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Use this simple-to-build hardwood shelf to display books, magazines, and decorative items.
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On one 1 x 12, mark the length of the five shelves (A) with 1-inch spaces between them (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram) that you’ll cut away later.
Stack the marked board on a second 1 x 12 and clamp (but not glue) them with the edges and ends flush. Drill countersunk pilot holes centered in the 1-inch spaces, and screw the boards together.
Separate the boards and sand the mating surfaces to remove any debris around the screw holes that will prevent the surfaces from touching when glued.
Apply wood glue to the face of one 1 x 12. Stack the two 1 x 12’s so the screw holes align, and drive the screws. The screws will hold the boards flat while the glue dries.
After letting the glue cure for at least three hours, remove the screws and cut the shelves to length -- eliminating the spaces with screw holes in the process. You can use a wide-capacity miter saw, or a right-angle guide and circular saw to make the cuts.
Keep two blades around for your circular saw -- one for cutting rough boards, and a fine-tooth blade for cutting project parts.
Sand with 120-grit sandpaper until the shelf edges, faces, and ends are smooth.
You can use an entire 1 x 12 for the back (B). From another 1 x 12, cut to length the top/bottom spacers (C) and middle spacers (D) (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram) using the same cutting method as for the shelves. Sand the parts smooth.
Glue and screw the top spacer to the back with the top ends and the edges flush (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Drive 1-1/4-inch-long screws from the back side so you won’t see them.
Install a shelf and the next spacer using glue, 1-1/2-inch-long screws, and clamps to secure the shelves. Repeat for the remaining shelves and spacers.
After screwing the bottom spacer to the back, check that the ends are flush. If variations in your cuts and the thickness of wood leave the bottom ends uneven, trim the bottom using a circular saw and guide. Sand the entire project and soften any sharp edges.
Near the top of the back, add two sets of wooden shims about 4 inches apart and 1 inch down from the top (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Glue three shims in each spot and then secure one half of the wall hanger to the shims. The shims will create the correct angle for the shelf to lean against the wall. The hanger system will keep the shelf from tipping forward.
Prime and paint the shelf per the manufacturer’s instructions. Lightly sanding between coats with a fine-grit sanding sponge will improve the feel of the painted finish when you are done.
Add rubber bumpers to the bottom of the leaning shelf, near the back edge. Attach the remaining wall hanger hardware to the wall (Project Diagram, Drawing 2) with the top of the hanger approximately 59 inches above the floor. Test the height by leaning the shelf against the wall. (Variations in flooring material will cause the final height to vary.) Use hollow-wall anchors or secure to a stud.
Lean the shelf against the wall and engage the hanger.