the deaper the shelf the more leverage on the fixings