Strong CNC Shelf Brackets for 87 Cents

I made it at TechShop:

I always seem to have the need to add another shelf to the garage or shed.  Strong metal Home Depot brackets cost about 7 bucks and the junky ones around $2.  Seems like I need a tonne of them.  Being in California where basements are rare, all of our storage is in the garage. So I sketched up a bracket that can be cut on the ShopBot.  It works out to about 87 cents per bracket if using a $45 piece of 3/4" plywood and a bracket that is 12" x 8".

When I am working on other ShopBot projects and often have some scrap so I drop a couple of these brackets into the drawing to make use of the excess wood.  That way, I always have a stash of brackets and cut down on my scrap too.

You'll see in the photos that I attached some 2x2 strips to the drywall on my garage at the stud locations. This was a tip from the Family Handyman magazine.  These strips allow my brackets to be quickly installed by screwing from the side, as shown. The 2-by's can accept any type of custom bracket that you can come of with for holding tools - like weed whackers and sports equipment. The shelves are fastened to the brackets from the top with screws.

These are incredibly strong.  I sat across 2 of them (170lbs) and they didn't budge.  The brace that goes between the horizontal and vertical member is obviously the key to the strength.   The drawback is that it impedes shelf space on a shelf below. So you can play with the position of the brace - move it inwards for more space and less strength, depending on your needs.  Scale the drawings for larger or smaller brackets, of course.

I included a dxf for a 12x8 bracket for importing and a jpg showing the layout for piece a 48"x24" plywood. I can fit about 13 of them. The zip file contains a .crv (Vcarve file) with the layout for a 48"x24" sheet.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Be the First to Share


    • Furniture Contest

      Furniture Contest
    • Reuse Contest

      Reuse Contest
    • Hot Glue Speed Challenge

      Hot Glue Speed Challenge

    3 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Love the idea of the vertical brace. You could even design something more decorative, to coordinate with the bracket


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks pfred2. Zipping worked and I posted the vcarve file.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I use the cheap brackets from the big box stores but I weld a cross brace onto them. That turns them into the expensive brackets. I think one costs me more than 87 cents to make though. I think when I got my cheap brackets they were $1.19 a piece? Then with one piece of 1/2" EMT I can make a lot of cross braces.

    I think you can zip any file and post the zip file to this site.