A Tree Shelf - How to build?

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Forum topic by richdog22 posted 05-28-2012 07:55 AM 5046 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2215 days

05-28-2012 07:55 AM

Long time woodworking lurker here. Havent had a reason to post a topic until recently when my wife pointed out a tree shelf she saw and was wondering if I could replicate it.

When I saw it I wasnt sure how to approach it.

-a jig saw maybe and a couple of laminated 3/4 sheets of mdf. Sounds awfully heavy that way. and mot sure a jig saw could give enough depth that this one appears to be. but maybe if you did it in thinner sections and laminated after you cut.


-make limbs and trunks separately and assemble later. but given how different limbs join at the tips and the trunk wanders all over the place seems it would be pretty tough that way. But that is only way i can figure.

Just wondering what the more experienced folks might suggest. thnx


5 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3133 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 08:46 AM

The original looks to be made out of molded plastic. The depth of the shelving would be around 6-8 inches and I wouldn’t try duplicating that with solid material. To give it a similar look, I would take a 8-10 inch wide board and draw out a trunk shape and trim it out with a jigsaw. I would then build up shelves into the trunk to give it depth, kind of like an irregular shadow box. I would fasten this to the wall. The shelves, representing the branches, I would build separate as levitating shelves that hang on the wall. Using beveled angles, the shelving could have that free form look.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View AndyDuframe's profile


48 posts in 3615 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 08:50 AM

Pretty cool design….definitely looks like a bandsaw job to me, though (if it’s made from wood in the first place).
I think you’re right that a jigsaw might not cut it (so to speak).

Without a bandsaw, I think I might be tempted to replicate the basic “tree” idea, but just connect a variety of small board sections form the tree shape. This way all I’d have to deal with is cutting miters at each joint. Maybe not quite as nice as what I’m seeing in the photo, but it would still be an interesting bookshelf.


View Rick's profile


9725 posts in 3058 days

#3 posted 05-28-2012 09:18 AM

YEP! Looks like Plastic. Choose either of the 2 above. But it ain’t gonna be easy!!!

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View richdog22's profile


3 posts in 2215 days

#4 posted 05-28-2012 07:13 PM

Thanks for the quick input. The task does seem awfully difficult and time consuming. I think they want 800 bucks for the thing. For a giant hunk of plastic that seems a lil crazy. We’ll see how bad the wife wants it.



View versa's profile


29 posts in 3158 days

#5 posted 06-15-2012 03:01 AM

What I would do, and it would still be a lot of work, would be to get a large piece of trace paper, draw the design out. Lay it on the floor, then take two by fours and start glueing, and jointing them together with say dowels until the piece of wood overlays all of the drawing on the floor. (additive)

Then put the drawing on top of the wood, trace the drawing out onto the wood beneath it (pressing hard with a pen to go thru the paper)

Then just start cutting the design out with a bandsaw. (subtractive)
Use wood filler to smooth the resulting work, and paint.

Say a couple of days of work. Off and on.

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