Shop-made ways to hang a shelf

There’s no need to buy any commercial shelf hanging hardware, you can make them yourselves.  Here you can see only some of the most commonly used shop-made ways to hang a shelf.

- Cleat shelf support


Cleat shelf support


The connection between the shelf and the side using the cleat falls into permanent mounting methods. The cleat gives firmness to the construction if it is fastened both to the shelf and the side. It is possible to have an adjustable connection to the side - in that case, do not fix the cleat to the side with screws but use dowels instead. Of course, this requires drilling a series of matching holes (parallel rows of holes). The cleat is not a decorative connection, but a practical one because it can be quickly done and is also suitable for beginners. You can partially hide the cleat if you make it shorter than the width of the shelf.


- Using a split cleat to hang shelves


Using split cleat to hang shelves


As you can see in the picture, this is exactly the same hanging method as the previous one, and the only difference is that here there are two smaller cleats instead of one.


- Using a hidden adjustable cleat to hang shelves


Using hidden adjustable cleat to hang shelves


This is an invisible hanging method and can be adjusted if you drill two parallel rows of matching holes. Using an adhesive, this connection can serve as a medium-strength fixed shelf. The hidden cleat method is not suitable for putting up heavy-duty shelves.


- Wooden shelf standards


Wooden shelf standards


In the following picture, you can see three hanging methods called wooden standards. This type of shelf hanging can withstand heavy loads, and this is a good thing. However, there is also a bad thing - it does not hold the sides together. Another disadvantage is its visibility, although everything depends on individual taste, and quite a lot of people may find this type of shelf supporting attractive. Wooden standards are not difficult to produce, but they require precision and its making takes a long time. Cleats are always about twice as thick as standards.


- DIY shelf pins


DIY shelf pins


There’s no need to buy any shelf pins, you can make them yourselves! As you can see in the picture, it is enough to cut the brass rod (pin) and brass tube (sleeve) to a certain length. If you do not use the sleeve, the shelf pin is likely to deflect the wood over time. Don’t forget to make a chamfer on the inside edge of the sleeve to make it easier to insert the pin. The underside of the shelf can be notched to increase shelf stability. This technique for joining the shelf and the side can be used in hardwoods, softwoods, particleboard, MDF. 


- Tube shelf pins


Tube shelf pins


This is a diy variant of commercial shelf pins. They are not very visible, they are suitable for adjustable shelves and are very easy to make. Find a tube with the same diameter as the holes you have drilled in the sides, make a cut with a saw about 1/3 - halfway through, and then flatten the tube at one end using pliers or a hammer. This shelf supporting method does not prevent sagging.



- Commercial ways to hang a shelf 

- Woodworking joints suitable for supporting shelves

- Decorative ways to hang a shelf 

- Ways to hang wall shelves