Bird's beak shelving supports?

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Forum topic by Hopdevil posted 10-05-2010 03:40 AM 9243 views 2 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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208 posts in 2174 days

10-05-2010 03:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question


My wife showed me this picture out of her Martha Stewart magazine.
I have never seen this type of shelf support. It is kind of interesting. Anyone know how is it typically made?

Just curious…..

-- Buzz ---- Fare Thee Well!

20 replies so far

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2615 days

#1 posted 10-05-2010 03:50 AM

Those are interesting. Though they look like dust, dirt collectors. I’m thinking, turn it over and the shelves will still stay in place.

As far as making? I don’t know, someone will. My best guess would be a router jig setup.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2568 days

#2 posted 10-05-2010 04:23 AM

That looks neat. I think you could do that with a table saw and make two passes with different angles for each notch.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 2092 days

#3 posted 10-05-2010 04:27 AM

How funny, I was thinking the same thing before I read the previous post. THOSE LOOK LIKE DUST COLLECTORS. Wow. And the sanding involved wow.

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2615 days

#4 posted 10-05-2010 04:34 AM

Looked again and I’ll bet those are cut from stock, glued in place and painted. Not cut like that, built like that.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5170 posts in 2800 days

#5 posted 10-05-2010 05:07 AM

Yea they would be a dusting nightmare, but they look neat.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Hopdevil's profile


208 posts in 2174 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 05:20 AM

There must be a different name for them. She calls them Bird’s Beak, but if you Google that term, it only points to that article.

The interesting twist and head scratcher is if it is indeed an ‘old carpentry style’ (Which I believe), then we need to think in old style methods. hmmm…

Jack, I wondered that too, but I’m having a hard time visualizing the process without seeing a LOT of sanding, filling and prep to give it the clean sharp lines.

-- Buzz ---- Fare Thee Well!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2071 days

#7 posted 10-05-2010 06:59 AM

I agree with them being collectors of dust and grime. They could be cut with a dado blade on the table saw or the radial arm saw. Thinking of old style ways, I would imagine that they had a hand plane with an angled blade may have been used at one time. Just my guess.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 2825 days

#8 posted 10-05-2010 07:08 AM

I think a CNC router would make this very easy to do. It can be run as a climb cut operation with no tear out.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View PBthecat's profile


53 posts in 2138 days

#9 posted 10-06-2010 03:24 PM

I’d use a stacked dado on a RAS

-- "Every hundred years, all new people"

View jusfine's profile


2351 posts in 2014 days

#10 posted 10-06-2010 03:44 PM

The shelves sure don’t look like they are bearing on much, I would think a shelf loaded too much might bow and crash down.

Wouldn’t be my choice.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View mpmitche's profile


423 posts in 2064 days

#11 posted 10-25-2010 04:18 AM

I’m sure that if these are old technology there is an elegant answer to how they are made. Anyone figure out what it is because I’d kinda like to take a stab at it with hand tools only?

-- Mike, Western New York

View GVnana's profile


3 posts in 1075 days

#12 posted 12-16-2012 09:03 PM

Found this: “Bird’s Mouth Shelf Supports.” Doesn’t have the obvious geometric pattern, but I find it more elegant.

View GVnana's profile


3 posts in 1075 days

#13 posted 12-16-2012 09:16 PM

Here’s another good photographic reference (German):

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2736 days

#14 posted 12-16-2012 10:40 PM

Crazy labor to make those perfect like that. She
can afford it.

There is an old way of doing it sort of like that
but it’s more like two sets of saw teeth on each
wall of the cabinet and you put a board with a
matching end in it.


View Grandpa's profile


3246 posts in 1763 days

#15 posted 12-16-2012 11:06 PM

She can afford it because she has stolen your money. That is the reason she had to live in the big house. Reackon she learned about those there??

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