Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf

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  • 7/28/2019 Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf


    W hile l in th u h a bn h me esi n seve al yea s

    a , I n tice a small cabinethan in ab ve a claw-f t bathtub. Withits inlai c lumns an bevele caps, theshelf was w n e fully B itish in style an

    was quite istinct f m Ame ican inte -p etati ns f A ts an C afts esi n. Al-th u h the i inal cabinet ha a pai f d rs, its shall wness seemed m re suitedt pen shelves.

    The design f this cabinet may be simple,but ma in it inv lves usin a numbe f

    valuable techniques such as mite e j intsf the c lumns, ec ative inlay, an afinish f qua te sawn a that ma esnew w l l (see Finish Line,pp. 106-107). Alth u h qua te sawn ais the t a iti nal ch ice f En lish A tsan C afts fu nitu e, this piece w ul lequally if it we e ma e f che y n nfi u e maple.

    Mitered columns showcase oak graiThe c lumns a e the f cal p int f this

    piece. They are h ll w, made f three vertical b a s mite e t ethe at the f ntc ne s s that the qua te sawn fi u e is

    visible n each face, with a f u th b ainse te as a bac fille .

    Even if y u a e n t usin a , thesemite e c ne s will ive the c lumns amuch cleane l than simple butt j ints.

    While y u ce tainly c ul use a sin le

    A ts & C afts Wall Shelf

    Hollow, quartersawn columns andtraditional inlay elevate an easy project

    B Y N A N C Y H I L L E R

    F I N E W o o d W o r k I N g36 Ph t s: Anissa k

    COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.

  • 7/28/2019 Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf


    thic bl c f w f the c lumns, -ing s seems clumsy f r a delicate piece f fu nitu e, an the c lumns w ul be lessstable when subjected t seas nal changesin humi ity.

    Cut the mite s in ne pass n the table-saw, h lding the b ard d wn firmly all the

    way al n the cut. If it lifts even a little wan e s away f m the fence, the mite ee e will n t fit ti htly. Afte cuttin the mite s, y u can

    ahea an cut the pieces t len th. d y-clamp ne f the c lumns t w rk ut any in s in the p cess. N w y u a e ea y t lue them.

    The e a e a numbe f ways t ap-p ach this lue-up, but the meth I usehas p ven efficient an easy f s me-b y w in al ne, an it yiel s eatesults. I use Ulmia pictu e-f amin miteclamps (www. a ettwa e.c m www.c llinst l.c m) because they a e li ht-

    wei ht an easy t han le. While thep inte en s f the wi es leave smallin entati ns in the w , the c a se ainf the a ist acts the eye en u h that

    the ma s isappea when fille with w putty.

    I match the putty t the piece nly af-te the thi step f the finishin p cess(see Finish Line, p. 107). If y u nt wantt buy Ulmia clamps if y u a e usina fine - aine lumbe such as maple

    che y, y u can use tape (see The Mi-te J int f Casew , FWW #190, p. 66,f the tapin meth ) pictu e-f ame smite clamps t av i these ma s. As s n as each c lumns mite s a e

    clampe , inse t an clamp the fille b aat the bac . Afte the lue is y, un thebac face f each c lumn ve the j intet level the j ints.

    Rout the shelf dadoes, rabbets,and stretcher tenonsThe shelves will be h use in st ppe a-

    es ute int the c lumns. Ma thec lumns an ut the a es while thetw c lumns a e clampe t ethe . Whenma in the a es, the e a e tw thin s

    y u must emembe : Because the cen-te shelf is set bac m e than the theshelves, its a be ins fa the bac than

    M i t e r a n d g l u e u p

    H O l l O W c O l u M n s

    This method of construction allows thehallmark Arts and Crafts ray-fleck figureto appear on each face.

    Attach an auxiliary fence. Using a supplemental fence on a right-tilt saw prevents the thin, already mitered edgefrom creeping under the sliding rip fence.

    Start clamping at the front of the column. Because the pieces that form the column are now

    cut to length, make sure to get the ends level with each other.

    Insert the filler piece in the back. Onthe back is in place, use bar clamps to apply


    S E P T E M B E r / o C T o B E r 2 0 0 7 ww w.f in ew oo dw or ki ng. co m

    COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.

  • 7/28/2019 Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf


    Top shelf,in. thick by

    3 in. wide by 35 1 8 in. long

    Top stretcher,in. thick by

    1 7 8 in. wideby 35 1 8 in. long

    Flo2 in

    Stem,1 8 in. w10 i

    Pet7 8by lon

    Top cap,in. thick

    by 6 in. wideby 6 5 16 in.long

    Back filler block,in. thick by

    1 1 8 in. wideby 22 in. long

    Column side, in. thick by 4 in. wide by 22 in. long

    Column front, in. thickby 2 5 8 in. wide by 22 in. long

    Bottom cap, in. thick by 5 in. wide by 5 in. long

    Middle shelf,in. thick by 2 in.

    wide by 35 1 8 in. longBottom shelf, in.thick by 3 in. wideby 35 1 8 in. long

    Back boards,3 8 in. thick with3 16 -in. rabbet

    Top stretcher tenon,3 8 in. thick by 1 3 8 in. wideby 3 8 in. long

    Rabbet forback boards,3 8 in. by 3 8 in.

