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Forum topic by kareed44 posted 11-11-2015 12:44 PM 758 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 927 days

11-11-2015 12:44 PM

Hey all,

I’m new to this forum but I’d like to bounce ideas off you all about the design of my first large woodworking project.

I’m building a corner bookshelf about 6-7 feet high out of maple. My first instinct was to build rail and stile back panels mounted between 3 legs. I will join the outside of the stiles to the legs with a long dado, biscuits, or floating tongue (is that what it’s called?). Then I would mount the shelves to the stiles from the inside using metal pegs. Finally I will cap the shelf with an inch thick triangular piece and trim where it meets the legs/panels.

That is the general idea but I have a few questions/concerns.

1. Will the rail and stile back panels look good from the front of the shelf?
2. How should I join the bottom non adjustable shelf.
3. The back leg will be full length x 3” x 3”. What would be the best shape/dimension/look for the front of the 2 front legs?

I would greatly appreciate any input at all.


-- The Beginner

4 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile


2926 posts in 1480 days

#1 posted 11-11-2015 01:11 PM

There are a couple ways to do corner cabinets. One is the back parallel to the front and other creating a triangular space as you describe. It would be good if you could post a diagram.

I like the 5 sided corner designs which have two narrow “sides” (perp to wall). The front face frame will be 45 degrees to the sides and the sides are 90 degrees to the back. A brief search yielded a design similar to this.

Ship lapped boards for the back is a traditional method and another possibility.

The bottom shelf can be installed in a simple dado or sliding dovetail.

I can’t help you on the front legs you’ll have to search for examples.

Design can be the most excruciating and difficult part of a project but its still fun.
Keep thinking it through and even after the building process starts, keep an open mind about design in the early stages while you can still change things.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View ChefHDAN's profile


1062 posts in 2849 days

#2 posted 11-11-2015 03:24 PM

Kareed, real important to remember that the corner will most likely not be 45* and the walls won’t be plumb, be sure to extend your face frame 1” to 1.5” to give you stock to scribe to the wall if you want to have a built in look for the cabinet

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View kareed44's profile


2 posts in 927 days

#3 posted 11-11-2015 03:42 PM

Thanks for the input.

rwe, thanks for your input and the link to that corner hutch. I will most definitely consider that type of design as it seems to be fairlycommon and looks pretty good.

Chef, are you suggesting that the front portion of the cabinet be taller so that the cabinet leans slightly backwards towards the wall? I have baseboards so I’m not sure that I’m going for a “built in” look. I’m envisioning a gap between the bottom shelf and the floor, where each leg would be exposed and possibly styled/curved (like this). If I understand your point correctly, you bring up an interesting consideration. Is it typical that one would build a piece of furniture to fit the specific shape of the room instead of building it perfectly square and making the room work with it? What if I wanted to move it to another corner later?

Thanks again.

-- The Beginner

View ChefHDAN's profile


1062 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 11-25-2015 05:38 PM

Sorry to overthink it, if you’re going for a free standing cabinet that will stand in a corner then disregard my comment. Corner cabinets are often “built in” or appear that way, and a face frame that can be scribed to the wall helps with the look. I recently built a corner TV stand and carried the top over the base with a wide frame so that the top and frame touch the wall giving a built in look. VERY Nice work with the SU drawing of the feet! I look forward to seeing the finished cabinet.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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