Introduction

a custom-made open shelving unit
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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You'll find open-shelving kits in almost any home store, but their boxy designs can leave you with a case of the blahs. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva amped up the style of this common piece by making it from shelving planks sold in 8-foot lengths and turned spindles cut to size. To streamline construction, 
Tom cut the shelves to 5 feet and used the excess to create supports 
for the base. (Five-foot shelves can hold lightweight items without sagging; if you plan to add heavy items, like books, cut shelves to no longer than 3 feet.) Trimmed with crown molding, this piece will prove the perfect spot to show off all your treasures.

Spindles: 2¼-by-2¼-inch Colonial deck spindles;
 Lowe's.
Shelves: 1x12x8 utility shelving; Lowe's.
Paint: Valspar's Deep Earth; Valspar.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • brad nailer
      pneumatic nail gun
    • drill
      drill/driver fitted with -inch paddle bit and 1/8-inch drill bit

    Shopping List

    1x12 plank shelves Get five 6-foot shelves.

    1x4 Get an 8-foot board.

    1x2 Get an 8-foot board.

    2x2 turned spindles Get 16.

    crown molding Get 10 feet.

    -inch dowel Get 3 feet.½-inch painter's tape

    1-inch finishing nails

    1½-inch finishing nails

    3-inch deck screws

    wood glue