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Need Help w/ Floating Shelf Design

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  • Need Help w/ Floating Shelf Design

    I'm a book junkie and have to find creative ways to store them: I'm out of space for bookcases. I'd like to have a shelf that spans the wall of a room - 12' - and is positioned c. 2' below the ceiling. I would prefer that the supports not be visible.

    I could use a 1" x 12" x 12' piece of lumber with brackets that are flipped upside down and installed so that they shelf hangs from them (instead of resting on top of them). I'm not thrilled w/ this option because I don't think it would look good and I'm somewhat uncomfortable w/ the idea of screws supporting the weight of 12' worth of heavy books. The brackets I found at Rockler are pretty pricey, too ($10.49 each).

    I could build a frame of 2 x 2 lumber, cover it w/ plywood skins, and suspended it from the wall using a cleat (a la Ron Hazelton's Plans). I don't want the shelf to sag, so I'm thinking 1/2" ply for the top and 1/4" for the bottom. My concern with this option is that a cleat won't adequately support the weight of the struture and the books.

    Thoughts???

    TIA [img]smile.gif[/img]

    [ 02-08-2004, 08:51 PM: Message edited by: MicMac ]

  • #2
    12' of ww magazines weights about 500 LBS and I would build a 2X safty factor in so lets say we design for 1000 LBS.
    The 'Ron' shelves would support the weight if they spanned saw horses but would tear the cleats off the wall.
    The bracket idea would work but I would suggest 6 brackets (each end then every other wall stud assuming 16" OC). I would use 3" #10 screws into the studs at a minimum and bolts with washers to attach the shelves. Don't forget the brackets are designed to take 500LBS each in compression, there strength in expansion will be less and is dependent on the strength of the support arm weld.
    Different Idea..
    Since you are so close to the ceiling what about supporting the shelf front from the ceiling. you could use threaded rod and encase it in a 1" dowel

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    • #3
      Check Home Depot for the brackets. I bought some very similar for $5 each

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      • #4
        wbrooks, the threaded rod/dowel is a great idea, but mine is a suspended ceiling and I'm not confident of my ability to drill through the panels in the right places. I think I'll be better off using the brackets with the fasteners you suggested. Thank you!!!

        And thank you, CutMStraight, for the HD suggestion!!!

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