How To Build A Simple Wall Shelf

We cut the plywood on our shelves to be 15″ deep. This will make our shelves 15.75″ deep once we add a 1×2 to the front. Grab your plywood and cut your shelves to size based on your measurements in step 1.

If you want to see how to turn your garage shelves into a fully enclosed cabinet system, be sure to check out part two of this 5 part build! And if you liked this project, please spread the word by sharing it on your Facebook or Pinterest pages. You can add additional supports as needed to the interior. If you will be placing a lot of heavyweight items on your shelves, you may need supports located every 24″ rather than every 48″.

These are the Spax screws I used to attach the braces to the wall. After all the support arms are attached to the ledger board, sand down all the rough edges. You can get a good idea about the size of the shelves in reference to my size from this image. As you can see, it is perfectly doable even for petite women. This allowed me to keep my hands free to work the screws into place.

The standards tell us that a wide hardwood shelf that carries a heavy load should be no more than 36-in. But this doesn’t tell us the whole story, and that’s why we have to look at one more variable before we can build this shelf with confidence. There’s a small sag when you first put weight on the shelf.

While holding it level, pre-drill through your support and into the wall where you want the drywall anchor to be. Measure where you want your first support to go and make sure it’s level. If you can hit at least two studs for every shelf, you’re good to stick with that method. Once you’re happy with the size of your shelves, cut your 1x2s to match the measurement of the front of each of your shelves. You’ll need a total of 3 plywood strips per shelf.

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