Shelving Supports: Brackets, Plates and Other Tools
There are so many ways to incorporate shelves into the home, but the simplest form of shelf consists of a plank resting on brackets. Before you start, decide on the width of shelf required. For example, most small books can be housed on a shelf 150mm wide; larger books may need a shelf 230mm wide. The easiest material to use is coated chipboard finished either in a wood veneer or in white plastic.
Tracks fixed to the wall to support adjustable brackets form the basis of widely available shelving systems which are both simple and flexible.
Another type of flexible shelving system uses wooden or metal ladders, with shelves supported on metal rods hooked between the rungs. The system is sold complete with shelves and rods. The ladders stand against the wall, at right angles to it. They can be cross braced or anchored in place by screws where necessary. Shelves can be varied in height by spacing different numbers of rungs between them.
Shelving can be fitted in an alcove by fixing battens to the side walls. Use countersunk screws and wall plugs, and check with a spirit level to see that the supports are horizontal. The shelves can be rested on the supports, but for extra security drive lost- head nails through the shelves into the battens, and fill the holes with wood filler.
Alternatively, fix the shelves with mirror plates or shrinking plates.
No other support is necessary unless the span is more than 1m. If it is, glue and screw a batten to the fron edge to strengthen it, and decorate the batten to match the shelf.
Angle-aluminum fittings for alcoves are also sold at DIY centers such as Home Depot and Lowes. They can be used with the shelf either fitted on top or slotted in.
If alcove shelving is only temporary, use piles of bricks, which can be painted with emulsion, as shelf supports.
Often, wall cupboards have shelves too far apart, and valuable space is lost. Make up extra shelves using coated chipboard. Make two uprights from chip board, each as wide as the shelf and to the height you want it less the thickness of the shelf. Glue and screw the shelf to the uprights and then stand the unit in the cupboard.