This is an easy project that can be made out of scrap wood. I made this recently from a left over cedar post from a recent fence installation and a couple of old shelves.
- 4 X 4 post
- 3/4" plywood
- table saw
- router (optional)
- torquise "sand"
- Loctite Epoxy
- Minwax Natural Wood Finish
Step 1: Cut 4x4 Post to Length
Before cutting the post, you should make sure that it is square. Raise the blade on your table saw as high as it can go and shave a bit off the end of the post. Once it's square, you'll need to make two passes to cut the post to a length of 27 1/2".
Step 2: Cut Notches in Post
To make the notches for the shelves, you can either use a dado blade or you can just make several passes with a regular table saw blade. Try to notch the post to a depth of about 1/2 its width. In my case, I made the notches about 1 3/4" deep. It's important to create a snug fit for each shelf, so use your shelves to measure the exact notch width needed. I wanted my shelves to be evenly spaced, so I tried to measure carefully. See the dimensions that I used in the above drawing.
Step 3: Cut Shelves, Top and Bottom to Length
Next, move on to the shelves. As I said, I was using old shelves. So, I just needed to make a few cuts for this step. You'll need to make 3 shelves, 1 top and 1 bottom all the same size.
Step 4: Cut Notches in Shelves
Use your jigsaw to create a notch in each of the 3 shelves. The width of each notch should be the width of your post. Cut each notch to a depth of 1/2 the width of the post, which should be about 1 3/4".
Step 5: Decorating the Top
Before assembling, I decided to add some decoration to the top. I created a simple diamond pattern with the router bit on my Dremel. Then I used some turquoise and epoxy to fill in the pattern. You'll need to work quickly once you've mixed the epoxy, since it dries very quickly. Read the directions on the bottles very carefully, use gloves and wear old clothes or a workshop apron!
Step 6: Finishing
After the epoxy was dry - I waited until the next day - I finished all the pieces with a natural wood finish.
Step 7: Assembling
The shelves just slide in to the slots cut in the post. If any of them are loose or not quite level, you can try adjusting them by adding shims. To attach the top, I used 1/2" wood dowels about 1" long and some wood glue. Since the bottom is unseen, I just screwed it to the post using 4 wood screws that I had handy.
Step 8: Enjoy!
Fill the shelf with some nighttime reading and enjoy.