How to Build Strong Shelf Supports

What You'll Need
Piece of pine wood, 2' X 2" X 8"
Tape measure and pencil
Circular saw and protective equipment
Sand paper
Power drill with various size bits
Stud finder
Wood screws

Shelf supports, or brackets, are among the most important parts of any shelving system that you can install in your home. The shelves that you attach to the wall can be supported by two different types of supports. The first is a freestanding shelving system, which generally rests on the floor. The second is a wall bracket, which allows the shelves to be attached directly to the wall. There are a great variety of designs for wall bracket supports. Read on for a brief guide on how to build a relatively simple but strong set-up of shelf supports for your shelving.

Step 1 -- Measure the Supports Out

Lay out the piece of pine wood on a flat surface. Use the measuring tape to make a mark exactly 8 inches in on the longest side of the board. Then, use the level to help draw a straight line from that point back up to the corner. You should have the outline of a right triangle with both of the shorter sides measuring 8 inches. Repeat the same markings for the other side of the piece of wood to create a duplicate outline.

Step 2 -- Cut the Supports

Put the appropriate protective equipment while you're working with the circular saw. Activate the circular saw, and carefully cut the two triangles out from the longer piece of pine wood. Turn the saw off and check the edges that you've cut for rough parts; if you find any, use the sand paper to sand them down until they're smooth.

Step 3 -- Drill Holes for Screws

Rest the two triangular supports on one of the 8 inch sides. Make 2 marks along the longest side at equal distances from the opposite ends of that side. This is where you'll attach the supports to the wall. Use the drill to create holes that are about an eight of an inch wider than your wood screw heads at those two points. The holes should be perpendicular to the opposite flat side so that the screws will go into the wall straight.

Step 4 -- Determine Where the Supports Will Go

Use the stud finder to locate studs in the area in which you're planning to install the shelves. Look at the length of the shelving unit that you want to install. Find suitable places for both supports so that they can go into the studs and also support the weight of the shelf.

Step 5 -- Install the Supports

Use the power drill to install the supports into the wall at the two designated points. You can do this by using a screwdriver bit to insert wood screws of the appropriate length through the holes and directly into the studs.