Build a Corner Shelving Unit

What You'll Need
3/4-inch by 8-inch by 96-inch oak lumber
1-inch by 3-inch by 96-inch oak lumber
3/4-inch by 4-inch by 8-foot oak plywood
1/8-inch by 4-inch by 8-foot oak plywood
1/4 lb. Kreg screws
1/4 lb. 1-inch wood screws
12 1/4-inch shelf pins
Sandpaper (120-grit and 220-grit)
Wood filler
Carpenters yellow glue
Kreg Screw Jig Tool
Table saw
Drill press and 1/4-inch bit
Hand drill and screwdriver bit

Constructing a corner shelving unit is moderately easy with the proper tools, material and clear plans. The beauty of a corner shelving unit is that it will allow you to utilize otherwise wasted space. Choose any hardwood and finish that complements the design of the room.


Step 1 - Cut Lumber for Corner Shelving Unit

From the 3/4 inch by 8-foot lumber, cut 2 pieces to 2 3/4 by 84 1/4 inches (front posts) exterior edges cut at 45 degrees. With router, cut a 3/16-inch rabbit (groove) to receive the back panels during assembly. Also cut the 3 rails at 3/4 inches by 2 inches by 20 inches from the 3/4-inch by 8-foot lumber. From the 1-inch by 3-inch lumber, cut 1 piece to 2 1/2 inches by 84 1/2 inches, with both edges at 45 (rear post). Drill 1/4-inch holes for shelf pins on front and rear posts.

Step 2 - Cut Plywood  

From the 3/4-inch plywood, cut 3 triangles with the front face at 25 1/2-inches, tapering back to a rear width of 2 1/2 inches (45 degree cut). The 3 pieces just cut will form the top, bottom and 1 permanent shelf.

Step 3 - Assemble Frame for Corner Shelving Unit

Using the Kreg Pocket Screw System, drill 1 hole on either end of the 3 rails (Step 1). Attach rails to each post at top, bottom and center of posts. Using Kreg screws, attach the 3 shelves cut in Step 2, at the locations of the 3 rails just installed. With Kreg screws, attach the rear post (Step 1) to the back of the shelves just installed.

Step 4 - Cut and Attach Back Panels

From the 1/8-inch plywood, cut 2 back panels at 16 1/2 inches by 84 inches. Attach back panels with wood screws and carpenter’s glue.

Step 5 - Fabricate and Install Adjustable Shelves

From the 3/4-inch plywood, cut 4 rectangles at 23 inches by 9 5/8 inches. From the 3/4-inch oak lumber, cut 4 shelf front edges at 3/8 inches by 23 inches. Attach 1 front edge to the front of each of the 4 shelves with carpenter’s glue. Clamp and allow them to dry for 24 hours. Once glue has dried completely, remove clamps. With a miter saw, cut the shelves at 45 degrees, such that the front edge finished width will be 23 inches and the back edge finished width is 2 7/8 inches.

Step 6 - Finish Corner Shelving Unit

Sand all surfaces with 120-grit sandpaper and wipe with tack cloth. Apply stain, and wipe excess off with clean rag. After drying for 24 hours, lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper and apply polyurethane with natural bristle paintbrush, allow to dry 24 hours.

Step 7 - Assemble Adjustable Shelves

Each adjustable shelf is supported by 3-shelf pins. Push shelf pins into the 1/4-inch holes drilled into the back and side posts in Step 1. Lay shelves onto shelf pins of the corner shelving unit.