Blog Post

Trimming shelves to fit into a corner or niche

Shelves that will fit into a niche we build with open ends so these can attach to the walls on left and right with a wood cleat that attaches to the side walls. For shelves over 30″ the steel bracket supplements the support in the middle span. On shelves 30″ or less the steel bracket typically isn’t necessary so it’s a wood cleat on the back edge as well. In most cases the shelves must be scribe cut to fit nicely. in the case of a niche it is impossible to hold up the shelf to draw a scribe line so my preferred method is to make a template.  Every situation is different but 1/4″ oversize is nearly always perfect to allow for a good scribe cut though in some instances 1/8″ is easier to deal with. I advise against planning to trim more than 1/4″ from one edge.  In any case, please do all of the math on your end we do not modify your dimensions the size you order is the size we make. The term we use to specify shelves made in this way is “Loose cleat 2 ends” There is no upcharge for this customization.

niche shelf

open ends allow for side support

wood cleat shelf

wood cleats attached to walls

walnut niche shelf

shelf fitted into a small niche


Shelves that will fit into a corner in nearly all cases need to be scribe cut to fit nicely as well as in this situation there is usually not a stud available to attach the steel bracket right at the end so it helps to attach a wood cleat the adjacent wall to supplement the support of the steel bracket. The term we use to specify shelves made in this way is “Loose cleat 1 end” There is no upcharge for this customization.

shelf fit to an inside corner

walls at inside corners are nearly never square

scribe line to trim


walnut fitted to inside corner

the end has been scribe cut to fit against the slight irregular shape of the walls

walnut shelf with loose cleat 1 end

loose cleat at the end makes for easier supplemental attachment at ends where shelf fits into a corner

steel bracket and wood cleat on wall at 1 end



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