We sometimes see customers ask about alternatives to 2" thick wood, since in some areas supply may be an issue, or cost may be a particularly pressing concern on a project. Here, we will discuss an option for those looking to find an alternative solution to tackle these issues: How to make a simple alternative and inexpensive shelf.
The first step is to grab a few 3/4" boards of pine. The length may vary for your project and you can always cut down as needed to match your needs.
Next you will want to glue them together to make a solid shelf block. You can cut / shave / sand any rough edges leftover here as needed now or later. This will leave you with a 2 and 1/4" thick shelf. Now you can cut mark your channel cut 1/4" below the top and 1/2" above the bottom of the shelf.
Next we need to cut our channel - this means either using a dado blade and multiple passes (North America only) or a router to make space for the female bracket. You can read more about cutting the channel in this article here.
Now you should have a nice snug channel for your bracket. Remember that the bracket gets recessed slightly differently based on your wall type (read more about this here).
And just like that, you have your very own basic shelf without shelling out big cash for a 2" thick slab of wood. From here you can just proceed with your install as normal and create away!