We Love Our Coffee

One of life’s little pleasures is a smooth-tasting cup of hot coffee in the morning. In our kitchen, we had a couple of cantilevered shelves hanging above our coffee maker, and they were just not up to the task of holding all our mugs and related stuff. It was time to make something better, and given some unseasonably warm (and I mean 70+ degree in January!) weather in store for the weekend, I decided to make something better!

Start with a Plan

My wife had some ideas about what we needed, so after talking it over with her, I sketched out a rough plan on my iPad. Yes, it’s a good thing I went to engineering school. I am not an artist.


Refine the Plan

With these plans in mind, I went shopping for materials. I needed some 8″ wide material (plywood or solid boards) for the shelves and sides, and then I had the idea to face the front edges with 1X2 with a high quality, clear pine wood. As it turned out, I found a sheet of 18.5 X 48 board made from 1X2s glued together. I liked this material because it was strong, light, almost free of knots, and it was much less expensive than the “clear boards”. The joints were going to be held together by Kreg pocket screws, so no brackets or visible fasteners would be needed.

I made a slightly more detailed plan, and then decided where to make my cuts on the material to minimize the cosmetic defects in the finished product.


After cutting out all the pieces according to the plan, the boards were sanded and the pocket holes made to join the shelves to the sides. I used a corner clamp to hold everything in place as I drove in the pocket screws.

The face trim is attached with 18-ga brads driven in with an air nailer. The air nailer is a major time saver and leaves minimal cosmetic issues to repair. The face trim extends above the top shelf, giving it a “lip” to keep anything from rolling off. The two vertical holes at the back are for attaching the shelves to a 1X2 cleat that will be attached to the wall with 2″ screws into the wall studs.

Here are a few pictures of the build in progress:

Prep and Paint

After filling the nail holes in the trim with wood filler and giving it one final sanding, the shelves were ready to paint. Be sure to remove all sawdust before you paint.

Paint was applied with a brush and a small roller. The roller gives a slight texture to the final finish.


This is the finished unit installed, showing the trim detail on the side.

In this view, you can see the mounting cleat if you look carefully under the top shelf. I removed the cleat from the shelves and positioned it on the wall so I could mark the locations for the mounting screws to align with the wall studs. I then pre-drilled pilot holes in the cleat and screwed it into the wall studs. I then set the shelves on the cleat and put the screws through the top shelf to reattach them to the cleat.

I then secured the bottom of the unit to the wall using a pocket screw at the back of the bottom shelf, also located to align with the wall stud.

This project was a lot of fun, and we have really enjoyed having all our coffee stuff organized and handy. If you take on a similar project, please share!

Happy making!



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