I looked at a few different ways to build and install floating shelves, but I eventually decided to try this design by Ron Hazleton because he provides two videos on his website using this method. Videos are most helpful to me and my confidence was built when I saw Hazleton and his client sit on a shelf to demonstrate its sturdiness.
The shelves I built certainly are sturdy as they are; I laid the long shelves on top of each other and stood on them and they solidly held me up. However, I had quite a bit of trouble screwing my shelves into the cleats on the wall while trying to level them. I'll conduct some simple weight stress tests on them in 2013, as I've learned that even though the shelves are tough, the strength of their connection to the wall determines how strong the shelves are as a floating installation.
Here's my experience:
4 - 1x2x8' $16
3 - 1/2" plywood cut into 8" x 48" strips (Directions say 1/2," but they used 1/4" in the video) $10
11' 2" wide trim molding (Purchased 1 ft. extra, for miter cuts) $9
Pocket hole jig, 1 1/4" pocket hole screws, 2" wood screws, 3" wood screws, wall anchors, level, nails, nail set, wood glue, wood filler, sanding supplies, finishing supplies $15 for wood screws, wood filler, Danish oil in espresso.
The amount I paid is based on pricing in Hawai'i.
I paid $50 to have these shelves, but also received the satisfaction of creating them and experience building them, which has no price tag for me. :)
|1. Cut 1x2s per your dimensions and allow space for a 1x2 cleat at the back of the shelf, roughly 1" in. Cut 1x2 vertical inner supports for shelves longer than 2 feet. Secure with nails and wood glue or pocket holes and pocket hole screws.|
|2. Cut 1/2" plywood to fit squarely over the frame. Glue, hammer finish nail into 1x2 vertical supports and use a nail set to counter sink nail heads into wood. Apply wood filler and sand and repeat process when dry.|
|3. Test fit floating shelves to ensure that they are square and even. Sand or use a block plane to even the shelf edges before finishing.|
|5. Paint, stain, and/or seal shelving before slipping shelves onto cleats and using 2" screws to screw the top of the shelf into the cleat roughly every 8 inches of shelving.|