Nomad shelves are an easy way to add storage for just about any size area. They do not fasten to the wall so they can easily be moved from place to place...which of course is why they are named Nomads. Great for bookcases, food storage, filing boxes or any other storage need. They are easy to make, sturdy, inexpensive and very portable. Here is how to create them:
STEP ONE: Decide what you want your shelves for and where they will go. This sounds very simple, but don't overlook this step. It will determine what supplies you will use as well as which tools will be necessary.
Measure the wall where you will put your shelves to determine the height and length you want. Also measure what you will put on the shelves to decide how far apart they will be . This will tell you how many shelves you will need.
STEP TWO: Select materials
Support beams (2" x 2")
[Two if shelves are 60" or shorter, Three if Longer]
Shelf boards (Length and Width according to your needs)
L shaped Braces (Multiply number of shelves times number of supports = how many braces] Get the biggest ones that will fit on whatever size shelf board you selected.)
Phillips Head Screws (8 x 1 1/4 ) You will need 3 screws for each brace
Optional - Sand Paper, Paint or Varnish
STEP THREE: Gather tools
Power screw driver or drill Saw Horses
Tape Measure Hand Saw
Level Optional - Paint Brush, Electric sander
STEP FOUR: Prepare support beams.
Measure where the shelves will go and then cut 2x2 supports to fit in that space.
(Leave 4 to 6 inches clearance from ceiling).
Optional -If using your shelves as a book case or for storage in living areas you may want to sand support beams and paint or varnish them. THEN....
Measure whatever it is you want to put ON your shelves to determine how far apart the braces should be. (Make sure you leave room for the shelf board when you measure). The shelves should be 1/2 to 1 inch further apart than the tallest book, box or basket. Also, be aware of any electrical outlets, heater registers or other feature along the wall that you will want to make clearance for. Place the first support beam on saw horses and mark with a pencil where you want your braces to go.
STEP FIVE: Attach braces onto support beams
Position the braces on the beam with the short side of the braces against the wood. Drill pilot holes where the screws will go using a drill bit smaller than the screws. Then drill in the screws. (Flat head screws can be used, but phillips head go in much easier).
After all the braces are attached to the first brace, stand it up and check to make sure they are the distances where you want them. Once you have that right, use it as a guide to do the others, lining them up with each other on saw horses.
STEP SIX: Place shelves on your support beams - DO NOT ATTACH. (It really helps to have two people working together on this step. One person holds the vertical support beams in place while the other person slides the shelves onto braces.)
The shelf goes directly against the wall with the support beams on the outside.
If using two beams, place them so that 1/2 the length of the shelf boards will be between them and 1/4 will extend on either side. If using three support beams, place beams an equal distance apart with the length of shelf extending beyond the beams on either side being approximately 1/2 the distance between the supports. Doesn't have to be perfect, but keep them as even as you can.
Continue placing shelves on braces, adjusting the support beams as you go to keep them as straight as possible. When all the shelves are up use a level to check the support beams and make final adjustments. You did it!!! You are now ready to start using your shelves.
The trick to these things is that as MORE weight is put on them the sturdier they get. I've made several sets - some fancy ones I sanded and varnished for bookcases in my home, others I left plain wood for food storage cases in my garage. I've made short ones, tall ones, wide ones, narrow ones. I'm posting this while on the road but later on when I get back home I'll try to dig out some pictures to show what these things look like.
(Basically I'm cleaning out files from a stack of old zip drives I no longer plan to use and figured this is as good a place as any to put some of those resources so I can go back and find when I need them!)