So here's my take on the t-shelves. Beautiful, modal, furniture. It's flat until you set it up; when installed with easy slotting and zip ties to make it permanent, it looks like sculpture. Kind of like grown-up, useful Legos.
In case you'd rather just buy a set, here's the original: http://www.j1studio.com/furniture/tshelf/
It's a little on the pricey side, but very professional.
Step 1: Materials
- Plywood (one 4"x8" 1/2" piece makes 16 of the basic triangles).
- Some 1/4" plywood to lasercut a pattern (or make the pattern some other way)
- LENGTH Zip ties in the amount of about 32 per sheet of plywood (stainless steel ones look really classy)
- Something to treat the wood
- Fairly substantial scrap wood to make jig and sled, and some screws and nails
Router and tips:
- 1/2" tip with bearing at the top (to ride in the pattern and rout out the slots)
- 45 degree angle (to bevel the edges)
- Table Saw
- Safety equipment (eye protection, hearing protection, breathing mask)
- Circular saw
- Laser cutter or an alternative (for making the pattern)
Step 2: Cut a Template
Step 3: Cut Down Plywood
Rough cut the 4'x8' sheet of 1/2" plywood in half to make 4' squares.
Make exact 23 3/4" squares, making sure to cut on every edge so that none of the original cuts (we can't trust the cuts on stock plywood) remain.
Step 4: Make a Sled
Line up one of your squares so that one diagonal is exactly on the edge of the scrap plywood. Trace the triangle onto the wood and cut it out, offset inward, with the circular saw. This should now fit a square of wood, so that the diagonal is pushed out a bit to let the table saw run it through.
This really is good enough to cut on the table saw. But if you want to make it easier on yourself, mount it on a bigger piece of scrap plywood and mount as shown. Connect the two ends (where the saw won't go through) with stabilizing pieces of wood as shown.
Place your square into the jig and add some straight bits of wood to the un-jigged side so you will be able to drop in pieces of square wood.
Step 5: Cut Triangles
For each square:
Drop square into sled. Cut down the center with a table saw.
Step 6: Rout Slots
Drop in your triangle, then the pattern on top, and clamp in place. Rout slots.
Step 7: Bevel Edges
Don't bevel the hypotenuse- it's not necessary.
Step 8: Sand
Don't sand through the top layer of the plywood!
Step 9: Drill Holes
(If this makes more sense: say you left the whole thing square. Drill two holes in each of the corners, which should mirror across the diagonals. The smaller triangles are what you get if you cut along the diagonals.)
Drill to a size that fits the zip tie, then countersink.
Step 10: Finish
Paint on finishing treatment.
Step 11: Assemble!
For inspiration, check out the designer's site: http://www.j1studio.com/furniture/tshelf/
Step 12: Zip Tie
Also check out, on the designer's website, the idea of suspending shelves through the holes with steel cables instead of zipties. Cool!