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How to Build a Custom Shelf

Create a country-style look in your kitchen with easy-to-craft kitchen shelving, a money-saving alternative to upper cabinets.

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  • Time

    Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Determine Length of Shelves

Using a measuring tape, measure out the desired length of shelves. This will also be the measurement for your ledger. Transfer measurements to either 5/4 board or MDF board.

Step 2: Trim Board

With a chop saw, cut lengths of wood for shelves. Using a table saw, rip down the 5/4 board or MDF to 2 inches; this will be the thickness for all stock pieces.

Step 3: Cut Stock to Size

Measure and cut ledgers, down supports and angle braces from 2-inch stock. For a finished look, angle the bottom edge of each down support. Make a 45-degree cut on the edge of each angle brace.

Step 4: Attach Supports to Ledgers

Measure 4 inches from the outside edges of each ledger to determine the position of down supports. Using a pocket jib, attach down supports to each ledger.

Step 5: Cut Out Shelves

After supports and ledgers are assembled, measure and cut out the appropriate number of shelving units for assembled supports.

Step 6: Mark Placement of Shelves

To determine placement of the first shelf in the series, measure and mark the height of the backsplash, which is always 18 1/2 inches above the countertop. Then allow 10 to 12 inches between the first shelf and the upper shelf.

Step 7: Install Shelves

Set first ledger in place, check with a level and mark the position with a faint line. Use trim screws to mount the ledger. Screw the shelving unit onto the ledger. Check shelf with a level. Attach angle braces. Repeat installation steps for remaining shelves.

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