Tree Shelf

June 8, 2013 10:11 am Published by 3 Comments

I have to say, it really surprised me how many people liked this on Facebook. So I’ll do a quick explanation of the construction.

The entire shelf unit was made using two types of wood: poplar boards for the shelves and CDX plywood for the backing board. I wanted to use a higher quality wood for the back, but I got impatient.

The poplar boards were all cut at semi-random lengths with my circular saw set at a 10 degree angle. The backing board was cut free-hand with a jig saw. I knew roughly how long the trunk had to be, so I just started cutting. After finishing each of those, I sanded down the edges and any rough spots (like the edges of knots in the plywood) and stained them right after.

I ended up staining both the plywood and the poplar with a Minwax Oak stain. I had intended for either the shelves or the backing to be darker than the other, had previously stained some poplar boards with the oak stain and knew how that would look, so when I stained the plywood with the same oak stain and saw how dark it was, I decided that it was perfect.

After staining, I determined that I should draw some lines on the back of the plywood at the appropriate angle. If I’d been thinking ahead, I would’ve drawn my angled lines before doing the cutting, but I wasn’t. As a result, my lines were slightly off. In addition, I set the lines 8.5 inches apart. Which should’ve been enough for putting DVD and video game cases on each shelf, but, due to my slight variations in angle, it was not. I may end up redoing the backer board because of that at some point.

Anyway, the last step! Using some Spax self-drilling wood screws, I attached the poplar boards to the plywood. Each board got between 5 and 9 screws (except for the bottom two, which only got three each). Spax screws are very sturdy, so even the bottom two hold on very nicely. Because of that and how many screws I used in the larger shelves, they can each hold a lot of weight, despite the cheap backing board. Then I just placed it where I wanted to be and screwed it into the wall.

Now I’m working on an attractive bracket to use as bookends. I may use some we recently found at Home Depot that look like wrought iron. We will see!

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This post was written by Mikal


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