DIY Flexy Shelf - Real Wood

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Wesnor, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    A lot of people ask about veneering and edging flexy shelves, so I thought this might be of interest...
    It's not difficult to build a flexy shelf out of real wood. All you need is wood that's been properly prepared, and some way to join it.
    Well, it turns out getting the wood is easy and cheap. Many people sell scrap lumber on eBay. Sometimes, it will already be prepared for you. The words you want to look for are "planed" and "edged" (or "jointed" or "planed 4 sides"). I got enough cherry for 2 20"x23" shelves for $20 +S&H. (Be ready - wood is heavy. My shipping was $9.) There is one person selling cherry, ash, and walnut in 24" lengths, planed and edged. Perfect! Get boards that are 3"-5" wide and 3/4" thick.
    To join them, you'll need either a biscuit joiner, or the dowel joiner kit seen in the picture below. Biscuit joiners cost $100+, but the dowel kit costs $40 and works with your electric drill. It's simple to use and almost fool-proof. Really, one look at the picture on the back of the box and you'll be able to use it.
    Just follow the directions to drill the holes, then glue and clamp the boards together.
    IMPORTANT: Alternating boards should be "upside down". If you look at then end of the board, you'll see that the grain cups towards one side of the board. Alternating boards should cup in opposite directions. If you don't do this, they will warp.
    Make sure to put glue in all the dowel holes one both boards, and also along the edge of the board. After clamping, take a wet cloth and wipe the excess glue off so it doesn't stain the wood. Make sure the wood is flat when you clamp it.
    Let it dry over night then finish it however you want. You should sand, starting at 40 or 80 grit (depending on how well your boards lined up and how well they were planed) and going on up through 320 grit. I suggest using linseed, tung, or Danish oil, followed by Bartley's Gel Varnish, and then some wood paste wax. Let the oil dry until the smell goes away before the varnish, and about 2 days before waxing. As you can see, I hit it with a 1/4" roundover bit before sanding and finishing.
    P.S. - I'm not sure how strong it is. I stood on one of the joints and it held just fine, but if I were putting a lot of weight (more than 30 pounds) on it, I'd put some cross-bracing underneath just in case.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Damn Dan, that looks pretty good for an Alabama boy! [​IMG] Really though, very nice! My next subwoofer will also have to double as an end table and I'd love to have solid cherry for the top. Can you give me the seller's name so that I can pick up some of this as well?
    Brian
     
  3. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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