Introduction: Make a Massironi Shelf

Picture of Make a Massironi Shelf

What to do during a rainy weekend? My son and I decided to make a Massironi shelf. Manfredo Massironi was an Italian architect and he was fascinated by visual forms. He designed this shelf. There is a big shelf with 7 planks and a smallar one with 5 planks. We made the one with 5 planks and adjust the original size.

Step 1: This Is What You Need

Picture of This Is What You Need

Computer with CAD program or the pdf files in step 4

Straight planks, we chose pine wood

Paper, pencil

Band saw (jigsaw is also possible)

Sander and sandpaper


4 hanging brackets screws

Paint (optional)


Step 2: Dimentions Step 1

Picture of Dimentions Step 1

The original Massironi shelf with 5 planks has a diameter of 1676 mm (66 inch) and a depth of 355 mm (14 inch). A shelf of these dimensions takes up much space which is why we decided to make it about 2/3 of the original dimensions, thus a diameter of 1100 mm and a depth of 240 mm. The middle horizontal and vertical plank will follow these dimensions.

Firstly, part of a circle was modeled according to these dimensions (picture 1 and 2).

Step 3: Dimension Step 2

Picture of Dimension Step 2

We decided that we wanted about 4 compartments across the shelf. To achieve this the dimensions of the compartments were chosen to be 210x210 mm. Since the wood used was 15 mm the compartments are placed 7.5 mm out from the centre.

The compartments were then extruded from the circle using the Inventor tools extrude and mirror which yielded the part below.

Now there is only one problem left, which is that the part created is a solid part and not several planks, and thus does not directly yield the dimensions to be used. However, this part could be used to measure all dimensions measured for each plank as can be seen in the third picture (The complete dimensions for each plank are shown in the drawings).

Step 4: Drawings

Step 5: Draw Your Template or Not.....

Picture of Draw Your Template or Not.....

We decided to draw the templates on paper and cut out the joints. But next time I would go to a print shop and print it out in real size. Glue it onto the wood and cut it out. This will made it much more secure than drawing by hand.

Step 6: Plane the Lumber

Picture of Plane the Lumber

We planed the lumber to 1.5 cm

Step 7: Draw the Templane on Your Planks

Picture of Draw the Templane on Your Planks

Or if you have printed the templates in the actual size, glue the templates on your planks. We placed the template on the planks and drew it.

Step 8: Cut the Planks

Picture of Cut the Planks

Cut the planks with your band saw or with your jigsaw and sand the planks smooth.

Step 9: Make Half Lap Joints

Picture of Make Half Lap Joints

Cut the joints with a saw and beat out the piece of wood with a chisel.

Step 10: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Step 11: Assemble and Adjust

Picture of Assemble and Adjust

Step 12: Apply 4 Hanging Brackets

Picture of Apply 4 Hanging Brackets

Apply four hanging brackets and mount to the wall. We choose pine which doesn’t weight much but if you will use oak you may consider a different way to mount your shelf onto the wall.

Step 13: To Paint or Not to Paint

Picture of To Paint or Not to Paint

Our plans were to paint the shelf but when it hung on the wall we decided to wait. Pine wood become darker over time, something I don’t like, so I will paint the shelf in a year or so.

After a few Days we decided to paint the wall instead of the shelf.....

Mount the shelf on the wall and place your favourite stuff.

Thanks for reading and if you liked it you may consider to vote J


tomec (author)2017-12-27

I like the workshop you work in. Looks like great place.

KryptoTSD (author)2017-12-26

Way cool! Gonna try this.

JuanP177 made it! (author)2017-01-24

hey great!!!, i made it, i had to resize everithing, i made it 1.1 meters diameter to fit in the room, it works great now i'm wondering how to mount it on a concrete wall jajaja, thats 1" pine, BTW i'm working on a couple of MDF bad boys as u see on last image render, i can share the blueprints with you if u want

WoodifIcould (author)JuanP1772017-12-26

Juan, The MDF shelf are WAY COOL. all of your pics are beautiful Great work!

Amaries (author)JuanP1772017-01-26

Nice work Juan! Look in the instructables and see how you can mount the shelf.

JuanP177 (author)JuanP1772017-01-24

and sorry for the awful english

LanceBuilt (author)2017-12-23

Absolutely wonderful!

Stuxnet97 (author)2017-01-25

omg awesome, this ones of the best projects i've ever seen. I need to try :D

Amaries (author)Stuxnet972017-01-26

Thank you you made me happy!

TweakGeek1 (author)2017-01-19

I am very interested in making this project, but on the full size scale (65" x 15"). How do you suggest I go about trying to draw up the plans for the full size project?

I'm not making a dime on this - but I know the trouble with resizing stuff. Big print works great - check out his video.. here's the link (or google woodgears Big Print)

BigPrint says it will not run on Mac :-(

The issue isn't necessarily with printing the size. If need be I can have plans printed in larger size at a print store. The issue is these plans are for a shelf almost half the size. I would need to change all the measurements, but of course don't really know what to change them to.

