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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    13

    Default Building a rustic shelf from old lumber

    So, my dad has quite a bit of old reclaimed lumber that he's collected over the years and I want to make a big, rustic looking shelf from one of the large pieces to display some of my antique tools but, I'm having a hard time deciding how to support it without using some kind of modern metal shelf brackets which, would ruin the look in my opinion. So, the piece that I chose is a beautiful piece of old rough cut oak that is approximately 2.5" X 14" X 5'. Also complicating the matter is that I need to hang it on the brick wall in my basement. I've got plenty of old wood in all shapes and sizes that I can use to build the supports but I'm just struggling to decide on the best way to do it. Ideally, I'd like to use two large boards, about 3" thick, and hang them perpendicular on the wall, kind of like you might see on an old fireplace where the supports for the mantle are built right into the fireplace. Problem is, obviously I can't build the whole piece into the wall. I could, fairly easily build triangular 45 degree supports out of reclaimed wood and use heavy duty masonry anchors to secure them. I'm just not sure that would be a good look for a rustic looking shelf. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to do this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,152

    Default Re: Building a rustic shelf from old lumber

    I personally would try to keep the entire thing looking as rustic as possible, that means that traditionally cut corbels aren't going to look right against the rough hewn shelf material. I would look for some wrought iron style shelf brackets, possibly even have some made. You could make your own with some steel strap, hammer the bejezus out of it to give it that blacksmithed look, bend it into a right angle, then drill attachment holes for both the shelf and to attach to the masonry. I would then install studs into the masonry and use square nuts to secure the shelf to the wall. Paint all the hardware matte black.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,188

    Default Re: Building a rustic shelf from old lumber

    Due to the weight I wouldn't consider the brick alone a good enough support unless perhaps you used several steel rods (like rebar) drilled into the brick and the shelf. Use something similar to hold the wooden 'pegs' under it. Epoxy the rods into the brick and slide the shelf over those. Go into the center of a brick, not the mortar joints. I have a friend who did a mantel this way and it works great.

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Building a rustic shelf from old lumber

    Ok, so I wanted to post a follow up to this thread because, after 3 months of thinking about it and working on it little by little, I finally finished the shelf and, I have to say, I'm pretty happy with it. I literally considered a dozen or more methods of building the supports and attaching to the wall including the 2 suggestions that were posted and many variations of each. In the end I went with my original thought which was to build wooden corbels out of similar rustic lumber. I found a 3X3 oak post in my dad's stockpile that worked nicely. Although, it was warped and twisted and it took quite a bit of effort to get the miter cuts to fit halfway decent. By far, the biggest challenge was how to attach the shelf to the brick wall. I came up with a pretty unique method. First, I attached the shelf to the corbels. Then on the back, where they meet, I used a forstner bit and chisel to "chisel" out a recess that would accept a steel mending plate but still allow the shelf to sit flush to the wall. I attached the mending plates to the corbels using screws but not to the top of the shelf. Instead, I drilled a larger hole in that end of the mending plate to accept a lag bolt. I marked the wall where the corbels would sit, then I removed the corbels from the top of the shelf and attached them to the brick wall using 2 1/2 lag shields and lag bolts put through the mending plate. Then I re-installed the top of the shelf and secured it to the corbels. The end result is that the shelf is very sturdy and the fasteners are completely hidden. For the true "rustic look, I removed the trim screws that I used to attach the front 45 degree corbel to the rear piece, and replaced them with 3 inch square cut antique nails. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the project and finally, after 14 years, the antique tools that I inherited from my grandpa are being displayed the way they should be. Thanks to those of you who offered suggestions. It helped me to think through all of the different options. I'm attempting to attach a photo so hopefully it works.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,667

    Default Re: Building a rustic shelf from old lumber

    Safari on my iPad won't allow me to download the files. Can you attach a link to a photo sharing site. Would like to see what you did.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Building a rustic shelf from old lumber


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