Kitchen Shelf: Step By Step #1: The support units

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Blog entry by Greg Guarino posted 03-19-2014 08:15 PM 2267 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Kitchen Shelf: Step By Step series Part 2: Cutting and Fastening the Trim »

We have more kitchen stuff than fits in our cabinets. We decided that a really large shelf could serve to hold some of the nicer-looking pieces, opening up room for the more utilitarian stuff behind closed doors. This started as a simple, innocent slab of wood on some store-bought brackets, but got waylaid in the design process. :)

Here’s the design

It’s big, about 94” long by 12” deep. It also incorporates two techniques I haven’t tried before (I’m a novice): stopped dadoes and routing from a template.

I printed a template on paper directly from the Sketchup design that I drew. A tip: Skecthup defaults to printing whatever is on the screen, so try to size the window to exclude blank area. Doing that enabled me to print the template on two sheets of paper rather than three.

I used spray adhesive to glue the template to some 5/16” MDF:

I think rubber cement would have been better, but I didn’t have any around. I cut the MDF reasonably close to the line with a jigsaw. Then I used a file and sandpaper wrapped around a block to fine tune it. I traced the shape onto some 3/4” oak ply and cut that out roughly with a jigsaw. Then I used spring clamps to fasten the template to the ply and routed out the shape with a pattern bit on the router table.

This whole process – my first try – was surprisingly easy; so much so that I decided to start again from scratch and remake the template with a “nicer” curve. I used the Sketchup Bezier curve plug in for that.

I made the edge smoother and more square than i had the first time as well. I cut out the blanks to rough shape:

And routed them to the template (thh template is underneath the work piece):

Next up, the stopped dadoes.

I had made a dado jig a couple of projects back and decided to add some sort of stop to it. I used a small piece of 3/4” ply…

with a screw in one end to allow for “fine tuning” of the length:

...and set the length using one of the shelves that will fit into the dado:

I routed out the stopped dadoes:

... and squared off the ends with a chisel:

After sanding the pieces …

... and cutting the back slats …

I dry fit the two support units:

After cutting dadoes in the large shelf itself, I assembled the support units with glue and pocket screws:

I have not yet fastened the main shelf to the support units, but I assembled the support units with the uprights in their dadoes to ensure they will line up later.

More when time permits!


2 comments so far

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1807 days

#1 posted 03-20-2014 05:53 AM

Are you planning to iron some edge banding on the exposed plywood, or are you going tokeep it as is?

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Greg Guarino's profile

Greg Guarino

50 posts in 1706 days

#2 posted 03-20-2014 11:19 AM

Edge banding. It’s already done, actually. You can see it in the last few photos. It was harder than I thought it would be to apply it to a curved surface, and especially to trim it properly.


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