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Two Shelves and a Table

Published 2013-05-05 · By James Bursa

As an interlude to the main construction work, I made some simple furniture.

The first items were for temporary storage of all the equipment and parts that we needed for construction work, so that they would be better organized and take up less space.

I started by making a shelf out of four wood studs (vertical risers) that had been reclaimed from the building’s internal walls. First, the studs were cut to the same length.

Reclaimed wall studs for shelves

A router was used to cut a dado in the middle and one end of each stud.

Routed dado in reclaimed studs

Spare wood planks were used to make the shelves. I simply screwed them into the dados using long wood screws.

Shelves assembled from reclaimed studs

The shelves in position, loaded with supplies. Though they aren’t very stable, they do the job for now.

Temporary shelves in use

I also assembled a temporary storage table out of scrap plywood and four more length of wall stud.

Table made of scrap

Here’s the table covered in tools, with more equipment stored underneath.

Temporary table in use

The second project was shelves for the kitchen, intended for permanent use. These were based on a simple design I found online and that I had used before for a bookshelf.

The parts include 8 × 3ft threaded rods of ½ inch diameter:

Threaded rods for shelves

Nuts, coupling nuts, washers, and wood stain. I got the coupling nuts on eBay since they were much cheaper than at a hardware store.

Parts for shelves

The wood is Aspen, which I selected because it was easily available in the width I needed. It was also pre-sanded to save time.

Threaded rods and parts for shelves

First I had to cut down the length of the boards. I did this using a miter saw:

Preparing to saw wood for shelves

Unfortunately the saw didn't reach quite to the middle of the board:

Sawing wood for shelves using miter saw

I used a jigsaw to finish the cut. That wasn’t ideal, but the result was acceptable.

Sawing wood for shelves using jigsaw

Next I used the combination stain and polyurethane to finish the wood.

Preparing to finish wood for shelves

Here’s a comparison after one coat:

Varnished and raw wood for shelves

To align the holes for the threaded rods, I clamped the wood panels together.

Wood for shelves clamped together

I drilled through carefully using a ½ inch wood bit.

Drilling holes for shelves

You can see the aligned hole passing through several panels. I drilled a hole in each corner. For longer projects, such as bookshelves, additional rods in the middle of the length are a good idea.

Detail of hole in shelf

I found some suitable feet on eBay with the same thread as the the threaded rods.

Feet for shelves

Each shelf is attached to the threaded rod with a nut and washer above and below.

Threaded rods in bottom shelf

The feet were attached using coupling nuts.

Bottom shelf attached to feet

Nuts and washers in position for the second shelf.

Nuts added for next shelf

More coupling nuts were used to join the two threaded rods in each corner to give a total height of 6ft.

Second shelf in position

Here are the finished shelves in position (many months later). They were designed to fit into this space between the refrigerator and fireplace, and to be deep enough for a microwave.

For stability, we fixed the shelves to the wall using two L-brackets below the 3rd shelf.

Finished shelves next to refrigerator