How To Build Built In Shelves

If your home lacks character and style, then you may want to consider learning how to build built in shelves. Yes, the job may be a little intimidating; but it is a project that just about any novice “do it yourselfer” can tackle. With the right amount of instruction, you can have a new set of beautiful built in shelves installed in as little as one weekend.

To build built in shelves you will need:

  • Saw (Handsaw, tables saw, circular saw)
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure, Square
  • Hardware (screws, nails, brads)
  • Pins
  • ¼” Inch Plywood
  • 1 x 6’s
  • Paint
  • Molding
  1. Determine the size and location of your shelves. What you will be using your shelves for is a huge determining factor on how you will build them. Will your built in shelves be used for a collection of paper books, or will they be used to display a collection of knick-knacks. You may even want to consider making your shelves adjustable, so they can displays items of varying sizes throughout the years.
  2. Create the frame. In essence, a built in shelf is just a frame, or a box. Using your square, saw, and drill, construct a frame that matches the appropriate dimensions. For optimum durability, cut and screw small blocks of wood into each of the built in shelf’s corners. This will help add support.
  3. Cut and attach the sheet of plywood. The Sheet of plywood will serve as the back of your built in shelves. Using the circular saw, cut the plywood to match the dimensions of the frame. Then screw it onto the backside of the shelving.
  4. Cut and attach vertical supports for the shelves. These will be the strips, in addition to the sides, that serve as support to your shelving. Just like studs, they will placed every eighteen to twenty four inches within the frame of your shelves. This means that the amount of support strips you need depends on the overall width of your built in shelves. The strips, which should be one inch thick, will be tacked to the rear outside back of the shelves.
  5. Cut shelves and drill holes. You will now want to cut the actually shelves to the appropriate length. Also, drill holes into the sides of the frame, making sure to measure carefully. These holes will serve as the places where the supporting pins or dowels are placed. It is on these supporting pins that the actual shelves rest.
  6. Paint and finish your built in shelves. Paint or stain the shelves to match the décor of your home. After putting the built in shelves in place, use the molding to finish the edges. This will give your built in shelves
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