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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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.