These shelves are one of a set of three for our dining room. My better half wanted a simple storage solution for our ever increasing collection of books, CDs and DVDs. So I thought it was an ideal opportunity to hone my dovetailing skills.
I've used English ash because I have a stockpile of it in the workshop that I'm working through. I opted for dovetails, not just because I need the practice, but for their strength too. They're one of the few joints that don't need diagonal bracing. In other words, by using dovetails these shelves don't need any kind of back panel for support.
Step 1: Preparation
Click here for a guide to making the bench hook / shooting board jig.
After cutting the components to length, cut the stopped housings on the shelf sides to hold the shelves. I cut these with a router with a 12mm straight two-flute cutter and a guide rail to keep the grooves straight.
Next on the to do list; I used a mitre saw with trenching facility to cut the shoulders on the end of the shelves to fit the 12mm housings.
Dry assemble the shelves and sides to check the fit. If like mine, they're slightly too tight, use a shoulder plane or paring chisel to trim them to a nice snug fit.
Pic 1. Shooting boards with a fore plane ready for rub jointing
Pic 2. Finishing a cut on the table saw with push sticks