Many of the FLW houses have built-in shelves that from the pictures, do not
seem to have much in the way of support. I remember reading a magazine
article a while ago that described one way to build them - the shelves were
built like torsion boxes with the rear part hollow. The upper and lower
layers of the torsion box slipped over a horizontal batten that was bolted
to the wall. The shelf was then nailed or screwed onto the batten.
Could someone who has seen the shelving in houses please comment on how they
I've just been checking out this design myself. Ace Hardware published an ad
with a picture of them and generated an incredible number of requests for
plans. Their plans are at
Popular Woodworking magazine followed up with an article called "Magic Shelves"
by Steve Shanesy in the April 2000 issue pp. 40-44.
If I'm thinking of the right Wright shelves you're referring to, they
are what I call "floating" shelves; they've also been referred to as
"playtex" shelves (no visible means of support).
About a year ago I asked a question similar to yours when I was
looking to build a small shelf for a bud vase. My shelf is made of
solid wood, rather than as a torsion box, but the concept is similar.
Basically what I did was get 3/4" x 1/4" flat steel stock at the
hardware store. From the back side I drilled and countersunk holes
every 4-5" for 3/8" X 4" flathead screws. From the front side I
drilled and countersunk holes to screw the steeI batten to studs in
the wall. I drilled holes corresponding to the screws into the back
of the shelf. Then I routed a 3/4" X 1/4" groove on the back of the
shelf (the shelf itself is 1 1/4" thick) for the steel stock to hide
in. The steel batten is screwed to the wall and the shelf is slipped
on to the protruding 3/8" screws.
In hindsight, for the size of shelf I made the steel was probably
overkill (I began to think that as I was trying to get the holes
drilled through it). The shelf is only 18" long and supports only a
few ounces of extra weight besides the shelf itself. But for bigger
shelves intended to hold serious weight, it's probably a good idea.
Hope this helps,
Wouldn't it be much simpler (and as stable) just to drill some deep
holes into the shelf (from the back face that goes to the wall), put
some threaded rods into plugs in the wall (or in a non-stone wall
screw them into studs) and just push the shelf onto the threaded rods,
with maybe a very small wedge to keep it fixed>
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.