We'll cover how to make a tiny wooden shelf. I put this together at the TechShop in San Francisco.
Step 1: Grab Some Wood
Since the shelf I'll be building is so tiny, I'll grab some wood out of the scrap pile. The dimensions don't really matter; any old plank will do.
Step 2: Cut to Length
Cut the wood to the length you want the shelf to be. I used a compound miter saw.
Step 3: Divide and Conquer
Now make a slice, about a third of the overall width, down the entire length of the board. I'm using a table saw. You should now have two pieces that are the same length but slightly different in width.
Step 4: Brace Yourself
By adding braces to the shelf, we reinforce it's durability thereby greatening load capacity.
Using the compound miter saw, make a forty-five degree cut on the corner, using the less wide plank. You'll be left with a little triangle brace. Technically, you could go with any angle, but forty-five seems to be pretty standard. I actually did thirty-one and a half.
After the first cut, you can return the saw back to zero degrees. Then, line up the first brace along the piece you just cut it from so you can duplicate the cut. You should now have two fairly identical triangular braces.
Step 5: Evening Out the Boards
After cutting the braces from the less wide plank, it will obviously be shorter than before. You'll need to even out the boards. Easy. I'll be doing this on the table saw.
Step 6: Check Your Fit
Do the pieces fit together well? Try holding them together with your hand.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Now just take your nail gun to drop some finishing nails into the brackets. You're all done. Hang it however you want.