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Creating open shelving in an awkward space

Postby colliedug » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:32 am


I've been asked by my daughter to create open shelving in a triangular space. It's difficult to describe without a drawing but here goes. The stairwell creates a slope 4 feet deep in an upstairs room - she wants to use the dead space as storage so open slatted shelving is OK. I could probably fudge something that would work but a few guidelines would be much appreciated - such as how best to create a carcass to which the slats will fit?

I've never created anything totally from scratch like this before hence my coming to this forum for advice.

Thanks in advance, Colin

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Postby Oddbod » Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:40 pm

Hi. If I picture what you are trying to do right it is the depth that is the issue for you. You have a 4ft deep space, with one straight side and one sloping side. If you just wanted narrow shelves you could simply use standard shelf brackets, but then you'd only get a about 1ft of useful shelf width.

OK, so on the somewhat optimistic assumption that I've got the plot...

You can easily fix battens to the vertical side of the space as per normal, simply screw lengths of 2 by 1, or 1inch square to the wall as far apart as you want your shelves.

You will have to bevel the wood for the other side. The easiest way to do this is with a circular saw – pick up a cheap one if you haven't got one. (IMHO It's far more useful than the ubiquitous jigsaw which can't cut a straight line whatever you do with it!). Set it to cut at a 40 degree angle (which should be close enough to the angle of your stairs, but you can measure it if you're feeling accurate!)

Then cut 1 or 2 inch thick strips off a plank of 1 inch thick softwood. Cut these to 4ft length and you should find you have neat looking battens you can screw to the sloping side.

Finally use the saw to trim the ends of the cross-battens to the same angle on the sloping side (cut a whole load at once, it's easier) and the whole thing should fit quite nicely.

Last tip, chances are the sloping side is just plasterboard with nothing much behind it. Secure the battens with proper plasterboard fixings.
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Postby colliedug » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:10 pm

Dear Oddbod,

Thanks for your response - unfortunately I've been to Cornwall and back and only seen your post now - project was very successful - daughter and son-in-law very happy - they gave me a bottle of my favourite malt - and the shelves are still standing !!!

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