In this Instructable project, I'll show you how to build a DIY floating shelf, which can be built with only a circular saw, drill, and doweling jig. This easy-to-build project looks awesome and can be sized to fit your space. Let's get started!
Don't miss the video above for a lot more details!
Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools
The only tools you absolutely need for this build are something to cut the boards to length, such as a circular saw or miter saw, a drill to make holes for the mounting hardware and dowels, and some kind of dowel jig. Simple!
Materials Used On DIY Floating Shelf:
The links below are affiliate links. I get a small percentage of any sales generated by these links and they don't cost you anything extra! Thanks!
- Rockler Blind Shelf Supports: http://amzn.to/2uD5Rm1
- ~4 bdft of 6/4 hardwood, such as Bubinga, or 48" long 2x8
- Wood Glue : http://amzn.to/2uD5Rm1
- ~ 8 Dowels : http://amzn.to/2uD5Rm1
- 1 Quart Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish : http://amzn.to/2uD5Rm1
Tools Used On DIY Floating Shelf:
- Rockler ½" Dowel Drilling Jig : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- SawStop PCS 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- Festool Kapex Miter Saw : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- Festool OF 1400 Router : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- Powermatic PJ-882HH 8-Inch Jointer : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- Powermatic 15HH 15-Inch Planer : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- Mirka Deros Sander : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
- Bosch Drill : http://amzn.to/2uzipuW
Step 2: (Optional) Mill Rough Lumber to Size
Step 3: Cut Shelf Pieces to Length
My shelves are 18" long by 6" wide by 7 ¾" tall. You can adjust the shelf sizing to fit your space, you just need to make sure they're at least 18" long so they can span two studs, which are spaced 16" on center. Also, in order for the hardware to be hidden, the boards need to be at least 1 ⅛" thick. I cut the boards to length with my miter saw.
My pieces were the following dimensions:
- Top and bottom pieces - 18" by 6"
- Side pieces - 5 ½" by 6"
Step 4: Layout and Cut Joinery
To join the shelf pieces, I used a simple dowel drilling jig. This inexpensive tool is a great way to create a strong joint, much strong than screws. To use the dowel jig, first you mark the location for your dowels. I used a square for this to make sure my lines were straight.
To drill the dowel holes, you set the depth stop on the included drill bit, clamp the jig to your piece, then drill to full depth. Repeat this on all of the boards.
Step 5: Assemble Shelves
Step 6: Drill Holes for Shelf Hardware
The shelf hardware I used required 7/16" holes drilled at least 5 ½" into the back of the shelves. The holes need to be spaced 16" on center to match up with the stud spacing in most walls. I used a drill press to drill these holes, which is highly recommended, but if you don't have a drill press, just make sure to use a square or drilling guide to keep your holes square.
Step 7: Chamfer Edges and Sand
Step 8: Apply Finish
For finish, I used Waterlox, a tung oil-based finish that looks ridiculously good. Just look at that Bubinga! I applied three coats, allowing the finish to dry for 24 hours between coats.
Step 9: Hang Shelves
I used these Blind Shelf Supports from Rockler to hang the shelves, and they're fairly simple to install. The big key is to make sure they line up with the holes you drilled in the previous step, which they should as long as you measured properly. Just make sure the hardware is level and attach them into studs using 2 ½" screws.
The posts just slide into the holes you drilled previously, so mounting is super simple. Once the shelves are mounted, they're done!
Step 10: Enjoy Your Shelves!
Hopefully you enjoyed this Instructable! This simple project can really look awesome depending on the type of wood you use. Even if you can't afford fancy hardwoods like Bubinga, you could stain big box store Pine and get a really cool look. If you enjoyed this project, get subscribed to my YouTube channel for a lot more woodworking projects, and don't miss my website for even more! Thanks!