Kitchen Sink Window Plant Shelf - American Black Walnut

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Project by HalDougherty posted 09-20-2010 02:49 PM 8615 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was inspired by rivergirl’s project ( ) of a desktop shelf with storage space. I’ve seen other window plant shelves like this, so I made this one in about 30 minutes Sunday morning as a housewarming gift for a young lady who just moved in to her new home. You’ve heard the expression, “Measure twice and cut once…” Well, I only measured once. I measured how wide the legs had to be to clear the sink, then I planed a walnut board that was just slightly too narrow to make a gunstock from and squared the edges. Next I cut it a few inches longer than the width of the legs, and cut 2 – 2” sections of the scrap to make the bases. Then I ripped 4 – 3/4” pieces long enough to clear everyting at the sink and to keep the shelf as close to the window ledge as possible. To make the mortises I measured the base 1” from the thin edge and marked a center place to drill a hole. Ditto for the other side. Next I put a fence on my drill press with a stop to center the first hole. Then no more measureing. I drilled all the holes. Then I put two dowel center finders in the holes and pressed them into the shelf on each end abut 1 1/2” inches from the ends. Then I used a forster bit to drill a 1/2” hole at each dimple. Now, I’ve got 3/4” square legs and 1/2” round holes to match up. Nope, to lazy to chop out the mortises, I have a jig for my router table that is U shaped with a 3/4” hole in each upright to allow a 3/4” square spindle to turn. Using a straight bit, with a stop to set the length of the tenion, I raised the bit up till I had a tenion just under 1/2” that was a friction fit to the hole in the shelf. It just took seconds to put 7 other tenions on the spndles. I rounded all the edges using a 1/4” radius bit then used an ogee bit to make a decorative edge on the shelf. Total time not including time for the glue to set… 30 minutes. While I was set up I could (and should) have cut out 10 other shelves but I didn’t have the wood planed and ready. A coat of tung oil and some spar varnish to keep the moisture from watering plants from damaging the shelf and it was ready to give as a gift. Christmas is coming, guess what I’m going to give this year…

-- Hal, Tennessee

2 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2806 days

#1 posted 09-20-2010 03:32 PM

Hooray! I am so flattered to have inspired someone to make something new! Thank you for the wonderful compliment. After I read your original post I also thought about making one for my sink- but have those big high pot filler faucets so it won’t work. But I love your project and HO HO HO! :) I also like to use spar over tung oil. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 3141 days

#2 posted 09-20-2010 03:47 PM

Cool shelf…....great idea for gifts….........what took you 30 minutes would take this klutz 10 times that long!!!!.....and my sweetie wants something like this.

Good job…....looks great!!!

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

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