I am not a carpenter!
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
But I needed sturdy shelves on a budget.
This was my solution...a customizable fit with lots of options.
I purchased pre-cut, sanded, bull nosed particle-board shelves from a national home improvement store. They were a bit more expensive than plywood but I would have had to cut, sand and fill the plywood ones...which made the price difference worth it for me.
Then from the plumbing department of that same store I purchased metal pipe and the screw- in caps for them. The pipes are inexpensive and come in many widths and lengths.The width doesn't really matter just make sure that the cap is the right fit.
I went with thicker ones because I generally over-kill everything...I also knew there might be heavy items on the shelves...like art books.
Once you get everything home you can finish the shelves how you like...prime, paint, seal...decoupage...cover with fabric...pretty much anything you can think of. Me, being impatient...I didn't finish them. I went right into assembly.
And they are still unfinished to this day...I am embarrassed to tell you how many years ago I actually made them!
So for the assembly...a drill is helpful. Mark your holes, drill a small pilot hole, attach the cap, thread the pipe and attach the top cap...very simple. I don't recommend making it taller than table height unless you can anchor it to the wall.
As another option, I added some heavy duty casters to the bottom so I could wheel it around.
Over all they have been really useful. Through years as I have reorganized my studio I have cut them down...removed or added shelves...narrowed them and they still continue to work!