Rockler has just released their new I-Semble slip-on shelf brackets, which are designed to make shelf building quick and easy. In addition to shelving units and bookcases, these new brackets can be used to build other types of furniture as well.
In order to build I-Semble furniture, the only tools you need are a drill and saw. I-Semble slip-on shelf brackets slide over vertical 1″ x 10″ (3/4″ x 9-1/4″) boards and are fixed in place at the desired heights with screws (included). Shelves are than mounted to the brackets to create a complete system.
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These slide-on brackets are made from ABS plastic and are sold in pairs of 2 for $15. And if you’re looking for more similarly quick and easy DIY-furniture-building hardware, take a look at Rockler’s I-Semble shelf blocks, which feature a fixed shelf height.
Interesting idea. Rockler’s edging towards non-woodworking, though, aren’t they?
Maybe, but the line between DIY and woodworking can be blurry at times. I don’t really see this as a move away from woodworking, but as an expansion towards DIY.
So for $90 plus the cost of lumber and paint I can make that kid’s desk from the picture? Seems like the cost of the brackets is a bit steep.
Its a cool idea- aesthetically pleasing brackets for use when your shelving/desk needs to look more finished. However, I see two issues with these brackets. First, they are very expensive ($15 for 2). For almost any project you will need 4, so thats $30 at a minimum. And for anything more intricate, like the kids desk they show, the price jumps quickly.
Second, because these brackets only work on the end of boards, your shelf/desk might actually become more complicated and weaker if you use these brackets. For instance, if you wanted to make some shelving that consisted of three shelves, instead of using 1 long vertical board for each of the shelves vertical sides, you would have to cut these boards into 3-4 pieces so that you can attach these brackets to the ends of the boards. This makes the shelf weaker (less joints is stronger), and ends up taking more time to make all of these cuts.
If you wanted to make something unique and only have a miter saw/table saw, then these brackets could make sense. But otherwise, basic stuff from Ikea would be cheaper, just as easy to assembly, and perhaps even stronger.
The vertical sides can (should) be straight single-piece boards, as the brackets slip on and are fixed to the sides via long fasteners.
My mistake- upon first look I thought they could only be mounted as endcaps to a board.
I still think the price of these brackets will become cost prohibitive with all but simple designs.
Is there a DIY system for drilling and routing precise cutouts needed to make the screw in or cam-lock connections they use for ready to assemble furniture? Used in good quality material they make for sturdy furniture that can be assembled and broken down several times which is great for those who need to put stuff in storage or transport it without a large vehicle.
Not that I know of, but I also haven’t really looked into it too thoroughly. But there are a couple of cross-dowel jigs available.