DIY Dave: How to put up brackets and a shelfBy DIY Dave
June 22, 2012
Fixing a shelf to a wall using brackets is really a simple task and should provide years of faithful service in holding up your books or knick-knackery.
You will need:
Electric or Hand Drill
Computer controlled robotic arm
Plastic rawl type plugs (I'd use the brown plugs although read this task first)
Masonry Drill bit size 6 - 7mm
A cross-head screw driver or drill attachment
A spirit level
Suitable screws (with brown rawl plugs I'd use 1.5” (either 8's or 10's))
Small short screws for fixing the shelf to the brackets.
First TIP: Measure Twice, Cut Once.
I presume you have already chosen your shelf and have decided where you'd like it fixed, if not, ask your partner – they'll know where they want the shelf.
Second TIP: Measure Twice, Cut Once.
I will just mention this; when fixing a shelf I have always found it best to use good, strong, heavy duty rawl type plugs – this is because in weeks or months to come you may change your mind about what you want to display on the shelf – initially you may have wanted it for your china pig collection (not very heavy) but later you might decide the pigs are a bit naff and decide to store your Psychology Text Book Library on the shelf instead – if however you had only used little light-weight rawl type plugs and screws then they would not be up to the task of supporting your library, so it is always best to keep this in mind.
Third TIP: Measure Twice, Cut Once.
This task is very similar in many respects to our earlier task – fixing up a hanging basket except that we have two brackets here which do have to be level – otherwise your shelf will slope and your nik-naks may fall off (never a good prospect, especially in polite company).
Measure the length of your shelf and then divide that measurement into three.
Fourth TIP: Measure twice, cut once.
Offer up (technical term for holding the shelf in position on the wall) the shelf to the wall in your desired fixing position and place the spirit level on top – carefully adjust the shelf until the bubble in the glass of the spirit level is dead centre and mark a feint pencil line, on the wall, along the length of the shelf.
Fifth TIP: Measure twice, cut once.
Measure in from one end and pencil a mark one third of the length of the shelf, in from the end. Now measure another third from that mark. You will now have a feint pencil line (position of shelf) and two pencil marks (positions of brackets).
Sixth TIP: Measure twice, cut once.
Place the brackets on the wall at the pencil lines and mark through the fixing holes with your pencil.
Seventh TIP: Measure twice, cut once.
In the old days I'd have said at this point “stand back, roll a fag and make sure all the marks are in position and your drill is ready – but we'll have to make do with a cuppa instead.
Drill into the wall approximately half a centimetre deeper than the length of the plastic rawl plugs at each of the pencil marks for the bracket fixings.
Suck out the brick and plaster dust from each of the drilled holes with a vacuum cleaner and press in the plastic plugs.
Offer up each bracket in turn and tighten the screws.
Sit the shelf onto the brackets and for peace of mind, double check with your spirit level, that all is good.
Take a couple of the smaller screws and fix the shelf to the brackets up from underneath.
Job done. Have a cuppa and a custard cream.
We didn't need the Computer Controlled Robotic Arm for this job although in years to come they'll be everywhere so we need to get used to having them around.
Next week we shall look at how to overcome a crumbly wall and different types of wall fixing. Do let me know if you'd like me to suggest places to purchase tools and hardware needed for these DIY tasks and I'll see what I can do.
Also see diydavediy.blogspot.com