Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY: Ladder Shelf From Reclaimed Wood

Whew!  It's been over two weeks since my last post.  I guess I've been a bit busy with these two cuties...


And I've been knitting every chance I get to finish the fair isle sweater for Arden that I started to match Hadley's 3-6 month one that she's threatening to outgrow any day...


Then my inlaws were visiting, which gave me some spare time and access to my father in law to help with a project for the house - a ladder shelf from wood we reclaimed from the demolition of our old garage.




It took three days' nap times to finish, but it ended up coming out pretty much exactly as I'd hoped.  I was limited to the lumber we had available, so the top three shelves are 2" thick and 8" deep and the bottom two are 1" thick and 10" deep.  I had to rip a piece of lumber in half for the side rails.


I didn't take photos along the way, as we were already working with limited time.  The basic construction was to figure out the angle and placement of the shelves and then I notched out 1" deep slots on the side pieces to receive the shelves.  I did this using a circular saw set to a 1" depth and then making a series of cuts.  Then I knocked those out with a hammer and used a chisel to clean them up.  The shelves are held in place with a 4" bolt.  I put rubber grippers on the bottom so the shelf won't move without having to drill into the hardwood floors.  The top is attached to the plaster wall with two molly bolts (the ones with the butterfly looking thingy on the end).


I'm still working on the arrangement of items on the shelves, but the intention is for it to hold fabric and other sewing accessories to allow my sewing desk to stay a little clearer.

What do you think?  This only cost bolts and grippers to complete, and I think it fits well with the current barnwood furniture trend.


 

 

I'm submitting this project to:


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A reader asked for more detailed instructions as she is considering tackling a similar project, so I thought I'd share what I sent to her - here goes, I hope it helps!

Okay - first, I found the pieces for my side rails - I had to rip a piece in half to get two that were long enough.  You want these pieces to be more or less square and big enough to be sturdy - mine ended up being like 2" x 3".  Then you need to figure out how far away from the wall you want the bottom to rest.  I had a large grate for the air return to span, so my bottom measurement was 18.5" from the wall.  I would recommend having it a little closer if you can.  Then your shelves won't be as far from the wall on the bottom.  You'll also need to have your ceiling height measurement, less any crown moulding. 

There's probably some mathematical way or a nifty tool to determine the angles you need to cut on top and bottom, but we cheated and used cracks in my driveway to line up the side rails 18.5" out from one crack, and our top measurement for the part resting on the wall.  Then we just marked the angle to cut with a straight edge lined up with the cracks.  Make sense?  You could use chalk to mark out lines if you don't have the expansion cracks in your driveway or garage to use.

Then we brought our pieces inside and rested them in place and made sure they were plumb and level.  Using a level, I marked lines for the shelves on one of the side rails.  Mine ended up being about 17" apart.  Outside, I transferred my marks to the other board.  I set the depth on my circular saw to 1" and cut right on the lines I marked and then made a series of cuts close together in between.  Using a hammer, I knocked these pieces out and then used a chisel to scrape out the rest.

Then we cut our boards to the length we wanted and dry fit them in place with the ladder on it's side.  Since my boards were two different widths, I have the bottom two parallel, and the top three parallel.  I used the cracks in the driveway to mimick the "wall" again and measured from the crack and from the side rails to get them the same on the right and left rails.  You'll have some of the boards very close to the backside and then working up to having them very close to the frontside.  Once I had everything lined up the way I wanted, I drilled a pilot hole and then put the bolts in.  I attached rubber grippers to the bottom so I wouldn't have to drill into our hardwood floors.

We brought the ladder inside and set it up in place.  I measured where I wanted the molly bolts to go and then drilled pilot holes for the bolt size, making sure to go into the wall a bit.  Then I drilled a much larger hole to accept the butterfly part of the molly bolt into the wall using the mark from the pilot hole.  Put the bolt through the wood and attach the butterfly part making sure it's close enough to the end to make it through the wall and open.  Then tighten the molly bolt so the butterfly part grabs inside the wall.  You might have to pull the bolt towards you while you tighten it so the butterfly part catches.

27 comments:

  1. This is super creative..I love it.. Very inspirational blog you have here.. So much creativity.. Officially following ya with smiles.. I'm Marilyn and will love for you to stop in sometime.. I have a Pin'Inspirational party happening right now I'd LOVE for you to link this to please..? TY so much.. Wishing you a great start to your weekend.. http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/2011/11/pininspirational-thursday.html

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  2. I love this!! I have been looking for a ladder for my laundry room, I may have to try this!!

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  3. Beautiful! What a great idea to put no-slip material on the bottom feet so you don't have to drill into the floor...that's just plain smart! I'd be thrilled if you stopped by the Head to Head Showdown and linked up your gorgeous project! It's all happening right now at www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com

    ~jen

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  4. Thanks for linking up! ~Jen @ www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com

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  5. Beautiful --- thank you so much for sharing!
    Blessings, Becky
    www.fromgentogen.com

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  6. This is beautiful! I love reclaimed wood projects! And your two little ones are such cuties!
    Shannon
    www.akadesign.ca

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  7. I featured this on my blog tonight! Thanks for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday. Come check it out and grab a button! :) http://mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/11/your-whims-wednesday-34-and-features.html

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  8. So cute! What a smart idea! I will add this to my list of must dos! Found you via link party. :o)

    http://justagurlintheworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-make-custom-wall-art.html

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  9. Love this! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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  10. How cute is Arden! Very beautiful ( I wish my 3 year old was still as qute).

    But anway it was a great build and it didn't seem that hard to do. So I will have to give it a go.

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  11. Hi there, what a fantastic job you did with the old wood from your garage. What an imagination you have. Most people would have just burnt it!! Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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  12. This is so cool, I have been thinking I need to make something like this thanks for the inspiration.

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  13. love the ladder, great thinking it turned out so cool and rustic looking!

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  14. This turned out so nice! It's giving me some inspiration! Love it!

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  15. This ladder is so perfect! Would love love love for you to share this at my Best of 2011 party going on now http://space46.blogspot.com. Feel free to link up other projects if you'd like. Happy new year! My

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  16. Hi Jenn, thank you for linking up at Made Up & Loved! I featured this today. Swing by to grab a button if you'd like. Best, My

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  17. Dude that rocks, thanks for the link. Do you mind if I feature it on Roadkill Rescue?

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  18. I love your ladder!! It turned out so neat and I love the wall color that you have behind it! It really makes the ladder pop! I would love to have the name of the color and the brand if you have time!
    Thank You!
    Laurie Stunkel
    lauries_account@yahoo.com

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  19. That's so cool! I have some lumber sitting in the garage that would be PERFECTO for this!

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  20. Wow, this is just amazing. I love that you used your old garage to build this. Reclaimed wood is one of my favorite mediums! I am sure you know how much these sell for in decor catalogs!

    I would love it if you had time to link this up with linky party. It runs every Thursday afternoon-Sunday at midnight. Thanks!

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  21. came from RoadKill Rescue - I have the real deal from Room and Board and they were EXPENSIVE. And yours look just as great!

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  22. Wow, very creative. and im sure you caould actually sell this for thousands as "ART" ;)

    Ladders

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  23. Love this! Ive been thinking about making some shelves for sometime now as I need somewhere to put my dvds and cds but not having the money Ive had to put it on hold until now, thanks to your brilliant idea! I have an old wooden rickety set of steps, too rickety to use but they have a sentimental value to me but now I can give them a little tlc and have some much needed storage for free! xx

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