D.I.Y. lightweight timber shelves

James, Team member
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D.I.Y. lightweight timber shelves

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Project Overview

These lightweight shelves are perfect for any room because they don’t have any clunky hardware and they give you more storage space. In a few simple steps, we’ll show you how easy it is to build and mount shelves with a great finish.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
Using A Drill Extension Bit
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00:10
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Using a drill extension

You can extend the reach of your power drill or impact driver by using a drill extension bit. This helps you drive screws into confined spaces and reduces your need for manual screwdrivers.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut your timber
2 Drill the holes for the shelf support and shelf
3 Join the shelf and the shelf support
4 Apply the putty
5 Stain or paint the shelf
6 Attach the wall anchors
7 Attach the shelf to the wall
8 Apply the finishing touches
  • Step 1. Cut your timber

    Once you’ve worked out how long you want your shelves to be, you can have your timber pre-cut at your local Bunnings. We cut three lengths of 300m from the 185mm x 19mm timber and three lengths of 280mm from the 42mm x 19mm timber.

  • Step 2. Drill the holes for the shelf support and shelf

    Mark where you’re going to drill the three holes in the bottom of the shelf support. Make sure the holes are in the middle of the timber and an equal distance apart. Then clamp the shelf and the shelf support to a workbench so that their edges are flush and pre-drill the three holes. 

  • Step 3. Join the shelf and the shelf support

    Apply some PVA wood glue to the back of the shelf support. Then clamp the shelf and shelf support to the workbench again. Drill three screws into the holes you’ve already made, driving them below the surface of the timber with a countersink bit.

  • Step 4. Apply the putty

    Use a putty knife and putty to cover up the screws in the shelf support and to hide any gaps between the joints of the timber. Wait for the putty to dry, then sand it off until it’s smooth. You can also give the whole shelf a sand for a nice, even finish.

  • Step 5. Stain or paint the shelf

    Giving the shelf a stain or paint before you hang it will make it look great. If you’re staining it, for a more professional look, wait for the first coat to dry, sand it back lightly and then apply the second coat.

  • Step 6. Attach the wall anchors

    Now you need to choose where you want the shelf to be. Using a spirit level, mark on the wall the distance of the holes you drilled in the shelf support. Screw wall anchors into these marks.

  • Step 7. Attach the shelf to the wall

    Line-up the holes in the shelf support with the wall anchors. Then drill screws into the wall anchors to secure the shelf. 

  • Step 8. Apply the finishing touches

    You can also putty up the holes, sand it back and apply more stain for the perfect finish.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Clamps
  • Countersink bit
  • Drill driver
  • 3mm drill bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Spirit level
  • Stud finder
  • Workbench

Materials

  • 185mm x 19mm x 1.2m dressed pine
  • 42mm x 19mm x 1.2m dressed pine
  • Hollow wall anchors x 6
  • 40mm timber screws
  • Putty
  • PVA wood glue
  • Screws
  • Wood stain

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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