Rustic Shelves and Brackets

ED6B8192-F225-4C21-B319-EB42BA09CE1FTo fill in a section of wall in our kitchen, my wife found a set of brackets from a company called Cascade Iron Co.  After several weeks of intermittent work, they look pretty good!

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Cascade’s shelving brackets

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The original inspiration

Purchase List

  • 6/4 Walnut 7″ x 9′ to make 3 sets of shelves (with a little left over for a 4th)
  • 1″ x 1/4″ x 6′ for 3 sets of brackets
  • 12 1/4″ x 2″ lag bolts for the wall
  • 12 1/4″ x 3/4″ lag bolts for the shelves

Brackets

Not wanting to pay for something that I think I can make, I purchased some 1″ x 1/4″ flat bar from Home Depot and a 6/4 piece of walnut from MacBeath Hardwood.

For the first set I used an oxyacetylene torch to heat each bend and make the bend with a bench vise:

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Getting the bends for each pair as close as possible was difficult and the best method was bending two at a time.

Then I used a plasma torch to get the starter holes in the right spot:

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And finally drilled those holes out a little larger than the lags (no photos, but I think you can figure it out).  I found that making them a little lose was better so I could fine tune them on the wall.

For the next four sets I didn’t have access to the Acetylene torch so I used a MAP PRO/Oxygen setup.  It achieved the same thing, but slower and I used three of the small Oxygen bottles getting it done.

To mount them, I used 1/4″ x 2″ lag bolts for the wall and 1/4″ x 3/4″ lag bolts for the shelves.  All holes were predrilled to avoid splitting.

Walnut Shelves

For the shelves, the website shows a construction grade 2×6, but the Walnut seemed fancier and worth the cost.  The 6/4 piece I found was about 7″ wide and 9′ long: just enough to make three shelves.  I wanted it to be somewhat “rustic” looking and keep some of the rough edge it came with:

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Closeup of the rough cut Walnut

The board had one fairly straight edge, so I ripped it to just oversize on the table saw using that edge and then flipped it and made it all the way square.  I wanted mostly sharp edges and only sanded the top three exposed edges and the flat surfaces down to 80 grit:

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You can still see some of the blade marks on the front edge

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This sanding block worked great for not taking too much off at once to get an even profile

I then used some wipe on polyurethane and followed the directions: wipe it on, let it dry for a few hours, lightly sand with 320 grit, remove the dust, and repeat.  Four coats looks pretty good without covering the character of the wood too much.

 

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After the third coat of wipe on polyurethane. And putting my welder to good use

Mounting the Shelves

Putting the shelves up required some thought: the top of the tile was level so I measured up 3/4″, placed the first set of brackets to mark the holes, predrilled, and screwed them in.

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After some finessing, it appears level!

I repeated for the next two sets of brackets:

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Second set up

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Third set going in

 

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The original empty space

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And filled up

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And completed with some fun knickknacks

 

Posted in Home Projects

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