Help with scribing alcove shelves

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Jay459, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Jay459

    Jay459 Member

    We are turning an upstairs bedroom closet into a wardrobe. I have fitted two clothes rails and hoping to get some melamine white shelving done.

    The walls are far from even. The shelves are to be 820mm wide and and 675mm deep.

    But having measured the width at the front of the shelf, it’s 820mm but at the back wall it’s 790mm.

    So good bit out. I’m no joiner but hoping to tackle this myself as it’s an upstairs closet it doesn’t have to be perfect but would like to get it best I can

    Any tips on scribing this to fit.
  2. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    This is an excellent, simple tool for just this job

    Tighten the nut enough so the steel blade can be moved but it stays in position
    Place body of tool against back wall of alcove at corner, position blade so its tight against side wall, nip up wingnut and check the fit

    Place the tool onto your shelf material, body of tool along back of shelf, blade on shelf and pencil mark the angle. Using a straight edge, continue the angle across width of shelf

    Measure width of alcove across back wall and transfer to the shelf

    Use sliding bevel to measure other side and again, transfer measurement onto shelf, marking from alcove width mark

    Allow a few mm clearance or chance it and go as tight as you dare, now cut shelf, should have a great fit :)
  3. Jay459

    Jay459 Member

    But I can’t get the shelf in the alcove to mark.

    Do I use a small bit of timber, to get the template and transfer it to actual shelf material
  4. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    You’ve misunderstood my post Jay

    Place the sliding bevel (not the shelf) into alcove. Place body of tool along back wall with steel blade facing side wall

    Have blade tightened enough so it can be moved but friction keeps it in position

    Move blade tight against side wall and nip up bolt

    Now hold body of tool against back of shelf (as you did in alcove) and pencil mark blade position on shelf

    Use a straight length of timber as a ruler and continue pencil mark across width of shelf

    This is now the angle of one side of alcove

    Is this clearer ?

    Read my post again or look on you tube perhaps, can usually find videos on pretty much anything

    But used correctly, this tool will simply do the job
    Astramax likes this.
  5. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Use a square and measure the difference each side where the gap is and cut your shelf plus or minus the difference on the square, or cut your shelf an inch longer, angle it tight to the back and one corner and using a spacer the same thickness of the widest part of the gap, scribe a line along the edge. Cut the waste, then do the other side, then reduce the shelf in length to fit and it should be pretty good, if it's tight chamfer the bottom edged slightly to allow you to angle it in. This advice is based on the back wall being relatively straight.
  6. Jay459

    Jay459 Member

    I understand now. I think this will ge the job done to a reasonable standard. The back wall is relatively straight. It’s the left side that’s the worst, it’s bowed very badly
  7. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    If you place an offcut of shelf against the wall in the area it needs to go and run a Stanley knife along the top into the wall, you can cheat a bit and chop out the plaster so you can tuck the shelf in to get a good fit.
  8. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    You could make a template out of cardboard, do each corner and then tape together.
    ShabbaPlanks likes this.
  9. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Use a bit of hardboard or cardboard to template.
    ShabbaPlanks likes this.
  10. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    Sliding bevel ..... oh well.... whatever :confused:
  11. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    Many ways to skin a kipper.
  12. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Only works with straight reveals surely.
  13. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    If you do a hardboard template say 100mm underlength. Slide to one end. Use a washer with a pencil running inside it to mark one end. Cut it to the scribe line.

    Slide to the other end and repeat.

    Then just mark one end on the finished shelf cut it. Then work out the total length and mark the other end say 2mm short and it should fit perfect.
  14. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    I take it that corners of alcove aren’t true 90degrees as op has differant width measurments front and back (not uncommon there)

    I’ve used my sliding bevel many times for this type situation with good results, simple tool and easy to use
  15. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    I wonder who else came up with that idea earlier :rolleyes:
  16. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    But I like crispy fish skin so grill them with lashing of butter and black pepper - good squeez of lemon juice and enjoy

    Just that stink in the house for next 3 days :eek:

    Bbq is an option
  17. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Sorry amigo. I missed your solution!
  18. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    As Goldenboy says, it only really works if the back wall is straight with no bumps, plus the OP would have to go out and spend at least a tenner on a bevel when he could achieve the same result without one.
  19. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Thought DIYDave's suggestion was fine in this instance as the op said 'it didn't have to be perfect'.
  20. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Scribing is one of the key parts of fitting work. Done correctly it looks the nuts.

    Using a bevel and cutting straight lines will work in many situations.

    Marking using a washer or packer will work in pretty much every situation.

    Horses for courses.

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