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March 1, 2006

Putting up shelves

Filed under: Easy DIY,Wood Working — DO or DIY @ 4:30 pm

Easy DIY:

Putting up a shelf is considered an easy DIY job, yet it’s more difficult than you might think. A badly put up shelf just looks dreadful. So before you attach your self-made or ready-made shelf think about the following issues..


What are you going to use the shelf for? How heavy will the load be? You must construct or buy a shelf accordingly.


What sort of wall are you fixing the shelf to – brick, concrete, wood, plasterboard etc? You’ll need to buy the appropriate screws and, if necessary, the right wall-plugs.


Ready-made adjustable shelf systems are easy to install and provide flexibility. Shelves resting on brackets are strong and can look attractive – the choice of brackets is endless. The trend these days is to have chunky and/or floating shelves – these look nice but generally don’t take heavy loads.

Fixing shelves

A shelving system consists of vertical steel or wooden sections and angled supports. When the vertical sections are mounted to the wall, the angled supports simply hook into vertical supports. First you need to attach the vertical sections to the wall – make sure that the distance between them is at least 6 inch less than the length of your shelf. Then you need to make sure that they are both vertical and level with each other. To achieve this, fix the first one at the top (but don’t tighten the screw) and use a spirit level along it to mark and fix the bottom screw. Tighten the screw and using the spirit level match up the top of the second vertical support with the first and repeat the vertical hanging process. Then hook the shelf supports at the desired height and fix the shelf to the brackets from underneath.

To fix shelves with brackets

There are many types of bracket they could support a shelf from below, from above or from the sides. Mark the position of your first bracket at the desired height and fix it to the wall using your spirit level to make sure that the bracket is vertical. Rest the shelf on top of the bracket and, again using the spirit level, make sure that the second bracket is level with the first one. Mark the wall for the screws – drill and fix the bracket. Some shelves with side brackets need to be offered up and marked together, then the holes need to be drilled and the shelves (with brackets attached) fixed to the wall.

In the next article, you will be able to read about how to make an easy and attractive shelf for an alcove.

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