Post details: Building Utility Shelves

03/30/05

Permalink 12:56:41 pm, Categories: Articles, 433 words   English (US)

Building Utility Shelves


Why take the time to build your own utility shelves when there are so many good off-the-shelf solutions to choose from? Well, for one thing, you can build this custom unit to fit the exact space you have available. And because you'll anchor it to the ceiling joists and the floor, it'll probably be a lot sturdier under a heavy load than most freestanding shelves.

Finally, no manufactured shelving we've seen gives you the spacing flexibility and easy reconfiguration of this unit. An added plus: If you like, you can dress it up with the simple addition of side panels and stock trim molding on the face frame.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

SKILL SCALE
Easy

TIME REQUIRED
This unit will go together in a single afternoon.

TOOLS
Tape measure
Plumb bob
Framing square
Level
Stud gun (optional)
Power screwdriver
Drill
Circular saw
Bar clamps
C-clamps
Handscrew clamps
Router

MATERIALS
2x4 material
3/4-inch plywood
Wood shims
Wood screws
Wood glue

STEPS 1-5 of 10

Shelves Access to the front of the pool is required for servicing.
Front Access:Mark the locations of the top plates on the ceiling. One plate should be flush against the wall, and the other should be parallel to it with its front edge 24 inches from the wall. Cut the 2x4 top plates to the full length of the utility shelves, then attach them to the ceiling joists using 3-inch screws.
Shelves Access to the front of the pool is required for servicing.Front Access:Using a plumb bob as a guide, mark points directly beneath the outside corners of the top plates to find the outer sole-plate locations. Mark the sole-plate locations by drawing lines perpendicular to the wall, connecting each pair of points.
Shelves Cut outer 2x4 sole plates, and position them perpendicular to the wall, just inside your outlines. Shim the plates to level them, if necessary, then attach them to the floor with a stud gun or screws. Attach a center sole plate midway between the outer sole plates.
Shelves Prepare the shelf risers by cutting 7/8-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-deep dado grooves with a router. Cut dadoes every 4 inches along the inside face of each 2x4 riser with the top and bottom dadoes about 12 inches from the ends. Gang-cut the risers by laying them flat, clamping them together, and attaching a straightedge guide to align your dado cuts. For each cut, make several passes with the router, gradually extending the bit depth until the dadoes are 3/4 inch deep.
Shelves Using a circular saw and a straightedge guide, trim the shelf risers to a uniform length before unclamping them.

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