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Old 12-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #1
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Building White Shelves


I'm wanting to build white shelves in my son's room.
I want the shelves to look similar to the shelves in my other son's room. I attached a picture of them. They are white, looks like they are made of basic wood and it looks like there is a strip of molding (don't know if that is the right term) that goes at the front of the shelf to make it look very nice.
I assume you just nail the strip into the piece of wood you make the shelf with?

I was thinking about putting the shelf about the length of the entire wall in my son's room (the wall with the dresser against it.) That space between the wall and the window is about 7 3/4". Is it ok building a shelf that narrow?

Or/and

Building a shelf across the wall where the bed currently is.

For both shelves, would it be best to just put braces wherever there are studs? Or put a brace at every other stud?
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Last edited by limitdiy; 12-27-2010 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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Building White Shelves


It looks like you can remove one of the existing shelves easy enough, so I would do just that, take it to your local lumber yard, and they will most likely be able to fix you up with a style of trim that matches, or is at least close enough, considering that they are in two separtate rooms. It looks like that piece is about 3/4", so I believe that I would plan to rabbet or dado it about 1/4", depending on whether or not you want a lip on the front of the shelf, so that it lends support to the front edge, and provides give you witth a good bed for your glue, as well as a professional finished product. As for the shelves themselves, figure up the amount of material for each shelf, and number of shelves, so that you can be prepared to figure the prices of the various options, but some of your options are a higher end plywood, 1x10 pine, or MDF. You can buy strips similar to the ones that you currently have for the ends, as well as shelf brackets, so that you could install additional strips every 32" or so along the back wall, and use the shelf brackets to support the center of the shelf.

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Old 12-27-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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Building White Shelves


Yeah you can do that shelf yourself. The shelf itself is probably ¾’’ birch plywood good one side with a piece of trim molding attached to it. If you want to match that trim molding you can either bring your pictures or your shelf to any apron store or lumber store to try and match it. As per installing your shelf you should have shelf brackets either wood or metal to be mounted to a stud and if a stud is not available use some type of anchor like toggle bolts etc…
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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Building White Shelves


Thank you epson. Yes, that is exactly what first came to my mind, except that I couldn't bring myself to say b..b...b...birch plywood after the last time that I bought it, around here anyway!
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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Building White Shelves


thank you guys for all the info and advice.
Question, I don't have a saw (or a sander for that matter)...could I cut the shelf material with a handsaw and sand down all the imperfections? Or would I need to get a power saw?
I figure I'll be putting thick trim paint on the shelf anyway.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #6
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Building White Shelves


No, you don't NEED a power saw, except that you remind me of my dad, 40 or 50-some years ago... "Here son, take this hand saw and rip X" off that piece of plywood"! (It's no wonder that I feel old some days!) Your lumber yard may rip it for you, but surely you know someone at work, church, or wherever, who would be willing, and probably happy to, do that for you. Also, while not absolutely necessary, and maybe others wouldn't agree with it anyway, again, I would want to rabbet or dado the front piece, so if you go that route, you'll need someone to do that as well. As for sanding, if you use birch plywood, as epson suggested, you should be fine, scuffing it slightly with a hand sanding block.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #7
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Building White Shelves


My suggestion would be to place a shelf by the wall with a dresser against it.
I would think that is a better place than right above the headboard the only thing is that you would need to pay attention to the door clearance.
It is O.K to have a shelf 7-3/4" wide; actually that is the actual size of the standard nominal 1x8 boards. I work for a Chicago area Home Depot and I know we carry a 1x8 poplar that is sold by a linear foot + in addition associates at the store will cut the board in the store to the desired length. Birch plywood is expensive and for one shelf it is not a good choice, being that 75% would go to waste.
Attach shelf supports to the studs and use long enough screws to do so.
As far as the molding goes take a picture to the store and they should be able to mach it, right now looking at the picture, it looks like a pine cleat.

Hope that helps and good luck with your project.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:13 PM   #8
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Building White Shelves


Yes you could also use 1 x 8 poplar if you’re only going to make one self and it takes paint very well but if you intend to make more than one shelf I would take all the measurements required to make yourself a cutting list and see how many shelves you can get out of a 4 x 8 sheet.
In my area birch veneer plywood is not that expensive and you don’t have to make a rabbet or dado to install the front trim. In your picture the trim looks flush to the face of the shelf which is how I installed mine on my book case. Just use finishing nails with a nail punch, fill in the holes with wood putty sand and paint.
As mentioned above any one apron store or lumber yard can cut your shelves to any length or width as per your requirements for a small fee.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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Building White Shelves


I don't know if you have a Lowes near you, but the one we have will cut two pieces of board free and any others for 25 cents per cut as long as the are straight cuts.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peggy1 View Post
I don't know if you have a Lowes near you, but the one we have will cut two pieces of board free and any others for 25 cents per cut as long as the are straight cuts.
The same rule applies to Home Depot as well, first two cuts are free.

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