Introduction: Beehive Shelves

About: By day, an architect. By night, an inventor extraordinaire.

This technique uses masking tape to "clamp" when glueing mitred joints. Its a very useful technique if you need to join anything with more than 4 sides where clamps won't work. Ratchet straps also work but are more expencive.

I'd like to thank Starck Joinery cc in Salt River, Cape Town for teaching me this amazing technique. You guys are true master joiners.

Step 1: Tools

You'll need:

  • Sufficient wood to make your boxes. For the 6 boxes you see here I used a piece approx. 1700mm X 600mm
  • A saw that can cut an accurate 30 deg. angel.
  • Wide masking tape.
  • Wood glue.
  • Sand paper.
  • Wood primer
  • Wood varnish
  • Paint (colour of your choice)

Step 2: Cutting

I set my saw at 30 deg. You are looking for 60 deg. angles between joints. Just be careful which side you are wanting to face out. I used reclaimed 18 mm shutter plywood; the stuff they use for concrete work on a building site.

You can make the hexagons any size you want, but be careful; the fist couple I made turned out way too big or way too deep. The dimensions for each of the 6 sides of my hexagon boxes are (outside dimension) 150 mm deep X 190 mm long. This creates a hexagon with an approximate diameter of 390 mm.

Step 3: Filling

I had some pretty poor grade plywood with a really rough surface and I wanted one side of my shelves super shiny. I watered down my wood filler and almost painted it on with the putty knife. As I'm going to be painting this surface anyway, it's easier to do it this way then sand for days.

Step 4: Sanding

Sand the woodfiller down until you have a nice smooth surface.

Step 5: Painting

Give the surfaces you want painted a good coat of primer. Once this has dried, give it a sand and another coat. Repeat this process until you have a nice smooth surface. Always make sure the surface is dust free before starting to paint otherwise you end up with a rough surface that will need to be sanded again.
Now comes the fun part; painting it gold. Soon you'll have a nice stack of gold bars in front of you. Its more impressive in reality than it is in the photo.

Step 6: Gluing

Place 6 pieces butting up to each other with the sides you want on the inside facing down.

Now stick masking tape down the length of this leaving quite a bit of run over. You will use this to wrap around the shelf. a bit later. I rolled mine up to keep it out of the way.

Now flip it carefully.

Put glue on all the edges that need glue put on them.

Now just role it up and wrap those left over bits around the box nice and tightly. You might want to wrap more masking tape around a bit more.

Step 7: Things I've Learnt

The wood filler worked pretty well but next time I'd paint it on over the whole surface and try find something to help it bond to the wood a bit better.

I'd definitely paint the surfaces first, then cut with a fine toothed saw to avoid chipping on the edges.

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