Making a corner bookshelf for your study can be a simple one level shelf or a set of shelves with an enclosure. Your first items to do are to pick the material you wish to use for the shelves, select the finishes you will apply and the location where you want the shelves. There are just tons of pre-made shelving kits available today. Corners, straight, pre-edged, scroll work bracket supports and so on. If you choose to do your own here are some helpful hints. Pine wood is the easiest to work with as it is a soft wood.and cuts, drills and sands quite easily. Oak is a hardwood that requires some more special techniques. Both make fine shelves but the final finish you can achieve may determine what species of wood you choose.
Once you determine the location of your new shelf you need to locate the center lines of the wall studs. A stud finder tool can make quick work of finding the studs. Gentle tapping on the wall with hammer can sometimes be useful but is not really accurate. Mark the stud centers for nailing purposes later on. A corner shelf is one the easiest shelves to mount as by it’s very nature, it has supports on two adjoining walls. Using a carpenters level mark on the wall two lines at the height you want the finished shelf.
Do not measure up from the floor. If the floor is not perfectly level, your shelf will not be either. Make one mark at the desired height and then using the level, transfer it to the other wall. A corner shelf support can be as simple as a piece of one inch by two inch material. If the shelf is two feet wide on each wall you will need to install one twenty-four inch piece and one twenty-three inch piece (nominal) on the walls. You can router the edges with a fancy design or just round them over as you choose.
Once the support pieces are in place (ledgers) you can construct the shelf itself. An inexpensive shelf can be cut from plywood with a nice front curved edge. By using a piece of three quarter inch wide or larger edge trim to finish off the cut edge, you can paint this shelf and have a great unit. If you wish to stain the shelf you will need to either edge glue and build up a wide board or obtain a twenty-four inch wide board from a saw mill.
Lumber yards generally only carry boards up to twelve inches wide. By pre-drilling all the holes and countersinking them for screws, the fasteners will become invisible when filled with wood putty and painted or stained. You can install multiple shelves this way and the entire shelving will appear to float in the corner. If you have the more complex wood working tools, you can install some sides very easily using what is called a “kerf” cutting method to place small vertical slice cuts on the inside face of the boards and gently bend them around the curve of the shelf.
Making a curved door is beyond many homeowners abilities or tools but by carefully kerfing the back of the boards to be used for the door, gently bending them to shape around the curve and clamping them in place, it can be done. The boards will quickly assume the desired shape. After the initial shaping, applying a thin coat of good carpenters wood glue and a couple of stiffeners you will have a great curved wood door. Install some decorative hinges and a lock and you have wonderful corner shelf unit in your study for your treasures.