My Version of Ladder Shelves

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Project by Dinger posted 03-18-2012 01:29 AM 2172 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my very first piece of furniture. My wife and I walking through our local cheap-o furniture mega-store when we spotted their version of this piece. Then I uttered the famous last words: “I could build that!” I didn’t like their color and I DESPISE veneer covered particle board and then have someone charge me $300 bucks for it. So my wife encouraged me to do it! We needed it for our media for our tv and more room for decor. We both win.

The shelves are made of various widths of red oak plywood trimmed with 1×2 red oak attached with biscuit joints in front. The stiles are 1×3 red oak with 1×2 rails attached with pocket screws. The shelves are then attached with biscuit joints to the side panels. If I could do it again I would have used a dado for each of the shelves. I think that would’ve made it far more sturdy. It has a bit of side to side wobble. The copied piece used another set of 1×3’s perpendicular to the rear stiles, probably to prevent this :) One feature I did copy from the original is the inverted top shelf to complete the illusion of thick shelves. The finish is a dark walnut stain followed by a light sanding and a brown mahogany gel stain (which I’m fairly certain could be achieved with Minwax’s English Chestnut, but whatever) followed by two coats of poly. I have a lot to learn about finishing!

The was my first big project and it was a blast. My wife came out to see the finished project and said “Wow, you know how to do that?” Always the tone of surprise :) My next few projects will be some shop furniture that is desperately needed. Thanks for looking. Any pointers or thought would be GREATLY appreciated.

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

6 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2371 days

#1 posted 03-18-2012 02:02 AM

Very nicely done! You can certainly be proud of your work. I have a secretary at our office who would love to have this—if I was a really good person I’d make it for her, only she would have to do the finishing. You’re doing great, just hang in there and keep it going.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Rick Babwin's profile

Rick Babwin

38 posts in 4231 days

#2 posted 03-18-2012 05:06 PM

I agree. You should be very proud. Also, the money you saved can be used to purchase more tools!

-- Rick

View Ken90712's profile


17566 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 03-18-2012 05:24 PM

Great job, nice to have a wifes support on making projects. Blondie does the same for me. Congrats.

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

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4164 days

#4 posted 03-18-2012 06:19 PM

That is a Very nice set of shelves. You done Good!


View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2385 days

#5 posted 03-19-2012 03:22 AM

Very nicely done, that phrase, ” I could build that” has made my project list never ending.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2382 days

#6 posted 03-19-2012 03:42 PM

Awesome Job! I am not a big fan of cheapo furniture either.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

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