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Some good friends recently bought a house, and tore out a built in bookshelf.  They wanted to replace it with some floating shelves that looked like a reclaimed beam.  I figured it’d be easier (and cheaper) to fake it than wait on finding the right beam. It was interesting because one side of the inset was brick, and the other was drywall.

This is an extremely simple project that could be adjusted to just about any situation.  If you don’t have an inset like theirs and are just interested in a floating shelf that hangs on a wall, I’ve got one of those here that you can check out!

Oddly enough, I’ve got a different set of friends who also want a floating shelf piece, but it will be entirely different than either of the two I’ve done previously. I’ll be posting it in the near future as well, so keep an eye out!

First, I cut 1×12 pine down to the width of my shelves.

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Next, I trimmed to shelf depth, minus the face thickness (1/2″).

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I trimmed the end of a pallet slat flush, before cutting it to shelf width.

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On the table saw, I trimmed off just enough to remove the rough edge.

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Then ripped the slat to final shelf thickness (2 1/2″).

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I ripped scrap 3/4″ pine into strips at 1″ wide.

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Then I cut these strips to match the depth of the shelves.

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I glued these strips down to the pine board, keeping them away from the outside edges.

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I used brad nails to hold them in place while the glue dried.

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I added glue to the top of those strips.

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After sandwiching on another pine board, I nailed them together.

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All of the front faces of the boards then got covered in glue.

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The pallet strip was nailed on to become the shelf face.

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I used a rasp to tear up the smooth cut edges, matching the ruggedness of the pallet strip.

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Using an orbital sander, I smoothed out any sharp or rough areas.

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I used a dark stain to make the wood match better and look like an old beam.

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Finally, I cut two more 3/4″ strips for each shelf.

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I used a Leica laser level to transfer my shelf locations to the side walls of this inset area.

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I transferred the two marks to the 3/4″ strips.

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Then I drilled a 3/8″ hole on those marks.

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I matched up those holes with the marks, and drill shallow pilot holes with a masonry bit.

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Then drilled the full depth holes.

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The 3/4″ strip was attached to the brick with Tapcon screws.

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I followed the same process for drilling the holes to the other side.

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Since it was drywall, I enlarged the holes to fit my anchors.

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I pushed in two drywall anchors capable of holding 100+ lbs each.

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I drove screws in to mount the strip to the anchors.

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The shelves slid right onto the 3/4″ strips.

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The shelves turned out great!

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Even up close, they look almost like a solid beam.

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