Cutting shelves to size

21 Jul 2011
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United Kingdom
Hi Guys,

I'm fitting some shelves in my alcove, I've cut some battens and fitted them to the three sides of the alcove for the shelves to sit on. Only issue is the front of the alcove is wider than the back (962mm vs 945mm). I figure I need to cross cut my shelves but which is the better approach option 1 or 2?



Or option 3 an alternative I haven't thought of?

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You need to decide which wall is out right left or both! A large try square or failing that anything with a square corner chopping board, book, off cut of wood offered up to the corner.
it could even be slightly diamond

an off cut off board can give you a large square
Cut a piece of cardboard to fit as you wish then use it as a template to cut your shelf.
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Looks like both sides are off, so something a bit more like option two. I'll try the cardboard template tip too
There are a number of way you can do this, the easiest is probably to cut the shelves in question slightly oversize to the alcove position to where they will be inserted (don't expect the alcove to be the same down it's length) The measurements you cut to, must reflect the splay out you have noted in your squaring try i.e. if the alcove gets wider at the front, so should the shelf. There will also be a radius at each of the two back corners where the shelf will reside, this should be duplicated on the back corners of the shelf. Now offer up each side of a shelf to it's position, make sure the back edge is hard to the back wall of the alcove, the shelf should be angled so that one end is down to the end bearer and as level as is poss. Note the gap and find the widest part of it, this will be the depth of scribe line that's required (I tend to use a joiners sq pencil sharpened to a point'ish, this I can radius out from the wall when it's perpendicular, that way I can radiate it until the point touches the widest part) now holding the pencil at the touching widest point, mark the scribe onto the top of the shelf. The scribed end should cut to the line exactly with a slight back bevel, this will ensure it sits snub to the wall at the top/visible edge, the lower one is hidden by the bearers. Offer the cut edge back in place similarly angled and push the opposite end down, this will show you if you got the cut correct, as there will be no gaps if did. Do the same to the opposite end, bearing in mind this is also cutting to the full length required, leave a small amount of clearance (prevents wall/paint scraping) and that's your shelf fitted...pinenot :)
You could line the alcove with pine board or mdf, making the frame true and square for your shelves, and if there is a gap at the front fit architrave.
Or put up Dexion the industrial look is quite trendy :D :D

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