How to Build your own shelving – Shelf Building Tips

Learn the basics to help you build your own shelving by following a few simple steps. Shelving needs to be functional as well as strong enough to hold whatever you plan on placing on your home built shelving. If you have functional and strong shelving then all that is left is a set of shelves that look good as well. When learning how to make your own shelves make sure to consider these three things and you will have a set of shelving that will last for years to come. Another consideration is location of the shelves when figuring out the dimensions of the shelving. Once you have determined what you will be placing on the shelving and where the shelves will be placed you can then start measuring to get the proper dimensions.

How to Design your Shelving – Where to start

Using a tape measure you can start by measuring the height of the shelves from the floor to the height that you want them at. This vertical measurement will be the finished height measurement. When planning the layout of the shelves you will want to take the thickness of the wood and design with the bottom kick plates and the top design of the shelving into consideration. Next is to measure how wide you want your shelves to be as well as the depth (front to back) of the shelving. Now that you have your shelves height, width and depth you can now figure out how many shelves you will have with all of the dimensions of the shelving.

What Materials should you use for Building Shelving

When choosing material for building your own shelves make sure to select a material that is recommended for building shelving. Don’t pick out sheets of sheathing thinking you will build solid shelves out of this material. Choose hardwood type plywood’s or other specialty type woods that are recommended for shelf building applications. It is okay to use particleboard or MDF for building shelving but if you really want something to be proud of then do yourself a favour and buy some nice hardwood plywood which even comes pre-sanded on one or both sides depending on which type of hardwood plywood you select.

Should you Paint or Stain your new Shelving

Once your shelves are built you will probably want to stain or paint the shelving and maybe even apply a few coats of clear coat to seal the paint or stain and harden the surface to help protect it. If you stain the shelves you will bring out the woods grain which is very striking and really adds to the overall effect of how the shelves look. Painting will cover the grain which is perfectly fine if that is what you are going for a finished product.

Shelf Building Material and Tools Checklist

A checklist for building shelving for some of the tools and supplies you will most likely need to have success building your own shelves are tools and supplies such as a table saw with a dado blade. Large wood clamps, circular saw, a router, a finishing air nailer, safety glasses, carpenters glue, staining or painting tools and trays, rags and whatever else you think you might need which will be completely decided by the style of shelves you decide to build. Purchasing more plywood than you think you will need is the way to go as there will always be cutting and other mistakes.

Where to get Shelving Building Plans

If you have no idea how to design shelving for yourself you can easily search online and find free printable plans to help you build your own shelving. They might not be the exact dimensions you are wanting but you should be able to tweak the measurements so the shelves work for you. If you can’t find shelves similar to how you want to build them then you can invest in a book or two from places like Home Depot or even easier just purchase a shelf building book from Amazon and have it delivered to your door.

Making your own shelves is a fun fulfilling project that you will be very proud of when completed. You might enjoy your shelves so much that you won’t want to put anything on them. Good luck with your shelf building project.