Floating Bookshelves with Built-In Book Shaped Book Ends
These bookshelves have channels in which built-in book ends slide back and forth. The book ends are made from old books. The shelves have been hung from a piece of plywood here, just for retail display.
Books, especially old books, are very heavy. Because of the extra weight involved, these floating shelves are designed to hang like wall cabinets. The shelf unit should be screwed directly into studs. I’ve provided 4 cabinet screws as well as screw head covers to match the color of your shelf.
To install the shelf properly, you’ll need:
A Stud Finder
7/64” Wood Bit for Drill
Phillips Bit for Drill
A Strong Friend
1. Using a stud finder, locate the studs in the area in which the shelf will hang.
2. Apply small pieces of masking tape to the wall and then make a light pencil mark on the tape to indicate exactly where the studs are.
3. Ask a friend to hold the shelf in the desired position. Use a level to ensure the shelf is perfectly level. Transfer the stud marks you just made from the wall to points within the hanging areas of the shelf. The marks should be light enough so you can easily erase them later. See pictures below for the hanging areas’ locations. Since studs are generally 16 inches apart on center, this shelf will span two studs. That means you'll end up with four hanging locations.
4. With the shelf on a worktable, drill pilot holes into your 4 hanging locations using the drill and a 7/64” drill bit. Place a sacrificial piece under the shelf while drilling. A sacrificial piece is just something you don’t mind drilling holes into. It could be a scrap piece of wood, for example. Be careful not to drill all the way through your sacrificial piece.
5. Slide each screw through the hole in its screw cover.
6. Ask a friend to hold the shelf in position on the wall again. Use the level to make sure it’s level again. Use your drill with a Phillips screwdriver bit to send the cabinet screws through the holes you just made, into the wall studs. Make sure to sink the screws all the way in. You should feel slight resistance the entire time the screws are going in. If the screw jolts forward suddenly, you may have missed the stud.
6. Close the screw covers to conceal the head of the screw.
7. Using your hands, apply test pressure to the shelf. Just a few pounds of pressure: enough to verify the shelf is securely attached to the wall.
8. Install the book ends into the slots wherever you’d like them to stand, thread the washer between the bottom of the shelf and the block, then tighten the bookend into place by turning the block underneath the shelf until it meets the washer securely.
Enjoy your very cool, one of a kind shelf!
If you have problems, email me using the address below. I can’t promise I’ll be able to help at that exact moment but I’ll certainly do whatever I can to make sure your shelf is installed properly.