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!
Step 2: Design Your Shelf
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.
Step 3: Cut the Pieces to Size!
You can't see it in the photo, but I used the compound miter saw to put a 45 degree bevel on the lengths that would serve as the frame for the shelf.
Step 4: Rip Those Babies in Half!
Again, I don't want to belabor the basics of using a table saw, but I will say this: Don't do this drunk! My dad's buddy Randy did some drunk woodworking when I was a kid and things were never the same. Nuff said.
Step 5: Make a Shelf-notch Thingy (technical Name Notwithstanding)
You can get an idea from the photos what this entailed - I penciled in where I wanted to cut a groove in the vertical sides of the shelf, then using one of the sleds at Techshop on the table saw I cut out about a 1/4 inch groove into which the horizontal pieces of the shelf could fit. It took a few passes on the table saw, with attention to how high the blade was set.
Thanks table saw!
Step 6: Using the Drill Press, Because It's There
Using the drill press, I pre-drilled some holes in the vertical sides of the shelf to prevent the wood from splitting. I would have liked to pre-drill some holes in the shelves themselves, but I couldn't figure out a jig that would let me hold a two foot board vertically to drill a hole straight into it.
Technical note: Don't drill into your hand!
Step 7: Shelf Assembly!
We put a dab of wood glue at each joint, and with a lot of huffing and puffing (sort of like a game of Twister combined with sticky fingers from the glue and a dash of power tools) we assembled the shelf! I used a power drill to put two screws in each joint - maybe didn't need them, but oh well.
This is the point where my beveled corners got hairy. It took a lot of cajoling and putzing around to get the bevels to line up with each other, and in the end one of them is still a little bit off. My dad ("expert" wood worker that he is) says that's why shelves often don't have beveled corners. For my next shelf, straight corners!
To finish it off I put a coat of poly on it and covered it in books.