Simple shelves made complex

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Project by brg posted 12-14-2015 02:34 PM 956 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I always want to do something different and try to learn new things when building furniture. When I needed a set of small shelves then it was clear that dowels or biscuits or dadoes are not the answer this time.

I had never tried a through mortise and tenon and I thought it would look nice on the shelves (now I see that I should have used a darker wood for wedges, instead of oak).

To attach the top, I planned to practice and improve myself with dovetails. About 4 years ago, when I got into woodworking, I never thought that dovetails could become something natural for me… unless I could do them with router and template. They looked too much of hassle and fitting. Actually I never got any dovetail jig and now it feels enjoyable and relaxing to cut them out by hand and fit with chisels. Of course, they are not perfect, but after sanding (did not want risk with planing, afraid of chipping on birch) and finishing they look fine.

Finally I added a 1/2” oak “edgebanding” for the top shelf and cut/chiseled it into pyramids.

Made of birch, finished with Junckers rustic oil.

6 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


8700 posts in 2288 days

#1 posted 12-14-2015 02:41 PM

Very interesting top front edge. Dovetails look great.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View splintergroup's profile


724 posts in 643 days

#2 posted 12-14-2015 06:43 PM

I like the idea of taking something “simple” and experimenting. Those shelves are far from being boring.

View helluvawreck's profile


22674 posts in 2287 days

#3 posted 12-14-2015 08:51 PM

Nice looking cabinets and well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View david38's profile


2386 posts in 1764 days

#4 posted 12-15-2015 02:20 PM

looks great

View BikerDad's profile


284 posts in 3021 days

#5 posted 12-16-2015 01:18 AM

The butterfly effect with the dovetails from above is a serendipitous outcome. Really great design on the shelves, love em.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View oldnovice's profile


5651 posts in 2788 days

#6 posted 12-16-2015 04:16 AM

Nice project from top tof bottom to edges and pyraminds!
Overall good looking!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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