Tools,  Upcycling,  Wood

Alternative way to install a twin slot shelving board

This method of making shelves comes in handy when your shelves are thin and there is no way to drive a screw from below. If you’re using thick boards you can secure them to the brackets with screws, 2 different lengths, using pre-drilled mounting points. But what if your shelves are thin? Like mine – plywood-faced chipboards, stiff, sturdy and perfect for garage shelving – but too thin to take a screw? There are many advantages of using this method and I’ll mention them later on, but first I’ll show how I built my shelf.

First I cut the chipboard to size, using my table saw. Next, using the off-cuts and my tapering jig I cut 2 triangle inserts. My jig had to be set to a maximum angle and that protruded its most distal corners out, making the cut impossible. To overcome the problem I cut off the top corner, but to make clearance room for the bottom one, I used a fence attachment that came with my saw. Both triangle rail inserts were cut to length in the next step.

Since this shelf was designed for a storage room and not a house, I used 4 countersunk screws to fix all the elements together. Pre-drilling the holes was a necessary step as chipboards are prone to split. Once it was all assembled, I cut off sides because they had uneven overhangs – just a quick fix of something that I overlooked.

Usually, I don’t use any shelves for these twin slot brackets – just cardboard boxes from a grocery shop or I place the tools in the cases they came with, directly on the brackets. Sometimes, however, items are too small or flexible and they need additional support. A stiff thin board works as good as a thick one and takes less space! That would open the list of the advantages I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Furthermore, using this method, I could utilize scrap material and if I only wanted to make slatted shelves I certainly could. There is no need to use screws to put together all 3 shelving elements – dowels and glue would work too – giving the shelves a more tame look. Of course not only wood can be used to make them – a PVC sheet for the top should work as well. Triangle inserts can be cut with anything and they don’t have to be perfect – they would be never seen. These shelves are also resistant to tipping over – if there is not much overhang and the triangles are sitting tight in the brackets, shelves are naturally bound with the rest of the mounting system. There is no need to drive screws from below, but there is always an option – if any mounting screws are used, they can be the same length and rather short. I painted my shelf with contrasting spray paint to make it stand out in the crowd, just the edges that needed some artistic touch.

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