Has anyone had luck with a (24" wide) free floating shelf?

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Forum topic by BoxO posted 06-10-2016 02:34 PM 1560 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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33 posts in 965 days

06-10-2016 02:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip trick

I have a project and need to put in a shelf above those newer clothes, washer and dryers. I would like to make it 57” x 24”. I have the main wall and a wall to the right that it will be attached. It needs to be removable if needed. I have never tried to make a 24” wide free floating shelf and do not want to try if it will not work in the end.

21 replies so far

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3280 days

#1 posted 06-10-2016 02:43 PM

It might work, if you don’t put any weight on it.

But you really need to use some type of brackets to support it.

-- Gerry,

View BoxO's profile


33 posts in 965 days

#2 posted 06-10-2016 02:51 PM

I am toying with the idea to use a torsion type of set up for the inside of the shelf. With 2 walls for support, maybe use a very wide box joint on a back splash.

View Rentvent's profile


151 posts in 998 days

#3 posted 06-10-2016 02:55 PM

View BoxO's profile


33 posts in 965 days

#4 posted 06-10-2016 02:59 PM

Those are some nice brackets. I know they would be putting detergent and such on the shelf. It would be an inch or so above the washer and dryer. Or they have to live with a smaller shelf..

View builtinbkyn's profile


2636 posts in 1089 days

#5 posted 06-10-2016 03:02 PM

There are a few options. Blind Shelf Supports.

One more I found.

Ana White has a design for them. No pocket hole screws either :)

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View BoxO's profile


33 posts in 965 days

#6 posted 06-10-2016 03:08 PM

I was thinking of 18” black pipe attached to a base plate on each stud. Same concept but was hoping someone has tried this wide of a shelf before me.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2518 days

#7 posted 06-10-2016 03:49 PM

Box, I have a project in the queue that is similar, but not as big (48” x 20”), but I have the luxury of having a wall on either side. My plan is to make a frame (with support members) from 1.5” wide strips of 3/4 ply, pocket screwed. I’ll lag that to the studs, and then just build a hardwood cover to slip over it.

I imagine you could do something similar, but with a bit more structural integrity. Perhaps you could make the frame, or part of it, from steel stock, either flat, angle or tubular.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Waldo88's profile


207 posts in 1445 days

#8 posted 06-10-2016 03:54 PM

A torsion box will work, with keyhole slots near the top aligned with screws placed in each stud. Having that side wall is huge for making it work.

I just hung a bunch of 2” thick (solid laminated plywood) floating shelves that are 6” wide using this method. Obviously the width makes yours a whole different world, but the thickness (what matters is the distance from the bottom to the top of the keyhole) converts the load to tension on the screw, long screws in studs have very good pullout strength. Having that side wall though dramatically lowers the pullout tension.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1602 days

#9 posted 06-10-2016 04:02 PM

Hang the front lip from the ceiling with chain.


-- Madmark -

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2156 days

#10 posted 06-10-2016 06:51 PM

You can get shelf brackets like this in various sizes. With that welded in support they’re very strong. You might be able to put one directly between the washer and dryer with the support actually down in between the 2 units. Put another one at the free-floating end. They would hardly be noticeable.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View clin's profile


930 posts in 1145 days

#11 posted 06-10-2016 08:25 PM

I am toying with the idea to use a torsion type of set up for the inside of the shelf. With 2 walls for support, maybe use a very wide box joint on a back splash.

- BoxO

I think that’s the answer. The torsion box will be plenty stiff. So then it is just a matter of securing it. That’s easy if it can be permanent, you just build it in place. Removable? I’d be looking at French cleats.

Also, an chance of hanging a cable or chain from the ceiling to support the one corner? I see MadMark already suggested this.

-- Clin

View BoxO's profile


33 posts in 965 days

#12 posted 06-10-2016 10:11 PM

Thanks for all the ideas folks. I like the french cleats idea with the torsion box makeup. Just trying to avoid brackets, NO IDEA WHY. I sometimes have a habit of making projects more difficult.

View muleskinner's profile


898 posts in 2585 days

#13 posted 06-10-2016 11:02 PM

For a quick and easy torsion box shelf, a hollow core door works pretty slick. I had one laying around the shop. Ripped it down to 16” X 48”. Glued blocking inside the cuts. 40” between brackets and it holds a scroll saw, a couple routers and other miscellaneous stuff with no sagging.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3280 days

#14 posted 06-11-2016 11:07 AM

I missed the part about the side wall when I made my first reply.
I wouldn’t use french cleats, as the shelf may fall if loaded in the outside corner.

What I would do is make a torsion box, with at least 2” inside height. Attach a 2” high cleat to the walls, that will fit inside the torsion box, and screw the shelf to the cleat from the top.

-- Gerry,

View a1Jim's profile


117239 posts in 3726 days

#15 posted 06-11-2016 02:21 PM

Since you have support on 3 sides this is not what I would call a floating shelf. I think you may want to reconsider a 24” wide shelf and get down to 16” shelf .If you have three walls to connect to it’s a matter of having cleats on 3 sides and resting the self on top if it’s a single piece of wood or ply,if you’re making a box shelf you can incorporate a slot on all three sides to slide over 2×4 cleats on the wall which you could be a french cleats instead. If you are supported well on the 3 sides with attachment to studs in the wall all you have to be concerned with is the front edge sagging and box style shelf will help with that.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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