Floating Shelves From Scrap Wood

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human...

I had some scrap wood left over from making my wife some bookshelves.

I made an Instructable for it: https://www.instructables.com/id/Stairway-Bookshel...

Instead of throwing those small pieces of scrap wood away, I used them to make some floating shelves. I only needed small pieces because I was putting the shelves in the small space between two garage doors. I was already storing some buckets and car washing supplies there on the floor. These shelves helped me organize my car washing supplies and free up some shelf space elsewhere in my garage.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

I used a couple of cordless drills, a cordless impact driver with Philips bit, a hand drill, a hand saw, a tape measure, combination square, small level, and a clamping table. Also some drill bits and a countersink drill bit.

The wood I used was some 2x4s and some 7 1/4 x 3/4 boards.

To fasten the boards to the 2x4s I used #8 x 2" long wood screws.

To fasten the shelves to the wall I used #10 x 3" long wood screws.

Step 2: Basic Design

The design is simple. I ripped the 2x4s down the middle and screwed them to the 7 1/4 x 3/4 boards with (3) #8 x 2" long wood screws and then mount the shelf assembly to the wall with (2) #10 x 3" long wood screws.

Step 3: Measure and Cut

I measured the distance between the garage door tracks and decided that 12" wide shelves would work and still leave a little space between the shelves and the door tracks.

Step 4: Measure Mark and Drill

I drilled the holes for the (2) #10 x 3" long screws centered in the ripped 2x4s 2 inches from each end. I then drilled the holes for the (3) #8 x 2" long screws 1 1/2" from each end of the shelf and centered at 6". I made sure to stagger the holes so the screws would not hit each other.

Step 5: Screw Together

I then match drilled the (3) holes into the ripped 2x4 piece and then screwed them together. I did not use glue, but wood glue would have made the shelves stronger. Make sure to have the holes in the ripped 2x4 pieces oriented the correct way for the finished shelf.

Step 6: Drill Holes for Mounting to Wall

I held the shelf over stuff on the shelf below it, to determine the height of each shelf. I had some shelves closer than others to store smaller items. Make sure to center the shelves between the garage door tracks. There was not anything covering the framing on the wall between my garage doors so it made it easy to hit studs.

Step 7: Screw to the Wall

I drilled and screwed one end and then used a level to level up the shelf, before drilling and screwing the other end.

Step 8: I Made a Video

I also made a video of this project.

As always, Thanks for watching and enjoy.

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017



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    6 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Nice idea for under used space. I made a wooden hook/arm to hang a small 7 1/4" mitre saw between the garage doors.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    It sometimes seams like the more space you have, the more stuff fills it up. But I do like having stuff organized. Thanks for the comment.

    Francis Daniel

    1 year ago

    I wonder if this instructable is eligible for Hand Tools Only contest but still a nice one!!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    I realize the term "floating" is used to mean something that is supported differently than with something at all 4 corners, but what's wrong with cantilevered?

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    I was wondering the same thing when I titled my Instructable. I was wondering what makes a floating shelf "floating". I should have just called them shelves. Are all shelves on a boat floating? Maybe not on an airplane, but shelves on a Blimp? Now I am picturing, in my mind, Samuel L. Jackson saying he has had it with these shelves on this plane. My mind has a mind of it's own sometimes. Thanks for the comment. Oh and to answer your question...There is nothing wrong with cantilevered, as long as the fixed point is strong enough.