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Old 01-04-2010, 10:19 AM   #1
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Building shelves into a niche


Hi all -

First post. Cool site! I was hoping to lean on the expertise on here. I have the niche pictured below, and I would like to make it a little more usable by installing shelves in the niche. The niche is ~11" deep, ~20" wide, and ~6' high.



The niche is by the garage, and in fact, I took the picture from the doorway to the garage. Since it's somewhat hidden in "the back" of the house, I don't think I need anything elaborate/fancy. The shelves will be used to hold the kids' school books as well as stacks of incoming mail, etc. So basically, nothing decorative.

My current plan is to do the following. Sorry - the drawing's not to scale. :-) The builder did something similar for the shelves in the pantry, which is where I got the inspiration. I'm thinking of using pine (instead of MDF like the builder used) for the shelving, as well as for the support bracing.



I realize that with the above, I don't have the ability to adjust the shelving heights, but I don't like the idea of using shelving tracks as the support arms eat into the space, and I'm limited as far as studs to screw the tracks into.

Is this a good plan? Is there something I'm not thinking of? Are there better ways to do this?

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #2
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Building shelves into a niche


Hi and welcome to the forum!
sounds good to me, you could use screws on a couple of them if you think you might want to move them up or down later?
good idea to NOT use crapboard for the shelves.... or the supports.... or anything at all for that matter....

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Old 01-04-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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Building shelves into a niche


be careful screwing to tight at outside corner or you will crack drywall corner bead
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Building shelves into a niche


That ought to work -- there should be wood at both the front and the back corner of the niche to catch the screws. You really don't need the strip of wood at the back for such small shelves -- just one on each side.

Another alternative would be to screw the kind of shelf support you see in bookshelves to the walls. You use four of them and they hold up the shelves with little dog-ear things that stick in.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:02 PM   #5
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Building shelves into a niche


Thanks, everyone, for the feedback! It's nice to know I'm on the right track.

@pyper - good point about not needing the back strip of wood. Do you mind explaining a bit more about the shelf supports? Are you talking about the ones that look like little pegs?
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
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Building shelves into a niche


20" span will sag if too thin of wood is used and too much weight is on it.
i'd still add back support if i were you.
heck, you could always just screw "L" brackets wherever you want the shelves too.....
try to hit studs or good wood, of course....

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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Building shelves into a niche


The shelf supports I have in mind would go on the sides, not the back.

They're usually brass colored. The have horizontal slits in pairs. The supports are maybe 3/16" thick and 1/2" wide. The supports have a flat spot about 1/2" square and then a curve underneath. There are two tabs that go into the support.

I tried finding a picture of the track, but couldn't. Here's a picture of the bit that clips into it. This one is upside down in the picture:

http://hardware.hardwarestore.com/28...ps-208538.aspx

I really don't see those shelves sagging unless you're storing concrete sacks. According to sagulator, a 20" x 11" floating pine shelf will deflect 3/100 of an inch with a 200 lb. load
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