{Life List} Carpentry: Floating shelves

***Update at end of post for complete Cut List***

I don’t even know how to start this post. With some background?

We’re building this house and at the meeting where I went to pick out carpets, paint and counters and cabinets I told them with lots and lots of conviction that I wanted nothing to do with Upper Cabinets and No Microwave.

There were some blank stares coming back at me. And then they asked – how do you cook without a microwave?

I just had to giggle.

This is what I was after:

Kitchen

Photo Credit

Inspiration from the obvious as well as around the webershpere, magazines and what-have-you.

I had decided on these plans for the shelves but needed a different cut list because I was going to need six shelves total at 2 varying lengths. 42 inches long and 32 inches long.

So, other than my cut list being different – we followed the plans to a T. (And so can you)

In order to end up with two 42in long shelves and four 32in long shelves – all 11 3/4 deep (we did this instead of 12in deep to save a lot of waste in lumber) you’ll need:

Lumber

2 – 4X8 sheets of 1/4″ Plywood (good grade or sanded on one side, also called cabinet grade, but just sanded on one side is fine too.)
11 – 1X2 pine boards in 8 foot length.

Supplies

2 boxes (100 ea) 1 1/2″ sheet rock screws (or opt to use a nail gun and need less screws when building the sleeves)
1 counter sink bit
1 box (only need about 36) 3″ deck scews
Wood filler
Paint and supplies if you don’t already have it on hand.

Some stores will make cuts for you – if they do, ask them to cut one piece of your plywood into 4’X42″ and the other into 4’X32″ – this way it’ll most likely fit into your car for transportation and it doesn’t mess up the rest of the cuts for later.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

I, uh, had them cut my plywood in the wrong direction. They cut them into 8’X42″ and 8’X32″ … but it still worked out for us.

This here is a Mider or Chop saw. She is beautiful.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

My dad helped me make a shim so I could make continous cuts out of the 1X2 pine boards without having to remeasure every single one. And we needed a lot of cuts.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Hi Dad! Thanks for helping!

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

We went to work on assembling the frames and the front of the sleeves.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Then worked on our cuts of the plywood to build the body of the sleeve.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

My dad has awesome tools.

A peek at the inside of the sleeve, where the frame will fit.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

And a trial run!

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

SUCCESS!

From there we used wood filler to fill in gaps and seems, let dry, sanded and filled some more depending on how smooth in turned out.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Then … we painted them.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

I went with white, “decorators white” as the paint can said. It’s a water based shinny whatever paint and it took 3 coats and only one quart of paint.

We had the builders quote us their price to build these shelves. I even emailed them the plans I was going to use – which clearly outlines the cost of what it would take to build these on your own. Their quote came back at $825.

Wow.

It cost me …

Lowes – $66.08 (Lumber, screw bit, screws – and since I didn’t need them all I could return 2 boxes which saved more money.)
Paint – $35.56 (Quart of paint, one brush and 2 small foam rollers and one pan)
And a days worth of my time = priceless of course.

Total: $101.64

I don’t have a final “after” shot yet – they’re not hung in the house yet but they’re built! And I did it! With some amazing help and guidance from my dad. Thanks, Dad!!

Here is the cut list for a shelf 11 3/4″ deep by 32″ wide:

1″ X 2″ pine boards

1- 30 1/2″
2- 11 3/4″
2- 29″
2- 11″
2- 9 1/2″

1/4″ plywood ( one side cabinet grade)

2- 11 3/4 X 32″
________________________________________________________________________

Here is the cut list for a shelf 11 3/4″ deep by 42″ wide

1″ X 2″ pine boards

1- 40 1/2″
2- 11 3/4″
2- 39″
2- 11″
3- 9 1/2″

1/4″ plywood ( one side cabinet grade)

2- 11 3/4″ X 42″
_________________________________________________________________________

When making the plywood cuts, make sure the grain of the plywood runs the long length, as in from left to right or visa versa on the length (32″ or 42″) of the shelf

We made 4 shelves of the 32″ and 2 shelves of the 42″ and purchased:

11- 1″ X 2″X 8′ long pine boards. Make sure they are NOT curved but straight. You may have to pick through the pile to find straight ones depending on where you purchase

2- 4′ X 8′ sheets of 1/4″ plywood one side having cabinet grade. Sometimes the store (Lowes or Home Depot) will cut the plywood to fit in your van or car. Have them make a cut to have 1 piece of plywood 42″ X 4′ and the other piece of plywood 32″ X 4′ or even 2 pieces of 32″ X 4′ depending on how many shelves you have. Then you can fit these cut pieces as well as the uncut pieces in your car or van and do the rest of the cutting at your shop or home

3 thoughts on “{Life List} Carpentry: Floating shelves

  1. Hi Jodi! Just wanted to let you know that your dad stopped by here today with Benny to say hi. Benny is my husband’s brother-in-law. We think the world of Bea and Ben as well as your dad and Mirella. Love them all dearly! Your dad mentioned that you were also a blogger, so I just had to look you up. And what did I see? Your dad! lol! What a riot! Your kids are just adorable, and your shelves turned out beautifully! How do they look in your kitchen? I’m glad that your dad mentioned your blog and I’m glad to meet you! 🙂 Have a great evening!

    xoxo laurie

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