Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Suspend Shelves with Spokes!

The other day I decided that it would be helpful to have shelves in the girls' playroom.  However, I didn't want to spend any money on the project.  I had some planks in the garage that were left here when we moved into the house last summer.  I cut those in half, and painted them with the left over yellow paint we bought for our front door a couple of months ago.  Then I was wondering how to get them on the wall.  After a bit, I thought about the box of spokes I have in the basement left over from the wheels I've rebuilt.  I found some clear plastic pieces which had a right angle.  Each side had small holes, perfect for a screw and the spoke.  I had to make a washer though for the spoke to be sure the head would not be pulled through the hole with weight on the shelf.  To do that I found small round plastic pieces into which I nailed a small hole.  I drilled diagonal holes in the shelf, and secured the spokes with spoke nipples underneath.  The shelf is supported in the back with a narrow piece of wood that is screwed into the wall.

Voila!  There it is.  A spoke suspended shelf.  I didn't have to search for studs because these walls are plywood sheets which are 4' x 8' in size.  I just had to drill a small hole anywhere I wanted, then I could screw into it easily.  I had to measure the distance of each hole from the front and end of the shelf on each side to be sure they were equidistant.  I also had to measure the distance between the holes and match that distance on the wall for placement of the wall mounts.

Parts and Tools that I used:

spokes and their spoke nipples
plastic wall mounts
shelf back supporter (narrow piece of wood)
tape measure
philips head screwdriver

I think this project could be refined for shelving in other rooms.  For instance, depending on your skill and tools, the spoke nipples could be hidden within the shelf for a cleaner look.  If you have money to spend, you could get nicer wood for the shelf, and cleaner looking wall attachments for the head of the spoke.  Maybe the spoke could even be painted or stained somehow to match the decor of the room in which they would be installed.  If the shelf is for books, the spokes serve double duty as book ends too!

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