    2 5 8 in.

    34 3 8 in.15 8 in.

    9 in.

    7 in.




    2 in.

    22 in.

    6 5 16 in.


    5 in.

    23 in.

    6 in.

    5 in.

    a n a t O M y O f a Wa l l s H e l f The foundation of this simple but stylishwall shelf is the columns, which are dadoedfor the shelves, mortised for the stretcher,and rabbeted for the back boards. TheBritish-flavored end caps are also anchoredto the columns.

    3 in.

    1 in.

    Shelf dadoes,3 8 in. deep by

    in. wide

    Notches in shelf fronts, in. by 3 8 in.

    Rabbet,3 8 in. by 3 8 in.

    Mortis3 8 in. 1 3 8 inby 3 8

    7 16 in.

    Finish nail

    19 in.

    8 in.

    1 5 8 in. 1

    43 in.

    F I N E W o o d W o r k I N g38 d awin s: Ch ist phe

    COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.

  • 7/28/2019 Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf


    the dad es f r the t p and b tt m shelves;an all f the a es a e st ppe sh t f the shelf f nts t acc mm ate the n tchin the f nt f the shelf.

    Cut the a es in ne tw passes us-in a 3 4-in. st ai ht bit, ui in the ute

    with a st ai hte e clampe t the w . With a chisel, squa e up the f nt en s f the a es.

    While millin st c f the shelves (afte y u have finishe cuttin the a es), beattentive when y u et cl se t 3 4 in. thican eep chec in the st c a ainst thea . The fit sh ul be han -ti ht, equi -ing s me pressure t push the st ck h mebut n t s tight as t need heavy p unding

    with a mallet.Next, ut a abbet f the bac b a s

    n the un e si e f the t p shelf an nthe uppe si e f the b tt m shelf. Thec lumns als nee a abbet t h l thebac b a s. When cuttin the abbets in

    the c lumns, st p them in the uppe anl wer shelf dad es. Check h w everythinglines up.

    The t p st etche will be ten ne intthe c lumns. The small m tises f thesestub ten ns can be cut using a r uter guid-e by its wn fence just ille ut anthen finishe with a chisel. I cut the stubten ns by han with a bac saw.

    Fit the shelves When the piece is finishe , the e will beth ee istinct shelf setbac s. The t p shelf

    will have a st etche in f nt f it, s even

    th u h the t p an b tt m shelves a ecut t the same epth, the t p shelf willsit nea ly at the f nt f the c lumn. Theb tt m shelf, which es n t have ast etche , will be set bac ab ut 3 4 in.m e, an the cente shelf will be thefa thest bac .

    Cut the shelves t size, emembe in tip the cente shelf na we than th se at

    the t p an b tt m in e t acc mm -ate the ext a setbac as well as the bac -b ards. Mark ut f r the n tch n the fr nte e an use a bac saw t em ve the

    waste, y u can cut these n tches anthe j ints f r the stretcher n the tablesawTest-fit the shelves in thei a es.

    Create the decorative inlay and assemble the caseI my inlay with the ai f a ma ni-fie that m unts t my w bench. Thefi st step is cuttin ut templates (usin

    c u t t H e d a d O e s

    a n d r a b b e t s

    Rout shelf dadoes whilecolumns are clamped together.Clamp a straightedge to thecolumns to guide the router (left).Use a chisel to square up the

    front edge of the dadoes by hand(above).

    Rout a rabbet for

    the backboards.rabbeting bit workswell, with the guidebearing running against the side of the column. Stop therabbet in the shelf dadoes.

    S E P T E M B E r / o C T o B E r 2 0 0 7 ww w.f in ew oo dw or ki ng. co m

    COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.

  • 7/28/2019 Arts & Crafts Wall Shelf


    Prepare the inlays by resawing

    stock (on the tablesaw or band-saw) to 3 32 -in. thickness. Regular com-

    mercial veneer is too thin and doesnt

    leave any margin for error.Trace the outline onto the inlay

    stock and cut each part to shape, us-

    ing a scrollsaw or a coping saw, files,

    and coarse sandpaper. After the inlaysare shaped, mark the position of the

    flower and leaf on each column, taking

    care to center them in the width and

    align each element with the other. You

    can use double-sided tape to ensurethat the inlays dont slip out of position

    while you are scribing around them.

    Score the outline with a sharp knife orawl. Carefully rout out the main portion

    of the recess, using a 1 4 -in. straight bit

    set at just less than 3 32 in. deep.

    Pare away the remaining waste withcarving gouges and a knife, making

    sure the bottom of the recess