Bedroom Closet #1: Shelf Design

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Blog entry by Broooklyn posted 02-02-2010 12:13 AM 3488 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bedroom Closet series Part 2: The Shelves: Cut and Stained »

As one of first, very simple projects, I’m going to make some shelves in the bedroom closet (which is oddly shaped). So I have some newbie questions.

I’m concerned about the smaller shelves to the right. These shelves will hold shoeboxes and folded clothing. I’m wondering if support is needed along the left side of the shelves. I don’t want to put L brackets since I think they’ll look ugly. There is the possibility of clamping a support mechanism to the near by pole. The pole is from Ikea and they have clamps you can buy for it.

Also, what kind of wood to use? I was thinking 3/4” plywood and staining it dark. Then some veneer around the edges. Does this sound kosher?

Lastly, I have only hand tools. Cutting plywood by hand sounds quite laborious. Should I be able to get by or should I look into borrowing a circular saw?

Click on image to view the entire thing. (The grey/metal parts are support for existing sliding door)

-- Matt - Brooklyn, NY

7 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 12:17 AM

Get a circular saw at least! Using the right tools will increase your chances of success and prevent you from wasting time and materials.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Karson's profile (online now)


35121 posts in 4401 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 01:32 AM

I agree get a saw. You’ll be able to use it the rest of your life.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#3 posted 02-02-2010 03:41 AM

What Todd and Karson said.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CoolDavion's profile


434 posts in 3825 days

#4 posted 02-02-2010 03:59 AM

For the edges, you can get the iron on veneer, just use an old iron.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3134 days

#5 posted 02-02-2010 10:54 AM

It looks as though some support is needed for the cantilevered corners. You could “stack” 1×2’s cut to fit between the shelves with a dab of glue and a tonail or screw at each end (this would be an ideal use for pocket screws).

You will need to begin collecting power tools. I would start with a circular saw ($30 – $50), an electric drill motor ($35 – $70), and a Kreg Mini Jig kit ($20) might be handy. You will also need a basic set of drill bits and some power screw driver bits for the drill motor. As you begin more projects, you will discover that you want/need additional tools such as an electric sander, jig saw, router, etcetera, plus filling out your hand tool collection. Later you will find that you need larger woodworking machines.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18272 posts in 3676 days

#6 posted 02-02-2010 11:04 AM

I like to use 10 or 12” wide pine for shelves. It will be a lot easier to cut than sheets of plywood. Unless you use a cabinet grade plywood, it will take some work to get it smooth enough for a shelf for clothing. If you are not dead set on a pole for the front support, a 1×3 will suppoort the shelves and you can nail or screw right into the ends of the shelves if the aren’t plywood.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Broooklyn's profile


51 posts in 3048 days

#7 posted 02-03-2010 10:09 PM

Ok – I gave in and got the a circular saw. I also got a 40 tooth carbide blade and a 140 tooth plywood blade for backup. I also ordered the Kreg mini jig (not for this project, but definitely for the future). Luckily, I already own a decent drill and bits.

Re: Cantilever corners: I think I may just use metal L brackets because I want to leave the left side open so boxes and whatnot may extend a little past the shelf if needed. Using the pole for supports may look like a bit of a hack job. so I’m over that idea.

Any ideas how I can make the L brackets look a bit more refined? :)

@TopamaxSurvivor – If I can find pine, I would prefer that over plywood also.

-- Matt - Brooklyn, NY

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