Six foot corner shelf - no fasteners, no glue

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Project by SawdustTX posted 679 days ago 4544 views 7 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For an Architecture class at Texas A&M, my daughter had to design a piece of furniture using a full sheet of plywood, with zero fasteners or glue. She of course made it difficult and designed a free standing corner shelf over 6 feet tall with cantilevered shelves and glass insets.

We had a great time building it. Precision was critical for everything to fit together very tight for a strong unit. I can say almost a year later it’s still strong.

We cut the 64 tabs by gang clamping the 8 shelves and running them over the table saw blade on a sled. Unfortunately I didn’t have a stacked dado at the time, so it took a bunch of passes. Then we cut all the slots with a template jig and plunge router you can see in the fourth picture.

The last picture is a footstool we made from the cutoffs, since the project was supposed to use as much of the sheet of plywood as possible. Also no fasteners, no glue. Hammered it together and it’s held very tight with use.

We added a flush mounted LED downlight that projects through the glass inserts.

Now I just to finish it. For our contemporary styled house, I’ll edge band the ply and paint the whole thing black.

11 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4510 posts in 929 days

#1 posted 679 days ago

Extremely cool design—very ingenious!

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

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Monte Pittman

13854 posts in 975 days

#2 posted 679 days ago

Hopefully she got a good grade. Beautiful work.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View patron's profile (online now)


13021 posts in 1978 days

#3 posted 679 days ago

great work here
and a good time for family doings

a very nice design
A+ in my book

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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1226 posts in 691 days

#4 posted 678 days ago

that is cool

-- Joel

View Roger's profile


14447 posts in 1441 days

#5 posted 678 days ago

Super kool, and very inventive. Wow! You’re daughter is very talented

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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112028 posts in 2214 days

#6 posted 678 days ago

This is an amazing design and super build ,kudos to both of you.

-- Custom furniture

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Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2660 days

#7 posted 678 days ago

What a great job and wonderful you could do with your daughter. Thanks for sharing.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

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11217 posts in 812 days

#8 posted 678 days ago

What a talent you got right there! Beautiful work piece.

View mustang6tee8's profile


14 posts in 689 days

#9 posted 677 days ago

My little sister was an architecture student at A&M- they really challenge the students there. Your daughter did some very nice work.

View Rusty's profile


25 posts in 609 days

#10 posted 602 days ago

That would make a grate open curio cabinet for my Fire Trucks… Thanks.. She did a wonderful job..

-- Never do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the Paramedics...

View TiffanyB's profile


1 post in 49 days

#11 posted 49 days ago

I need something that looks exactly like that shelf! I have looked online and have found nothing because I only need two shelves in the center and of course the top and bottom exactly like you have it. Do you know anyone who might be able to build one for me? Would you build one? And how much wood that cost? The piece is absolutely beautiful

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