Simple to Build Shelves.




Easy to build shelves

I wanted something easy to build with limited tools and (no) carpentry skills. There are only 3 element sizes, a total of 14 parts, and the way it is assembled ensures that it will end up straight.

The bottom shelf stands from the ground so it is easy to clean under and recover stuff that falls behind it.

The back is partially open, so you can put cables in trough the back, in my case  for a router, NAS or charging station, and books will stop at the back.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

I don't have a circular saw to cut the sheets properly so I got them from Leroy Merlin, where they will cut it any size you ask, it is not a perfectly precise cut, but is much better that I would be able to do myself ;)

18mm tick MDF sheets, sizes:
- 2X 35x200cm
- 1+6X 35x35cm (6 for the shelves, +1 to use as a guide)
- 6X 35x10cm
48X Screws ***Colocar o tamanho dos parafusos
Wood glue

2x vise grips
Power drill

Step 2: The Shelves

The 6 shelves will use the 35x35cm and the 35x10cm elements.

1) Apply the wood glue to the longer edge of the 35x10cm piece, using a card to leave it nice and even, covering the whole surface.
2) Place the 35x10 on the 35x35 and clamp it down using the vise grips.
3) Drive two holes
4) Drive the screws
5) remove the vise grips
6) Repeat 5 more times

Step 3: Place the Shelves (1st Half)

1) Place one of the 35x200 flat on the floor.
2) Align and glue the top shelf to the 35x200 ***notice that this one is upside down relative to the following  shelves, see the picture***
3) Wait for the glue to set.
4) Using the extra 35x35 as a spacer glue the next shelf.
5) Wait for it to set
6) Repeat for the remaining shelves.
7) Place the other 35x200 sheet on top of everything, it will help to keep everything in place while the glue sets.
8) After a few hours it should be safe to turn it around and secure each shelf with two screws.

Step 4: Place the Shelves (2nd Half)

Using the spacer, glue and screw the shelves to the other side.



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    15 Discussions


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     So, shelves made, screwed to wall in kitchen. Just need a clean up and paint. Changed dimensions to 40cm x 40cm. Very simple to make and I intend to make more, including adding further shelves to these, heading right with the first shelf starting at either 20 or 60 cm above floor so as to alternate attachment points (does that make sense?)

    Thanks for the design


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice! I'm happy to see you could adapt the idea to your needs and it is looking good.

    I don't get what you mean by attachment points. What's your plan?

    Today I'm buying material to build a TV rack using the same system.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I believe our whole house will become populated on variations on this design.

    I think if shelving gets much wider than this, or the loading gets much greater it will be necessary to think about reinforcing, both under the shelves where they attach to the uprights, to prevent splitting the shelves where screws enter (mdf doesn't seem too strong across it's width) and ?under the shelves themselves to prevent bowing.

    Post a pick of the TV rack as I'll be looking to do the same along with some bookshelves. 


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Here's the TV rack I built using the same design.
    It's made up of two units bound together by screws.

    Can you post pictures of the jig you made to speed up the process? I intend to build a few more of these.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Nice job with the TV rack.

    Here's a couple of photos of the jig. The first shows shelf bottom and back clamped to jig. The second shows shelf completed, but still attached to jig.

    Bookshelves and a home for the stereo are next on the list


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Also what I did to speed up the process is to use a 90 degree 'jig'. Make one of your shelf units (i.e. two peices of Mdf screwed together at 90 degrees) the base of shelf only needs to be about as high as the stopper at the back of shelf. Then to either make each shelf or to attach the shelves to the uprights you can clamp the pieces to the jig, drill then screw and your done.