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Floating Shelf



Make a beautiful shelf that will "float" on your wall. Choose a piece of wood that you love and turn it into a shelf. It could be a finished piece, a more rustic piece of reclaimed lumber or even a rough slab with a live edge (bark still exposed).

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large 3bbfe14b 3982 40dd ae69 272af3a469e4

      The blank needs to be a minimum of -11⁄2" (here it’s -3⁄4") thick by 8" wide by 24" long. A special extra-long drill bit is required to bore the mounting holes.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 3c025520 29b6 4c3b a75f 4cd2022e9293

      Draw a gentle curve on the front of the shelf. Use a handheld jigsaw or band saw for the cut. Sand the curve smooth.

    3. Step: 3

      Large df7cc585 732c 4e4e 9f04 9fc46b215bfa

      Determine the stud locations in your wall where you intend to install the shelf. Use a stud finder to locate the studs. Mark the stud locations on the wall. Make marks on the back edge of the shelf to match the distance between the studs. Drill a 1-in.-dia. x 1/8-in.-deep hole on each mark with a Forstner bit. Then use the extra-long 7/16-in.-dia. bit to drill a hole in the center of the first holes (inset photo). The 7/16-in. hole should be slightly deeper than the length of the support rod.

    4. Step: 4

      Large d75d7f2a 7d73 4a3f a6b8 1414f6e36486

      Using the Forstner bit hole as a starting point, trace the outline of the mortises for the mounting plate as shown above.

    5. Step: 5

      Large f5514dc8 87e9 4add 8547 cadebb2048e5

      Use a sharp chisel to chop out the plate mortise. A 1" wide chisel will work well for this task. Install the mounting plate (inset photo).

    6. Step: 6

      Large df5f2652 ca1b 41ae 8baa df44e5873353

      Chamfer the three outside edges of the shelf, leaving the edge that will be next to the wall. Sand the shelf smooth. Apply the finish of your choice.

Comments (2)


  • looks nice can find a lot of places for these
    By CHARLIEG68, on May 10, 2016

  • I have a small sail boat I can display on one of these! Nice.
    By tomalis, on June 13, 2016

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Floating Shelf

by Woodworker's Journal
Apr 27, 2016
Medium 22fe494a 8d5b 4e22 9af5 a033a372fb01

Make a beautiful shelf that will "float" on your wall. Choose a piece of wood that you love and turn it into a shelf. It could be a finished piece, a more rustic piece of reclaimed lumber or even a rough slab with a live edge (bark still exposed).

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge 3bbfe14b 3982 40dd ae69 272af3a469e4

    The blank needs to be a minimum of -11⁄2" (here it’s -3⁄4") thick by 8" wide by 24" long. A special extra-long drill bit is required to bore the mounting holes.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 3c025520 29b6 4c3b a75f 4cd2022e9293

    Draw a gentle curve on the front of the shelf. Use a handheld jigsaw or band saw for the cut. Sand the curve smooth.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge df7cc585 732c 4e4e 9f04 9fc46b215bfa

    Determine the stud locations in your wall where you intend to install the shelf. Use a stud finder to locate the studs. Mark the stud locations on the wall. Make marks on the back edge of the shelf to match the distance between the studs. Drill a 1-in.-dia. x 1/8-in.-deep hole on each mark with a Forstner bit. Then use the extra-long 7/16-in.-dia. bit to drill a hole in the center of the first holes (inset photo). The 7/16-in. hole should be slightly deeper than the length of the support rod.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge d75d7f2a 7d73 4a3f a6b8 1414f6e36486

    Using the Forstner bit hole as a starting point, trace the outline of the mortises for the mounting plate as shown above.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge f5514dc8 87e9 4add 8547 cadebb2048e5

    Use a sharp chisel to chop out the plate mortise. A 1" wide chisel will work well for this task. Install the mounting plate (inset photo).

  6. Step: 6
    Huge df5f2652 ca1b 41ae 8baa df44e5873353

    Chamfer the three outside edges of the shelf, leaving the edge that will be next to the wall. Sand the shelf smooth. Apply the finish of your choice.