Barn Beam Floating Shelf

Beginner Projects
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Based off Ana's Barn Beam Ledges but with added width, depth, and supports.

When I saw Ana's Barn Beam Ledges, I thought they would work great for our living room. However, I was a little concerned about the sturdiness of the keyhole/screw attachment to the wall especially if I made the shelf any bigger.

So using the Barn Beam Ledges and Ana's collaboration Floating Shelves with Young House Love, I created this design. I will note that I have not built it yet, but was hoping for any feedback the community would provide.

I plan on screwing the supports/"skeleton" directly into a few studs then fitting the shelf "shell" over the top of it. I left the skeleton with 1/2 inch of wiggle room on either side of the shell, because I was a little concerned about everything being too snug or difficult to fit.

I plan on using countersunk (sinked?) screws on the skeleton. And for the shell following Ana's plan with glue and finish nails.

I'd appreciate any feedback! Its my first custom design, so I'm open to suggestions. I'll be sure to post pictures when they are completed.



What are the best screws to use when attaching two boards that are 3/4"? 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch screws?

3 1/2" x 7" x 48"


Shopping List

1 8' 1x4
1 8' 1x6
2 8' 1x2

Common Materials
1 inch screws
1 1/4 inch screws
3 inch screws
2 inch finish nails
Cut List

2 1x4 @ 48" (just shy of 48″ to account for the saw blade and both pieces from 1 1×4)
2 1x6 @ 48" (just shy of 48″ to account for the saw blade and both pieces from 1 1×6)
2 1x2 @ 45 1/2"
2 1x2 @ 5 1/2"
7 1x2 @ 4"

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Circular Saw
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Project Type



Mon, 02/04/2013 - 13:30

I think it looks like a good, well-thought-out plan. I'm no expert or anything, but I think five mid-supports in the skeleton may be overkill? At 45", I don't think you probably need more than 2 (not counting the end ones, of course). Also just my opinion, but I think 1/2" may end up being too much wiggle room on each side, and 1/4" would still be pretty roomy.

I'm not gonna pretend I know what's technically correct, but I would use 1 1/4" screws (because they will end up 1/2" into the second piece of 3/4" stock, just be sure not to sink them too deep or they will poke out the other side).

Great plan! Can't wait to see it finished!


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 06:50

If you fasten the skeleton to the wall how the heck are you going to have the shell slide down on the back side that's attached? You'll have screws between the skeleton and the wall and then?


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:49

to respond to the comment above, I made Ana's barn ledges 6 feet long with key holes and they're very sturdy. You do not need to build them into the wall if you don't wish to.