Make this elegant display shelf to decorate for the seasons, substitute for a headboard, or mount as a fireplace mantel.
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Pick a hanger system to fit the length of the shelf you’ll build. The Hangman system comes in 6-inch or 18-inch versions. For a shelf with a front board that is 24 to 36 inches, use a single 18-inch long wall hanger. For a shelf with a front board 36 to 51 inches long, use two 6-inch-long hangers. For a shelf longer than 51 inches, use three 6-inch-long wall hangers. Attach the anchors to wall studs for maximum strength and use hollow-wall anchors for additional support.
For the crown moulding, pre-assembled corners eliminate the complication of cutting compound angles. When at the store collecting the materials for the project, test fit the crown to the corners to ensure you have selected the proper moulding.
Cut the bottom (A), ends (B), front (C), back (D), and top (E) (Project Diagram, Cutting List & Cutting Diagram) from pine boards. Glue and nail the ends to the bottom (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).
Align the front with one of the edges and end, and nail it to that edge. Work your way to the opposite end continually align the parts as you go, driving nails every 6 to 8 inches.
Fit the back between the ends with the top edge even and inset 3/8 inch to accept the hidden Hangman hanger. Use the hanger as a spacer to position the back. Then glue and nail the back in place.
Lay the shelf on its back and center the top. Glue and nail the top to the ends, front, and back.
Cut the trim parts (F, I) and (L, M) a few inches longer than needed (Project Diagram, Cutting List & Cutting Diagram). Later, you’ll cut each piece of trim to fit the actual project (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
Cut four to six spacers 3-3/16 inches long. (When resting on these spacers, base trim pieces F and G should project beyond the bottom of the shelf by about 1/8 inch.) Cut a 45-degree miter on mating ends of the front base trim (F) and one side base trim (G), and rest the parts on the spacers against the shelf (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
At the back of the shelf, mark the length of side base trim (G) and make a 90-degree cut. Glue and nail the side base trim to the end.
As you install each part, hold the adjoining miter or adjacent trim piece in position and verify the fit. Adjust the length as needed before attaching the part.
Clamp one end of the front trim (F) in position against the secured side trim (G) and mark the location of the miter on the opposite end. Cut a 45-degree miter, and glue and nail the front trim in place.
Cut the miter on the end of the remaining side trim (G), hold it in position, and mark the length. Then cut the part to length, and install with glue and nails.
The crown moulding will be installed using crown moulding corners to eliminate making compound miter cuts (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). With the assembly upside down, place the assembled corner blocks against the base trim and mark the length of the inside portion of the corner. Repeat this at the opposite end.
Transfer the marks to the oversize length of crown moulding (H), and cut to length.
Hold the assembled corner sections in position on each end, slip the side crown trim into the receiving opening in the corner, and mark the length of the side crown (I). Cut the side crown to length.
Add the front crown (H) by nailing it to the shelf between the length marks. Position the trim so that it fits flat against the front (C) and the top (E). (Project Diagram, Drawing 3). Now add the corners and side crown (I) moulding.
Cut the base front (J) and base sides (K) to length and assemble using glue and nails (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Cut and install the front moulding (L) and side moulding (M) in the same manner as the front base (F) and side base (G) you installed earlier.
Glue and clamp the base assembly centered on the bottom (A) with the back edges flush.
Sink any exposed nail heads and fill the holes with wood filler. Allow the filler to dry, sand the project with 120-grit sandpaper, and wipe the shelf clean. Apply a coat of primer and two coats of paint following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Screw the Hangman hanger sections to the wall and in the back recess of the shelf (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.