Elegant curved brackets and a plain board trimmed with carved molding make a dreamy bedside table. Here's how to build and install one yourself.
- Brackets (Victorian, $13 each; www.vandykesrestorers.com)
- 1-inch-x-12-inch-x-3-foot board (we used ChoiceWood poplar board, $23, Lowe's)
- 8-foot-long trim molding (Acanthus, $7, Lowe's)
- Miter box with a hand saw with small teeth (or power miter saw)
- Wood putty
- Tape measure
- Nail set
- Primer and paint
- To cut the trim's beveled edges, you will need to make angled, or mitered, cuts, to create miter joints. A miter joint is made of two pieces that are angle-cut at the same angle and joined together to create a 90-degree corner.
- To make the cuts, you will need a plastic miter box like the one illustrated here, and a handsaw. The easiest way to cut molding, however, is with a power miter saw.
- Set the miter saw to 45 degrees. Begin with one of the side trim pieces. Place the uncut trim against the board's left side edge and mark a diagonal pencil line slightly beyond the width of the shelf to allow for enough trim length for a 45-degree angle cut. Clamp the trim to the miter box and your work surface. Cut at the mark.
- Sand after all cuts.
- Hold the piece again alongside the shelf edge and mark where the straight edge needs to be. Cut here with the blade or miter box set to 90 degrees.
- For the long front edge, cut a trim piece with 45-degree angles on both ends. Cut remaining side trim piece like the first. Place the three trims against the shelf's edges to ensure they fit and modify if they don't. Nail trim to shelf. Countersink nails using nail set. Hide nail holes with caulk and gaps at trim corners with caulk. Prime and paint as desired.
- To finish, position first bracket against the shelf bottom at desired location. (Ideally, you will be fastening at least one bracket to a stud in the wall.) To attach the shelf top, drill down into the shelf top and into the bracket, recessing the screw about 1/8 inch into the wood. Do this at the front and back. Repeat for remaining bracket. Fill screw holes with caulk or wood putty. Prime and paint.
- Attach shelf to studs in wall. Your brackets come with keyhole anchors bored into their back faces. You will hang these keyhole slots onto protruding screws in your wall. To accomplish this, place a screw into the wall, ideally into a stud, but allow the screw to protrude enough from the wall to hang the keyhole bracket on. Install second screw using a tape measure and level for accuracy.
Get more easy how-tos from Better Homes and Gardens' Cabinets and Shelves. Find it at local bookstores.
Continued on page 3: Sweet Traditional in the Bathroom