Sunday, October 09, 2005

Old Time Shelf Hanging

Now days, of course, shelves in cabinets are hung off little brass tabs. The tabs are stuck in to a series of holes that are spaced evenly along the sides of the inside of the cabinet. There is nothing wrong with this method but I wanted a different look (Yes, I’m that obsessed).

In days of old cabinet shelves where hung from wooden stays that fit in to notched wooden strips that were secured in the corners of the inside of the cabinet. This method required a little more work but it was actually easier, given my meager workshop, and, of course, it costs less. Always watching the bottom line.

So here is how it works.

I started with a pair of 1-inch X .75-inch strip of wood.

I then cut a series of triangle shaped notches. The spacing wasn’t important but they had to match on each piece of wood or the shelves will be crooked.

I then split those in 2 to get 4 matching pieces.

The shelf has notches at each corner so it can fit around the thin boards with the notches.

Small slats the same depth as the thin boards are cut. They have a triangle shaped end that fits in the notch of the thin boards.

And Tada! Shelves hang. Note that the shelves are a meaty one and one eights inch thick. You’ve got to love old salvaged wood. At least I do.


sexierexie said...

What a wonderful topic for a blog! I'll follow it, and your ongoing project, with great interest.

StuccoHouse said...

I have those in my kitchen cabinets. They rock. Good job recreating them.

Patricia W said...


This is really interesting. Where did you learn this? Do you have books that explained it or have you seen this before and were able to re-create it. It's really neat and thanks for the step-by-step.

Greg said...


Like StuccoHouse I have them in another cabinet and I copied the basic idea from that. Another cabinet in my kitchen has a similar method but they are square notches instead of triangles. I recreated the square ones before but they take a little more work because you have to chisel out the back of the square after cutting the two sides. The triangle ones are easier to make.

Suzanne said...


I really like that method too. It looks much sturdier than the pegs, and has that wonderful antique feel. The shelves in my kitchen cupboard rest on 1" pieces of wood hammered into the sides. This is much better, and adjustable, too.
Once again, you rock!

kingstreetfarm said...

WOW I am impressed! 8-0

THAT is attention to detail.

mindy said...


I haven't visited in a few weeks, so I was totally blown away when I saw your finished cabinets. They are the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time, and given the stack of kitchen mags a mile high on our coffee table, that's saying something. I love your use of salvaged wood... so charming.

Even more amazing, you've accomplished so much in only a month!

After I wipe the drool off the keyboard, I'm calling Teague in to show him that we CAN make our own cabinets because SEE, GREG DID IT!

Kristin said...

I'm with Mindy ... you're always making me say, "We could do that, too!"