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Project Ideas: Indoor Decor

Hidden Storage Floating Shelf


Making the most of the space available is a goal many of us share. There are things we all have that we need ready access to but don’t necessarily want sitting out in our home. In my case, it is the manuals and other bits of my robot-collecting hobby. In yours, it could be important documents, jewelry, tools, etc. A place where we do not often look to is the shelves of our home. Here's my take on a hidden compartment shelf. Let’s get creative and get started.

 

TOOLS:

Miter saw

Circular saw

Brad Nailer (If you don’t have a finish nailer use 1 ½” wood screws)

Drill

Power Sander

1 ¼” forstner Bit

Clamps

Tape measure

Stud finder

Laser Level

Square

Pencil

Safety goggles

Ear protection

Dust mask

 

MATERIALS:

1” x 8” x 8’                                                                          

1” x 4” x 8’                                                                          

1 ½" brad nails                                                                  

90° Surface mount hinge                                              

1’ decorative jack chain                                                

#212 screw eyes                                                           

Roller catch                                                                        

2 – 3” wood screws                                                        

¼” x 3” Toggle bolts (optional)                                   

100 grit Sand paper

220 grit Sand paper

Wood Glue                                                                        

Wood filler                                                                         

Tack cloth

Paint or Stain of choice

 

CUT LIST:

  • 1” X 8” X 8’

    • 2 – 7 ¼” x 34 ½”                 E& F (Top and Bottom)

    • 2 – 2” x 7 ¼”                       D (Braces)

       

       

  • 1” x 4” x 8’

    • 1 – 3 ½” x 34 ½”                 A (Backboard)

    • 1 – 3 ½” x 36”                     B (Face Board)

    • 2 – 3 ½” x 8”                       C (Sides)


NOTE: MARK EACH BOARD WITH A LETTER TO MAKE KEEPING TRACK OF WHAT’S WHAT EASIER. TRUST ME I WISH I HAD WHEN I WAS PUTTING MINE TOGETHER.

 


STEP 1.

Construction begins with locating the hinges. Align the back board (A) and bottom board (F) with one another. Measure and mark an inset of 1 ½” on each to locate the centerlines of the hinges. You can use the Hinge Template “C” to locate the hinge holes, the template is included in the hinge packaging. 

 


The interior space of the shelf is a little too shallow for the hinges in the closed position. To fix this is a simple matter of drilling some recess into the underside of the top board (E) with the forstner bit. Place guide marks just above the hinge on the underside of the top board as in the image below.

Place the bottom and back aside. Lay the top board down and clamp a scrap piece of lumber to the edge you’ll be drilling. The tip of the Forstner bit should be no less than a ¼” from the edge. Drill down about 3/8” to give the hinge the room it needs. Check the hinge clearance and remove the hinges once satisfied.

 

 


STEP 2.

Put the bottom board (F) aside. Place the back board (A) making sure the hinge marks you made in STEP 1 are facing up. Run a bead of glue along the top of the back board. Position the top board (E) and hold in place with clamps and drive nails to secure. Allow glue time to dry and set aside the assembly.

 

 


STEP 3.

Miter each of the braces (D) 45° on one end. On the underside of the top board (E) measure and mark a 3” inset from each end and draw a guide for the braces. Apply glue and place the braces (A) un-mitered edge against the back board, along these guide lines and hold in place with clamps. Clean up any over spill glue with damp rag, then drive nails through the top board and into the braces. Allow the glue some time to set.

 

 


STEP 4.

Once the glue on the top assembly has dried turn it over top side down. Put the face board (B) into place centered on the top assembly and hold with clamps. Connect the spur to the roller catch so that you can be sure of the alignment. The roller catch is centered along both the face and underside of the top board (E). Using the face board center is marked at 18”. Screw the roller catch into place. Unclamp the face board and place aside.

 

 


STEP 5.

Apply glue to the side edges of the bottom board (F) making sure the hinge holes are towards the back. Place and clamp the sides (C) to the bottom board, with the front edges flush with one another. Use the square to help make sure the sides are square. Apply glue to the front edges and place the face board (B) clamping and securing with the nailer as in previous steps. Make sure the holes made for the roller catch face towards the inside of the assembly. Allow glue to dry completely.

 

NOTE: IF YOU INTEND TO STAIN THE SHELF CLEANING UP EXCESS GLUE IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT. GLUE WILL CAUSE DISCOLORATION IN THE STAIN AND RESULT IN A MESSY FINISH.

 


STEP 6.

With both the top and bottom assemblies complete it is time to fit the last of the hardware. Stand the top assembly on its back with the bottom assembly placed below it. This should line up the hinge guides you made in STEP 1 with one another, attach the hinges. Check the fit and motion of the assemblies together. All edges should be as close to flush as possible.

 

NOTE: WHEN CHECKING THE FIT OF THE ASSEMBLIES MAKE SURE THAT THE OPENING ACTION DOESN’T CAUSE THE BACK OF THE BOTTOM ASSEMBLY TO DIG INTO THE WALL. YOU CAN DO THIS BY PLACING THE SHELF ON ITS BACK AND OPENING IT. IF YOU FEEL IT LIFT OFF THE TABLE SIMPLY ROUND OFF THE BOTTOM CORNER OF THE SIDES.

 


STEP 7.

The opening range of the shelf is set using screw eyes and chain. The shelf as it is opens to a full 90° and will have the bottom assembly resting flat against the wall. For my needs, I wanted the shelf to have a limited opening range.

On the underside of the top assembly measure in from the sides 5” and front to back 3 ½” to locate and place the first screw eye. On the bottom assembly, repeat the same measurements on the bottom board and place the next screw eye. I used 4” lengths of chain to get the opening angle where I wanted. Use a pair of pliers to open the chain links. Play with the chain length to get your preferred opening amount and once found leave the links open for now.

 

 


STEP 8.

Once you confirm that everything fits correctly, remove all the hardware and prep for stain/paint. Use the wood filler to fill and cover all the external nail heads and any other unwanted defects. After the wood filler dries, use the sander and 100 grit sandpaper to level out the filler. You can also use the sander to help remove any over spill glue you may have missed. Do a final pass over the whole shelf with 220 grit sandpaper. Wipe the entire shelf down with tack cloth followed by a slightly damp rag to remove any dust.

 


STEP 9.

Apply the paint or stain. I use paint cans to keep projects elevated for painting/staining. For the shelf created here, Varathane Ebony Wood Stain is used. I found reattaching the screw eyes gave me a good point to grab and twist the shelf. Give the shelf a full 24hrs to dry. Once completely dry re-assemble and replace all the hardware.

 

 


STEP 10.

Attaching the shelf to the wall and into studs will provide the most secure mounting option. Use the stud finder to find at least two studs within the wall. After finding the studs you will know where to drill through the shelf. Make sure to place fender washers onto the screws before drilling. If you cannot access wall studs, make sure you use wall anchors with a weight rating high enough for your needs.

 


STEP 11.

Once the top shelf is on the wall you can attach the bottom shelf. Screw the hinges onto the bottom shelf making sure they are aligned correctly and fully open them. Screw the other side of the hinges into the back board. Lastly replace the chains on the screw eyes and close the links.



This project turned out to be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The shelf looks great on the wall and best of all the hidden compartment is pretty much completely invisible. Happy building folks.


Cheers,

Chris


Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2016-12-02T16:42:48+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL Chris_HD_ATL
 
 

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