Floating shelf

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Project by Furnitude posted 02-23-2011 07:35 PM 5972 views 37 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This shelf is made out of cherry that was cracked and eaten by worms. The crack gave me a chance to make Nakashima-style butterfly keys, which are walnut. The dovetails were all cut by hand. The hardware, which I got from Rockler, consists of two rods attached to the wall and fed through holes drilled through the back of the shelf. This piece was displayed in the Tennessee State Museum and was featured in Fine Woodworking.

-- Mitch, Also blog at

17 comments so far

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 2432 days

#1 posted 02-23-2011 08:10 PM

i knew this was in fw before i read it. nice.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View Ken90712's profile


16042 posts in 2280 days

#2 posted 02-23-2011 08:13 PM

Nice work, Both look perfect! I like the rough edge and your dovetails are amazing!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 1783 days

#3 posted 02-23-2011 08:29 PM

wow! that is some mighty fine craftmanship…beautiful.

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View superstretch's profile


1521 posts in 1785 days

#4 posted 02-23-2011 08:31 PM

Love the look and the drawer pulls!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 2966 days

#5 posted 02-23-2011 08:54 PM

Really nicely done! I especially like the dovetailed-in drawer pulls. What a great idea.

-- Happy woodworking!

View mcoyfrog's profile


3799 posts in 2686 days

#6 posted 02-23-2011 09:24 PM

SWEET!!! great lines, love it

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View bobkberg's profile


411 posts in 2165 days

#7 posted 02-23-2011 10:01 PM

Beautiful work!

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View Robsshop's profile


894 posts in 2066 days

#8 posted 02-23-2011 10:05 PM

A wonderful looking piece, a very simplistic design and yet elegant look ! The details and craftsmanship are eye catching stuff. What kind of joinery technique did You use to attach the drawer assembly to the shelf, just curious ?

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View blackcherry's profile


3251 posts in 2914 days

#9 posted 02-23-2011 11:17 PM

Fine detail on the drawer pulls, and a beautiful design shelve. I especially like the live edge, thank for posting…BC

View steliart's profile


1817 posts in 1780 days

#10 posted 02-24-2011 12:13 AM

Lovely piece of work. Beautiful live edge wood and box dovetaled drawers.
I am very interesting to tell us how did you finish the piece and especially the live edge part of the wood.

BTW I enjoy visiting your website, lots of interesting things and info.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3083 days

#11 posted 02-24-2011 02:53 AM

Love this piece – very well executed.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3338 days

#12 posted 02-24-2011 03:01 AM

Amazing piece, it should be in a gallery.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View jodybrown's profile


65 posts in 1779 days

#13 posted 02-24-2011 04:29 AM

nice work. very cool

-- Tools tools and more tools its funny when we go in a store for anything we always look at the tools

View Furnitude's profile


362 posts in 2599 days

#14 posted 02-24-2011 05:20 AM

Thanks for all the kind words. To answer a couple questions, the box is fastened to the shelf with two biscuits on each side. They aren’t even glued in so I can remove the box if I have to move the shelf. Regarding finishing, I just used thinned-out wipe-on poly. The live edge has about a million tiny holes where the worms were doing their work. After sanding the shelf smooth, all those holes were filled with saw dust and even after blowing the dust out, some still remained. I used a really fine awl to pick dust out of every hole. I puzzled over how to finish the bark and the live edge, but in the end i just used poly on the whole thing. I don’t remember how many coats but there were quite a few very thin coats. Thanks.

-- Mitch, Also blog at

View travisowenfurniture's profile


91 posts in 1782 days

#15 posted 02-24-2011 07:02 AM

I really appreciate the grain on the drawer fronts, I dig that.


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