Simple shelves made complex

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Project by brg posted 12-14-2015 02:34 PM 1450 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


13386 posts in 3071 days

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

Very interesting top front edge. Dovetails look great.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View splintergroup's profile


2429 posts in 1426 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


32087 posts in 3071 days

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

Nice looking cabinets and well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2547 days

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

looks great

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 3805 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


7336 posts in 3572 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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