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The clear finish updates the look of this classic design.
This modified Shaker design, scaled down from a series of bakery shelves, is adapted from a Shaker Workshops catalog. To guarantee our 3⁄4“-Stock would in order not to bend under the weight of even the heaviest items, we have decided to make these shelf pieces a little shorter than what you will find on the company website.
Many shelters carry only pine, poplar and oak trees (you may also find maple or aspen, depending on the region). We chose oak because we think it has the best natural look.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face with this project is finding wide boards that are straight and flat … and that stay straight and flat after you cut them to size. Take some time to browse the racks for the best boards and, if possible, avoid shrink-wrapped boards, no matter how good they are. You will need two 6 ‘and one 4’ 1 x 12 (or one 10 ‘and one 8’ long). You will also need a 6 ‘length of 1 x 4 for the supports.
Once back in the shop, the first step is to cut the sides to the length of the miter saw. If you have a 10 ″ miter saw, cross cuts on the sides (and shelves) will be a two step process because the diameter of the saw blade limits the width of the cut. You’ll need to cut on one side of the board first, then flip it over and carefully align the cut with the saw blade before completing the cut (see image to the right).
You are now ready to lay out the arched top and bottom cutout. Line up the top edges of the sides and glue the faces together with double-sided tape to prevent them from slipping, then secure both pieces together to the workbench. Now, measure the width to find the center of the board and make a mark. That measurement is the same distance you will measure down from the top edge to mark the intersection of the two points (5 5⁄8“Unless you have resized the plan or used stock of different sizes). This is where you will place the cardinal point to draw the semicircle arc at the top.
And if you don’t have a compass, that’s no problem. It’s easy to make a compass mask. Just grab a thin piece of scrap and drive a nail through the center near one end. Now, using the same measurement you already established to find the cardinal point (again, it’s 55⁄8“On our plane), mark and drill a hole at a distance from the nail and stick a pencil tip through it. Voila – a compass jig.
You can use the same mask for the lower arc clipping. Just drill another hole 31⁄8“Away from the nail. Place the nail as close as possible to the center of the bottom edge and mark the cut-out arc. Or mark the arc with a traditional compass.
Now use the jigsaw to cut as close to the lines as possible and use a rasp and sandpaper to clean the cuts. If you keep the pieces bolted together during this process, you should end up with nearly identical arches. If you’re unsure of your puzzle skills, practice making curved cuts on some scrap pieces before moving on to the real thing.
Now cut the shelves to size.
Prepare your pocket mask for 3⁄4“-Thick material. Mark the location for three pocket holes on each end of each shelf, two of them 3⁄4“On each long side and one in the middle of the end. Make holes.
Cut the back supports to size and sand all the pieces to No. 150 before assembly (# 120 if you intend to paint).
You are now ready for assembly and the second trick we promised. Lay one side flat on the bench and mark the position of the top shelf on both sides. You may not be able to line up the shelf with your marks due to cupping in the wide board; this is where the trick comes in. Place the back support (or any straight scrap piece) along the folded side of the shelf, if present, and use the clamps to bring the edges of the shelf flat to the support or straight scrap. Slide the locked drive onto the layout lines, hold or secure it in place, and then use the screws to secure it. This trick will work for shooting the bow from any of the shelves.
Attach all three shelves on both sides, straightening the pieces where needed.
Now lay the assembly face down, align the stand with the top of the top shelf. Drill countersunk holes in the top shelf, bottom shelf and inner edge where the support meets the center shelf. Make sure you hold the drill at 90 degrees on the sides; why are you drilling 3⁄4“ stock, you could easily puncture the side if you are not careful.
Attach the posts with # 8 x 11⁄4”Screws (rubbing the threads over a little wax will help them fit more easily). Pay particular attention to the top and bottom as the broth can easily divide. If it breaks, stop the drill immediately, but don’t panic. Pull the screw slightly apart and the crack will close.
Finish the shelves with two coats of paint to clean.
Shaker shelf cutting list
Item No. dimensions (inches) material
❏ 2 sides 3⁄4 x 11 1⁄4 x 38 Oak
❏ 3 shelves 3⁄4 x 11 1⁄4 x 26 1⁄2 Oak tree
❏ 2 Media 3⁄4 x 3 1⁄2 x 31 3⁄8 Oak tree
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