DIY floating shelves with scaffold boards... help!?

5 Aug 2015
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United Kingdom
So I'm completely new to DIY, house decorating etc. but I thought I'd be adventurous and try out floating shelves with a couple of planks of old scaffolding I have.

Turns out its actually more complicated than I thought and I'm finding it hard to find advice specifically on what I'm trying to make.

I have an alcove in my room with brick walls thats 1.9m wide, so I'll be cutting my scaffold boards to 1.9m long, theyre 35mm thick and 22cm wide.

I've been to B&Q and Wickes and neither do floating shelf brackets on their own, they both only sell as part of floating shelf packs, but I really like the idea (and cheapness) of recycling rustic old wood that I can sand and stain nicely.

So basically my question is, is this project practical? Will these shelves be too heavy to put up as floating shelves? Or will it be fine as long as I get brackets thick enough and long enough? And also, which kind of brackets do I need? I have a 18mm wood borer so potentially will be getting 18mm thick brackets to insert into my shelves, but will this be strong enough?

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I've made my own brackets for floating shelves in my kitchen. They were really difficult to get right. I made them from steel. Basically a bar with rods coming out. The rods have to be incredibly accurate and match perfectly with the holes you drill into your shelf.

But actually I think you're talking about hidden brackets not floating shelves. are you supporting at the ends? Ie in the alcove sides? The shelf is only as strong as the wall fixings!
Yeah I might be talking about hidden brackets haha I dont know I just dont want to be able to see any fixings when the shelves are up! I dont know how I'd be able to support at the end as if the wood fits the length of the alcove, theres no space to slot it onto side brackets?
What are your walls made of?

Support at the ends would be easier, but over that length you will need support at the middle as well to avoid bowing.

I would consider cutting T-shaped slots using a router in the shelf and then fitting screws with large heads or washers to the wall. That's not entirely hidden but it's much less obvious than L-shaped brackets and much easier than drilling holes for floating support rods.
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Why not rout a groove in the back and side edges, that slides over narrow battens fixed to the wall?

The only thing that doesn't do is provide support to the front of the middle, which a steel rod coming out of the wall would do.
Ok yeah I think I'll do a combination of both: cut grooves into the side edges to slot onto supports and then drill holes for rods going into the back. Thanks for your help guys!

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