Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hangin’ up Some Shelves

Sheva the Builder-Sheve Apelbaum

My mom needed some more storage space in her ceramic studio, so we got some shelves, and since I am the resident family builder I volunteered to hang them.

Hanging shelves is not very hard as long as you follow very simple steps.  Before jumping into the actual work, let me just share a a few safety tips. 

Working with Electricity and a Power Drill
To make sure you are not about to drill or put screws into electric wires use a stud finder to locate the wires before you drill.  If you don’t know how to use a stud finder, find someone who does.

If you need to drill into concrete, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.  After you are done drilling the hole, be carful not to touch the drill bit right away because it will be hot.  Also, when drilling, make sure that the drill is level at all times (otherwise your holes are going to be on a slant).

The tools you will need:

  1. Drill
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Level (either a 3 foot or a laser)
  4. Measuring tape
  5. Pencil
  6. Awl (or other thin pointed instrument) or masonry drill bit (if you are working on a concrete wall)
  7. Plastic wall anchors and screws (there ere different anchors types for sheetrock and masonry)

Here are my assembly steps:

  1. Visualize where on the wall you want to hang the shelf (it’s a good idea to draw it on paper first)
  2. Mark the corner spot for the shelf (measure it from the ceiling and the closest wall)
  3. Use the level to mark (I use light pencil marks every 6 inches) the vertical and horizontal lines on which the shelves will be installed. Pay Level Bubble-Sheva Apelbaumclose attention to the bubble,  as even the smallest misalignment will add up to a large error. 
  4. Place the shelf bracket on the wall and mark the holes with the scratch awl.
  5. Pre punch a hole in the wall using the awl  (in sheetrock) or pre drill using a masonry bit  (in concrete block)
  6. Inset the plastic anchors and screw them into the wall
  7. Attach the shelf bracket with 2 screws.  As you are tightening the second screw check to make sure the bracket is level
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 for the second bracket
  9. Place shelf plank on the two brackets and check the level again.  If it’s good, attach the shelf to the brackets.
  10. Repeat steps 1-9 until you are done with all shelves.
  11. As you are installing brackets continue to check for level.  I hear from an authority in the field of leveling (my dad) that for every hole you drill you should measure 3 times.

Tools and Supplies-Sheva Apelbaum Measure and Mark-Sheva Apelbaum Laser Level Vertical-Sheva Apelbaum  
The Tools                             Layout                                Leveling Punch Hole-Sheva Apelbaum Installing Anchor-Sheva Apelbaum Anchors and bracket-Sheva Apelbaum  
Punching Hole           Inserting Anchor         Attaching Bracket

Shelf and Brackets-Sheva Apelbaum Attche Bracket-Sheva Apelbaum Shelves and Brackets                      Attaching Shelves

Done!-Sheva Apelbaum

Stand back and enjoy your handy work.


  1. You are so independent, Sheva--and I need you to put up some shelves here for me, too! How about I hire you to come over here and do some floor-to-ceiling shelves? Afterwards we can go visit Venice and sit in an outdoor café on the canals, ordering cappucinos from the a-waiter-a--si--bueno!

  2. Dawn- that is so nice of you. Of course you can hire me! I also love the Venice idea. Now, if I could just get my passport updated and get somebody to drive me to the airport, I'd be set!

  3. Hmmmmmmmmmmm carpentergirl, I beat the offer! How about I hire you to come over here and do some floor-to-ceiling shelves? And after it we can go visit the Dead Sea, float on the water, then hike up Ein Gedi, watch the Yaelim, return to the shore, have Falafel and ice cream and enjoy cafe turki with hel at the fleamarket in Jafo on our way home!
    Oh, Dawn could be your helper and then we take her too!

  4. Such a handy girl you are! I'm sure it makes you mom proud... and very very happy! Congrats on what looks like a job excellently done!

  5. Ah Sheva, you always amaze me. You are such a wonder woman..PS. Love the photoshop of you as BOb the Builder, genius!

  6. Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments.
    Yael: That sounds great! Let’s see, I have a vacation coming up, so I’ll be available for a week or so.
    Rebecca: Thank you for the comment. The shelves were fun (and easy) to put up, and my mom is very happy with the results-she’s easy to please. :-)
    Liz: My dad and I were thinking of what to use for the first photo, and then all of a sudden my dad yells : “Bob the Builder!” and that is how “Sheva the Builder” was born. Glad you like it!

  7. Hi Sheva,
    You've just received the "Beautiful Blogger Award"! To find out about it, visit my blog:
    xoxo Mollie
    P.S. If you'd like, just copy and paste the award badge from my blog to yours! :)