After I'd taken the basic safety course for the Techshop woodshop in SF, I was ready to knock out some basic projects to get some practice on the tools before trying anything more complicated. My first project was making this simple shelf out of a 7-foot board. Making a shelf can be a good first project if you're just getting into working with wood.
In our kitchen we had an overflowing pile of cookbooks and a tiny nook that was just right for a shelf. I got this large pine board for cheap at MacBeath Hardwoods in Berkeley and set about turning it into a shelf.
Here's how I grade my work in the end:
As a learning experience: A
As a couple's bonding experience putting together the shelf: A+
As a final shelf: B+ (we'll get to that later)
As they say in the world of Instructables written in part to get a free class at Techshop, "I made it at Techshop!"
Step 1: Get a board!
Went to MacBeath Hardwoods in Berkeley and picked out a board. Just got a simple pine board - looking forward to mucking around with the many amazing kinds of hardwoods they specialize in. This guy was 7' by 1'. I wanted to end up with a shelf for cheap so I just got the one board for less than $20.
Step 2: Design your shelf
I doodled a bit to figure out how I'd cut the board up and eventually settled on this design. It was a fun exercise in making sure I used the whole board and didn't have to do any extra cuts. One thing I would change in hindsight is the beveled edge for the corners. Not many shelves have a beveled edge when you look at them - turns out that's because it can be a pain to actually assemble.
Anyhow, the dimensions in my doodle ended up being the cuts I made. Given the size of my board and my design, I ended up with six pieces, with each piece having one identical buddy that matched it.