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U-shape shelving is based on the alcove in our basement/family room which is 5’D x5’ W. I wanted to build shelving that was basically one piece construction. I also didn't want to have to install racks which would require holes in new wall panels!Caution - 4'x8'x3/4" sheets are heavy and bulky
Follow the steps below to complete this project.
This is a relatively simple project if you discount the weight of the 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood and the placement of the 1 1/2" dowels to support the U-shaped shelving.
Mark the cut lines on both 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood as identified in both the PowerPoint and Balsawood Mockup Images.
1. Cut off the supports (D) from the 4’x 8’ plywood shelf (A).
2. Cut off the shelves (C) from the 4’x 8’ plywood shelf (B).
3. Now cut out the scrap sections (X) from the 4’x 8’ plywood shelf (A&B).
4. Now cut sections (C) so you have 2 pieces of 18” W x 48” L which will be your Bottom single shelves.
5. Now cut sections (D) so you have 4 pieces of 18” W x 12” H which will be the supports for shelves (C).
6. Use a jigsaw or oscillating tool to round the front, inside edges of all pieces.
7. Mark the cut lines on the 1 1/2” dowels (E) at 18” intervals (or a length that suits your needs best). Carefully, cut the dowel with your table or circular saw.
1. Hold the support (D) to the Bottom shelves (C), lightly mark the outline of (D).
2. Drill a series of 1/8” or 9/64” pilot holes through the ends of both Bottom shelves (C) and slightly into the support leg (D).
3. Slightly drive 2 #8 2 or 2 1/2" screws into shelves (C) so that the points are coming through.
4. Apply a thin ribbon of Titebond Thick & Quick along the top of one end of support (D).
5. Be sure the two pieces are aligned and then drive the screws all the way into the first section of support (D).
6. Now do the same for the other 3 ends
If only 1 person is working on this section, I suggest using long clamps to hold the pieces together to help assure proper alignment.
1. Place at least 8 dowels (2 at each end of shelves (C) such that their placement does not interfere with the support (D) when you join them to the shelves.
2. Using a #2 pencil, mark the locations of each dowel.
3. Drill a 1/8” or 9/64” pilot hole through the center of each marked area on shelves (C).
4. Now center one of the dowels (E) and while 1 person holds it in place, ensuring it is level, another person drives a #8 2 1/2” screw in from the bottom of shelf (C) into the dowel.
5. Now back out the screw until you can see a space between the dowel and the shelf. Squirt a little Titebond Thick & Quick into the opening, and then retighten the screw.
CONTINUED NEXT STEP
6. Continue installing the remaining 7 dowels for shelf (C).
7. With the 8 dowels in place, gently position Middle U-shaped shelf (A) on the dowels.
8. Measure & mark the locations of the 8 dowels and drill a pilot hole through shelf (A) into each dowel (E). Be sure to check they are level before putting this screw in.
9. Now while 1 person holds the first of 8 dowels (E) in place, ensuring it is level, another person drives a 2 1/2 screw in from the top of shelf (A) into the dowel.
10. Now back out the screw until you can see a space between the dowel and the shelf. Squirt a little Titebond Thick & Quick into the opening, and then retighten the screw.
11. Continue installing the remaining 7 dowels for shelf (A)
Before proceeding remember the earlier warning about the weight (70 lbs.) and the bulkiness of these 4’ x 8’ plywood panels.
1. Follow the same basic set of instructions for the installation of shelf marked (A).
2. In my case, I only used 6 dowels to hold up the shelf (B) because I wasn’t planning on putting anything heavy on this shelf. However, I did place the 6 dowels as follows:
a. 1 dowel in the front of the shelf
b. 2 dowels in each corner, basically aligned along 45-degree with 1 dowel at the inside corner cut and the other one at the outside corner.
Before proceeding remember the earlier warning about the weight (70 lbs.) and the bulky 4’ x 8’ plywood sheets. Especially if you are going to lay in the 4’ x 8’ before the dowels (E) have been properly attached.
1. The edging only needs to be applied to the exposed areas of the cut plywood (e.g. the U-shared area on shelves (A) & (B) and the inside area of shelves (C).
1. Starting at one corner, unroll the White Birch Veneer Edging all the way around the opening you want to cover.
2. Use painters tape (you know, the blue stuff), apply tape at strategic spots to hold the edging in place.
3. With the household iron heated up and set to the cotton position (per the instructions), slowly iron on the edging. The glue, even though the edging feels hot, dries up quickly.
4. Look over your ironing work, and where necessary, reapply heat to areas that don’t appear to be set properly.
5. Do the same for all exposed areas
The size of the U-shape shelving is based on the alcove in our basement/family room which is 5’D x5’ W. In addition, because I wanted to have my prize possession Coca-Cola ice chest that the US Navy packed and shipped home for me in 1970, the Middle U-shape shelf A has a different width (13”) at the back than the Top Shelf B (23”).
In the photograph below, the only sections glued and screwed down were C and D. As you can see, there are 6 1 1/2” dowels between shelves A and B and 8 between shelf A and the 18” W x 48” L shelves C. In other words, if the supports in my photographs do not appear straight and level, they probably aren’t! A good sneeze would have sent everything flying.
Also, our basement has a tilt towards the right front corner of the house towards an emergency drain area in case of flooding. For that reason, we had to adjust the footing on the right side of the shelving area to make everything even. To show you that tilt, the Coco-Cola chest was not made level.
As a reminder to what I mentioned earlier, two people should be working on the placement of the dowels and the movement of the U-shaped shelves. Especially during the time, you are affixing the dowels to the shelving.
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