This project is one of the easiest and quickest ways to gain access for storage space in the unused corners of your walls with a two-tiered corner shelf. Anyone can build this shelf and in less than one hour. This is a great project for beginners who want to dabble in woodworking. The price for the materials in this project are only limited to what you can afford. You could buy expensive cherry, oak or birch and create a masterpiece spice shelf to endure for years in your kitchen and to be passed down from generation to generation. On the other hand, you could scrounge around a job site and pick up some left over plywood and 2×4’s and build a paint shelf in the garage. The basic two-tiered shelf design is universal.
The basic design for a two-tiered shelf is simple. It consists of a top and bottom shelf support in the front by two lateral boards and in the back is supported by four lateral boards. Deciding on a length for the lateral boards is up to you, but I wouldn’t go more than two feet.
In this article I’ll explain how to build the two-tiered shelf and the two-tiered built in shelf. The differences between these two designs are the basic two-tiered shelf is removable where in the built in shelf is not and is literally built in to the house. However, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both designs.
I’ll simple two tiered shelf design first. This design incorporates a two foot space between the top and the bottom of the shelf and one feet of shelf space from the inside corner to the outside of the shelf. It requires twelve feet of lateral bracing (Two 1×2’s@ eight feet) and two feet of 1×12 (One 1×12@eight feet or one sheet of plywood).
Using a circular saw or miter box, cut the six pieces of 1×2 into pieces 24 inches long. Set these aside and grab the 1×12. On a set of sawhorses or a workbench, measure the width of the 1×12. Now transfer that measurement down the length of the 1×12. Using a chalk line, snap a line between the mark you just made and the far corner creating a perfect triangle. Cut off the triangle with a circular saw. Repeat the same process for so you have two triangles. These are the two-tiers for the shelf.
Using a 6d finish nail or a finish nail gun, attach the first lateral brace to the front of the first shelf, one inch down from the top of the brace. This leaves a one inch piece of the lateral sticking up on the top of the shelf so items don’t get knocked over the edge. Do the same with the bottom shelf leave a one inch reveal on the bottom of the bottom shelf. Have someone help you hold the shelf while you nail it or clamp it down to a work bench. Use some wood glue between the lateral braces and the shelf face for and extra strong shelf.
Once you have attached the two front lateral supports to the top and bottom shelves, flip the two-tired shelf over and attach each of the two lateral braces to the two sides of the shelves using another 6d finish nail. Set the nails gently using a nail punch and wipe away any excess glue that comes out with a wet rag or sponge. Finish and paint the shelf to your taste.
The built in shelf is the same process except with a twist. You have to measure the walls in your home. Make a mark 12 inches on each wall from the corner where you will put your two-tiered shelf. Now measure the angle in between the two marks on the wall. This measurement is what you need to cut the two shelves. Locate the studs in the wall and sink a nail or screw through the lateral braces to secure the shelf to the wall. Attach trim to the wall and the two-tiered shelf, and enjoy your new two-tiered shelf!