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I want to build shelves into an alcove, but the corners are not square. What is the best approach to this?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

"Not square" can mean two different things: not a right-angle, or rounded.

If the walls are not at right angles, you can use a T-bevel to measure the angle between the walls. If you don't have a T-bevel, you can hold a piece of light cardboard against one wall and fold it so the crease is against the other, which you can use as a template for cutting the shelves.

If the corners are rounded, I'd use the cardboard again: estimate the radius of the corner, cut a quarter-circle of that radius, and check how well it fits into the corner. If necessary, adjust the estimate and repeat. Then use the quarter-circle as the template.

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Make sure you do this at each height you plan on putting a shelf, just in case your walls aren't the same angle from floor to ceiling. –  Doresoom Oct 14 '10 at 13:24
    
great tips, thanks guys. I have adjusted the question title to be more useful. –  Mild Fuzz Oct 14 '10 at 15:04
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