…Well. I’ve never built a shelf before, but it seemed like a fun project, so I said yes and proceeded as follows:
4) Now that all the ends were drawn on, I cut them out with my jigsaw. At this point, I was just doing a rough cut close to my line instead of trying to make it absolutely perfect. Since I want all of these ends to be exactly the same, I recruited my hand router to help me out instead of relying on my skill with the jigsaw.
In case you are not familiar with using a router, different bits do different things. Whenever you are trying to make copies of something, one particularly handy bit to have around is called a flush trim bit. if you want to know about a flush trim bit then read the below paragraph. If you already know or don’t care, then feel free to skip it.
So right now I have one end piece that I used as a template for the other five. I cut that one exactly how I wanted them all to eventually turn out, and the other five I just cut close to the line but not exact. Well now I take my perfect piece, the template, and line it up to a roughed in one then clamp them together. Use your two flat sides to line them up. Now I can go through with my flush trim bit and cut the roughed in one to match the template exactly. You see, the end of the flush trim bit has a bearing on it and when you set the depth of the bit you want to make sure that bearing is resting against the piece of wood that you are using as your template. Once you turn your router on, it will then follow along the twists and turns of your template and the cutting portion of the bit (which is right above the bearing that is guiding it) will cut whatever board you have clamped onto it, to match those twists and turns.
If you don’t have a router or this bit, then just take your time and use a jigsaw to cut all the ends out. Go back with sand paper afterwards to get rid of any imperfections.
Since I have all six cut, I set them in place just to see how they look….
….so far so good. : )
6) Alright, another step, another router bit. This time I want one that will round out the edges just like the inspiration photo; this bit is called a rounding over bit and all it does is take the corner from a 90 to a nice curved surface.
Now that the bases and ends were done, I needed to figure out how to make that front rod that keeps things from falling off the shelf. I decided to use a few 3/8″ dowel rods I bought from Home Depot.
8) For the placement of the rod, I came in 5″ from the back, then 2″ from the bottom. I made a small mark with a pencil then grabbed a 3/8″ drill bit and made a hole.
Note: I did not go all the way through my ends. I wanted the outside of the shelf to look flawless so I only drilled halfway through the material.
9) Ok, before sticking the ends and the rod together I drilled the pocket holes I would use to attach the ends to the base. I did this by using my Kreg Pocket jig. Again, make sure you are drilling on the correct side. You want them to be a mirror image.
If you do not have a Kreg then you can attach the ends by using the butt joint. Just align the end piece to the base then use glue and nails to join them together.
10) Great! Now that all the holes are prepped, I measured and cut each dowel rod to the needed length, then used a smidge of wood glue before inserting the rods.
11) Next I came in 5/8″ from the sides of the base and made a mark, then lined up the ends and drilled the screws into their pockets to attach it all together.