Make a Massironi Shelf





Introduction: Make a Massironi Shelf

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

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

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

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

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.....

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

We planed the lumber to 1.5 cm

Step 7: 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

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

Step 9: Make Half Lap Joints

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

Step 10: Assemble

Step 11: Assemble and Adjust

Step 12: 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

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

Shelving Contest 2016

First Prize in the
Shelving Contest 2016

Epilog Contest 8

Runner Up in the
Epilog Contest 8

5 People Made This Project!


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64 Discussions

Cool let is know egen you are done


6 months ago

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

1 reply

Yes it is, it is at the school where I work

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

1 reply

1 year ago

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.

1 reply

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

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

Nice project - good luck for the contest

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

Thank you!

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.

1 reply

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