Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shelves Again

People ask me about shelves all the time. I am reworking an old unit this weekend so I thought I would show a few points. I like for the frame of the unit to have four feet and bolt or hinge together to act as one unit when in use but easily go flat to transport. For indoor shows, this is not so important but next summer when you take one of those fold out units that have separate" towers" with 3 feet each and try to shim them on uneven ground, good luck. The system for this unit is simply two ladder style units made from 2x2 and 3/4 inch dowels that are very stiff . These are carriage bolted together with a lightweight frame in between.
The unit is strong and stiff but very light weight

The rectangular frame bolts between the uprights
with carriage bolts and wing nuts that stay on the frame between uses

Rear view, arrows insure correct assembly
note corner reinforcement and notches in the vertical stiles of the frame
Each joint has glue and two 3 inch screws holding the joints together
The unit is sized to take standard 1x10 lumber for shelves. I love red cedar for shelves but they were $23 each and pine was $4.75. It's going to be pine at least until I see if I like how this works out. As always, when you load your shelves, try to put heavy stuff down low for stability. I'm going to finish touching up the paint and take these to Cincinnati Clay Alliance Holiday Fair next Saturday on Clifton Ave. about half a mile north of U.C. Stop by if you are in the area.


  1. Wish I was more carpentry savvy for the notched pieces, mine (patterned after your earlier ones) are sturdy but heavy since I used 2 x 2s and cut down 2 x 8's in three for the up rights, but they are much better than my last ones.

  2. I have much the same set up that I use in my studio. I use a diagonal in back with carriage bolts! Mine is many years old and sturdy, but yours is much classier! I like the look of the natural wood.

  3. Great looking, sturdy shelves. I am always amazed when we do shows, how many vendors that don't shim their set up and are top heavy.


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