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How does that shelf hang in there?

Laden with books and craft supplies, this long shelf has no visible means of support--no brackets or tracks cluttering the walls, no ledgers under the shelf's ends and back edge.

The trick: the shelf is hollow. Beefy 1/2- by 14-inch lag screws that project from the wall slip into the gap between the shelf's top and bottom layers.

Designed by Bernard Burnfield of Pacifica, California, the 8-foot-long, 12-inchdeep shelf starts with two pieces of 1/2 -inch birch plywood, ripped to 11-1/4 inches wide. You can make longer shelves, but you will either have a seam where plywood sections butt or you'll have to use a length of 1-by-12 for the exposed top. You don't have to make a shelf that spans the complete width of a room; it could float dramatically in the center of a wall.

The space between the shelf's layers must be at least 1/2 inch-wide enough to slip over the sawed-off ends of the lag screws. Glue scraps of 1/2-inch plywood between the layers to keep them equally spaced and to stiffen the shelf. Be sure you know the location of the lag screws before gluing the spacers in place.

The shelf's front lip also stiffens the shelfi and masks the hollow section and the fluorescent light fixture mounted to the underside. If you don't want a light underneath, you could have a front lip as narrow as 1-1/2 inches, giving the illusion that the shelf is a single plank. Front and end lips are glued and nailed into place.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1989
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