How to Make Shelves With 3/4 Thick Wood


Custom made shelving is a great way to solve storage needs and dress up empty wall space at the same time. Using tools and materials from your local lumberyard or home center, you can make simple and attractive shelves.

Step 1

Measure the area you want to put the shelf using a tape measure. Transfer these measurements to the 3/4 inch board with a pencil and carpenter's square. A good rule of thumb to follow is to keep your shelving around 30 inches in length. This ensures that the shelf won't sag or fail under too much weight.

Step 2

Cut the 3/4 inch board to the desired length using a circular saw and use the carpenter's square as a guide to keep the cut straight. Mark and cut as many shelves as desired.

Step 3

Sand both sides of the shelf smooth with a random orbital sander mounted with a 220 grit sanding disc. Using a block of wood wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper, sand the edges and ends of the shelf board as well. Using a sanding block will be easier than trying to use a random orbital sander on a narrow edge.

Step 4

Apply the finish of your choice. If you want to keep the shelf looking natural you can use a water based polyurethane. Too add some color, use a wood stain before applying the polyurethane, or you can paint the shelf using an interior latex paint. Doing this step now will make it a lot easier to finish than waiting until the shelf is mounted on the wall.

Step 5

Attach the shelf to the wall using either basic metal shelf brackets or decorative wooden corbels. If using the corbels, you will need to prefinish them like you did with the shelf board.

Tips and Warnings

  • Woodworking can be dangerous. Be sure to read the instructions that come with your tools and always wear eye and ear protection.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 inch by 10 inch by 8 foot lumber
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Carpenter's square
  • Random orbit sander
  • 220 grit sanding disc
  • 1 inch by 2 inch by 4 inch sanding block
  • 1 sheet of 220 grit sandpaper
  • Water based polyurethane
  • Wood stain
  • Latex paint
  • Shelf brackets or decorative corbels


  • SawdustMaking 101
  • Lee's Wood Projects
Keywords: shelf, 3/4 inch wood, woodworking

About this Author

Adam King has been a writer, artist and educator for more than a decade. As an entrepreneur, his writing experience has covered many areas, ranging from small business topics, self-help, personal growth, to most recently fine furniture making. He currently writes for Fine Woodworking, The Woodworker's Journey, and Adam King Studio. His writing ranges from how-to articles to sales and promotional copy.

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