How to Build a Custom Shelf Unit: Recycling at the Same Time




Introduction: How to Build a Custom Shelf Unit: Recycling at the Same Time

About: I like to build, create, and invent new things to use in life. Sometimes I like to share them with others, that's why I joined Instructables. :-)

Hello and Welcome!

This Instructable consist of a How to Build a Custom Shelf Unit; and recyling at the same time. It is a spinoff idea of Innerbubba's insperational Instructable 60-Minute-Bookcase. So as always I must give credit to whom it is due. His Instructable was one of the very first that I made my favorites.

I found several cedar plamks that my neighbor was throwing out for bulk waste collection. I just couldn't let such great materials go to waste so it was time to recyle them into something else. Also I felt I could make the world a greener place blaa blaa blaa.

My son had been asking me to make this ever since I built his sister a simular one for her room see it here The 59 Minute Bookshelf . I wanted to make it fit the theme of his bedroom and this material was perfect. His bedroom has a Wildlife Refuge/Jungle theme. I wanted to try to make the shelf look like it was made out of old supply boxes so that it had a rough worn out look. I think I came close using this old cedar planks.

Tell me what you think.

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Step 1: Safety, Tools, and Materials

As always safety first.

Have a safe work area.

Be aware of the follwing hazards assciated witht his project.
1. Pneumatics - compressed air can be very dangerous
2. Electrical - shocking hazards
3. Sharps - Anything that can cut or poke you
4. Tripping hazards
5. Dangerous dust - MDF dust
6. Chemicals - Spray paint

Tools used

Safety glasses
Table saw
Air compressor
Pneumatic nail gun
Tape measure
Push stick - for table saw
Ear plugs

Used Cedar board or what ever you can scrounge
1.25" brads/nails for your nail gun
Wood Glue

Step 2: Measure, Measure, and Cut Once

You always want to measure twice and cut once.

That's why I call this step Measure, Measure, and Cut Once.

I found several cedar boards that my neighbor was throwing out for bulk waste collection. They were about 6ft x 4in x .5in in size. Since it was left over scrap and it was perfect.

Using my table saw I cut my boards into (28) 1.5" x 10" boards.

I also cut (8) 4x 10" that I used as the verticle side pieces.

Remember safety when using you equipment. Oh yeah, I used the rip fence to make the cuts. Which, yes, can be dangerous but I respect my saw so no accidents occured while making this project.

Now that I have my materials ready lets move on to the assembly part of this Instructable.

Step 3: Assembly

A couple if safety notes, before you start your assembly remember not to hurt yourself with the nail gun and don't eat the wood glue or use it as eye drops. It just wouldn't be right.

The basic thing to remember, after safety, about this project is to alternate the layout of each section. They are a mirrored setup. See the pics below.

Start on the left side and work your way up.

Apply wood glue to one edge and then use your nail gun to secure the two pieces.

Next put the rear piece on, again use glue then your nail gun, not on yourself on the boards.

Set that one aside and begin making the mirror/opposite the first one.

Once you have both complete apply glue to the top of the left one, the first one you made. Then carefully align the edges and use your nail gun to one again secure the parts together. See the pics below for nail placement examples.

Once you have the first two layers complete just repeat these steps until you don't have anymore pieces left, and that's it.

Time for another step.

Step 4: Continue Building

Continue building your shelf by repeating the steps again and again until you have your shelf to the lenght you desire. It is very easy to make, you are basically repeating each side. I built this version extra long becuase I had a large area to cover.

Step 5: Completed Project

Now you have a completed shelf. I had enough extra parts left over to make the original style shelf as well. I still have material left to make another shelf or something else. You can see both shelves and compare the new with the original in the picture below.

Step 6: Install Shelf

It is time to install both shelves. Find the studs in your wall before hanging. I drilled holes through the lower, back braces, and drove screws through them to secure the shelves to the wall.

You can see pictures of both shelves hung below.

We still have a lot of work on the room to get it how we want it, but it is looking good so far.

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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Thos monkeys just make the shelving unit absolutely adorable! It would look great in a kids' room or nursery!


    9 years ago on Step 3

    Great write up. What software did you use to make these incredible sketches?

    Mr. Rig It
    Mr. Rig It

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks, I used google sketch up. It's free from google.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks. I'll give it a shot. Google's so cool

    The Dark Ninja

    Nice! I followed the instructable on how to make one of these (your previous one) and have it holding my PS3 games right now! I've had it for about 3 years now and is still holding strong. I made mine from the wood of an old box spring.

    Cute room. I've been thinking of posting some pictures of our Tiki Bar; where we used a similar "bamboo fencing" to cover the walls.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    OK, when I saw the pic of them in the driveway I thought they looked very crude, but the pic of them in the room shows how they fit into the theme. Very nice job.


    What an awesome room! And I like the slat look to the shelf rather than a solid board. I might have to try this one!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent layout! No kidding, this should be an example for others to follow on how to post a really GOOD instructable. . . .Eh, and now a question: what's up with the grass cloth? I like it . . .I think. :-)

    Mr. Rig It
    Mr. Rig It

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. That is Spanish Moss, I need to add more of it to add to the room. if you like it enough please vote for me in the contest. Thanks again.

    Mr. Rig It
    Mr. Rig It

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, It's always good to hear from you Linuxh4x0r.