Amaries made it! (author)TweakGeek12017-01-20

You could try what archtype suggests but I am not aware of how that works in detail.

Another way to do it is to multiply every dimension in the drawings with X (2 if you want it twice as big), except for the thickness. As you can see in the attached figure the radius, depth and length "follow eachother"

Hope this helps you!

archtype (author)TweakGeek12017-01-20

"Draftsight is an excellent CAD 2d drawing program available free from their website. If you are familiar with Autocad, this would be a no brainer to use.

MikeH460 made it! (author)2017-01-20

Don't know who massoroni is... But I've been making variations of this design I came up with for twenty years.

hyfynut (author)MikeH4602017-01-21

Manfredo Massironi.

Amaries (author)MikeH4602017-01-20

Nice design you can google and learn more about Massironi :-)

imbm24 (author)2017-01-20

I found directions to build one of these shelves back in the early 70's. It was in a Popular Science magazine part of a contest to build from a 4 ft x 8 ft plywood panel. I have built several of these shelves. I have used partical board, and several different types of plywood including Maple, Fir, and Redwood.

Amaries (author)imbm242017-01-20


attawudh (author)2017-01-19

Very Good

Amaries (author)attawudh2017-01-20

Thank you!

sachpborkar (author)2017-01-20

awesome Idea .........

Amaries (author)sachpborkar2017-01-20

I am glad you like it.

mbonifax (author)2017-01-19

what about a CNC?

Amaries (author)mbonifax2017-01-19

That would be nice if you have access to one :-)

mbonifax (author)Amaries2017-01-20

Infact I have one... in Cagliari - Sardegna - Italy...

Nice project - good luck for the contest

Amaries (author)mbonifax2017-01-20

That is very nice! I will let you know when I am in Italy haha.

Thank you!

CPUDOCTHE1. (author)2017-01-19

How much does the shelf weigh? I don't have a band saw or nice sander like that. I do have a CNC Plasma table. I was thinking about making one out of 16 ga steel. I know cold rolled steel is 18.6 times as dense as pine, so 16 gauge steel should weight about twice as much as 9/16" pine.

Amaries (author)CPUDOCTHE1.2017-01-19

oh thats a difficult question, i actually don't know but as pine don't weight much the shelf weight much either.

ed_d (author)2017-01-19

Great project.. thanks! I like the idea of printing actual size templates but not sure how that is done. Seems drawings are one fourth scale so I assume that the print program needs to scale them up but have never done this. Let me know how you may suggest doing this, if you do not mind. Thanks again.. Ed

CPUDOCTHE1. (author)ed_d2017-01-19

I use LibreCad. You can draw full size, or to scale. When you print it out, you can scale the printout or print full size.

JosephB75 (author)2017-01-19

I just have to know where you got that Wooden Logo Minifigure, that with the shelf are EPIC!

Amaries (author)JosephB752017-01-19

I made it by myself and thank you for your kind words

talonts (author)Amaries2017-01-19

I'd love to see an Instructable on the minifig!

JosephB75 (author)Amaries2017-01-19

If you are willing to make them - I am willing to buy one! I am a total AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) and even have the lego schematic tattoo. This would be an epic piece to have in my office.

Josehf Murchison (author)2017-01-19

Very nice you didn't enter it in the Epilog contest?

Amaries (author)Josehf Murchison2017-01-19

No I didn't I do not have accest to a table saw and I hope (whish) that I am going to win but thats the big question of corse. If I place the shelf in an other contest to I think I have less chance to win .....

Josehf Murchison (author)Amaries2017-01-19

Entering multiple contests increases your chances of winning a prize.

This guy won 2 grand prizes and 1 first prize with this Instructable.

Amaries (author)Josehf Murchison2017-01-19

OK you convinced me! Thank you ;-)

Josehf Murchison (author)Amaries2017-01-19

You are welcome.

bengermann (author)2017-01-19

I really like this! This is the type of project that makes me wish I had a huge house with lots of wall space! Very nice!

Amaries (author)bengermann2017-01-19

Thank you you can always make a miniature

Amaries (author)Amaries2017-01-19

O that smiley was too big..... sorry

rb765 (author)2017-01-19

The shelf is great, but the items you are displaying on the shelf are equally as impressive. I have just messaged you about the bird/penguin and the monkey to see if I can get pictures to try to replicate them. Thanks for all your hard work.

Amaries (author)rb7652017-01-19

Thank you for your nice words,. The monkey is a design of Kay Bojsen

The other two are mine and I will show you them in a instructables some day ok?

Srijal97 (author)2017-01-19

That looks so good! And also your explanation is great!

Amaries (author)Srijal972017-01-19

I am glad you liked it, thank you.

maggierp (author)2017-01-19

Beautiful! I want to make this for my classroom as well. Thank you for sharing this.

Amaries (author)maggierp2017-01-19

Nice Good luck !

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.
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