Weekend Project – Picket Fence Shelf
Just wanted to show off a little recently completed wood project. My brother ended up with a huge pile of extra fence pickets and I put some of them to good use making some shelf units for my daughter.
The process was pretty straight forward, each shelf consists of 11 pickets and 3-4 30″ boards. The board length is variable of course which may alter the number of pickets needed.
First, I did a rough sand job of each picket, rough because I wanted to remove the worst of the rough bits but leave some of the overall “rustic” roughness of the surface. The pickets were also trimmed off by 1″ incrementing lengths (1″, 2″, 3″, etc) so they would stair step across the back. The boards for the shelves were also cut from an 8 foot 1×10″ board.
At this point, everything was painted with several coats of white paint.
Assembly is a bit tricky but by the third shelf I had a pretty good method down. The side pieces get marked for where the shelves should fall (variable intervals depending on needs). Then the side shelves are screwed onto the ends of each shelf in the appropriate places (I just screwed right through into the ends of the shelves, careful not to split things). Two screws each picket, each shelf point.
Then I measured out from the edges on the backside to line up the longest center picket in the middle, this is then screwed down with a 1/4″ off set from the bottom from the sides. This will leave a small gap along the bottom along the back. The purpose is to make the unit more stable so it will only hit the floor on the side pickets. Getting 4 side pieces to sit flat as legs is a lot easier than getting 11 pickets to line up flat on the ground (which would cause the shelf to wobble).
Next the two shortest back pickets are attached along the edges of the back. The remaining pickets get attached last and I found it was easy enough to just eyeball the spacing.
I also added some simple boxes to the bases of two of the shelves to give some added height (as pictured above). This part is optional.