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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Make a Simple Shelf using Rabbet Joints


 This is a very easy wall shelf to make.  It is constructed using rabbet, not rabbit, joints. Poplar isn't the best staining wood, but if you use pre-stain conditioner it can turn out alright.


I resawed some poplar into about 1/2 inch thick for the sides and the shelf.

I used my new planer to remove the saw marks.

I cut the sides the same length as their width.

And I cut the shelf to length.

I taped the two sides together, spray glued on a template, and cut it on the bandsaw.

I used a sanding drum and hand sanding to smooth the curve.

I used a straight bit in the router table to cut rabbets the thickness of the sides pieces. I made a rabbet on one long and both short sides.

Then I set the router table to cut to the 3/4 thickness of my backer board. I widened the rabbet on the long side of the shelf and cut the rabbets on the sides.

Oops. Screwed that one up. I cut a patch and glued it over the mistake.

Now I cut the back to size.

The top was too wide, so I trimmed it down.

I sanded the insides before gluing.

Using the drill press, I made 1/2 inch holes for the mounting screws.

Then I glued it all together.

After it dried, I sanded the outside, making the bottom of the back panel match contour of the sides.


The fit on this rabbet stunk, so I some thin scraps I had and made trim out of it

I glued them on and cut off the excess.

Wood conditioner, Early American stain, and spray lacquer went on for the finish.

I fastened the shelf into the studs and used some pre-made buttons to cover the screws.






Free plans are available in PDF and SketchUp formats.



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