Introduction: Charging Shelf..... With LEDs

About: A small creature in an ocean of giants. I feel like I'm getting nowhere.

We needed a shelf to help keep up with our phones and charge them (We only have 2, But chargers still get lost.

The problem is that most "Charging stands" look mass produced or low quality, and that's not acceptable.

There are a lot of pictures, but I'll try to keep the Instructable short for the sake of reading. Any questions will happily be answered. Sources for the LEDs can be found in my LED Bed instructable.

If it's accepted into the contests, Please Vote!!!

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

I took a few pictures, but the truth is, tools will vary by preference and availability.

In my case, I used quite a few.

1: LEDs. Source in Bed instructable.

2:Acrylic (I got mine for free as scrap cutoffs. )

3: Plywood and feature wood. I chose Walnut as my feature wood. I have some on hand, and it looks great. Standard 1/2 inch sheathing plywood is what I used for mine. I had some scrap pieces that happened to be the right size.

4: Jointer. If, Like me, you got your feature wood from a hardwood source, It is likely to be rough cut. You'll need o joint a side and a face before it even gets close to your tablesaw.

5: Planer. This allows you to flatten the opposite face from the one you passed across the jointer. You CAN do this by hand, OR on the tablesaw. But the planer is safer. (Than the tablesaw anyway.)

6: Miter saw (Hand or powered) OR a crosscut sled for your tablesaw.

7: Sandpaper. 150, 220, 300, 400, 600, and 800. (OR 150-300. I'm obsessive and don't mind sanding)

8: DUST MASK!!!!!!! Walnut can be toxic. If you breathe in the dust you will likely get a sinus infection, not to mention problems that come from prolonged exposure.

9: Tablesaw.

10: Brad Nailer and brads. ( I used 1 inch brads.) You can use finishing nails and a nail punch.

11: Compressor. (Another "Freebie" Had to put it together and swap for the motor, but it didn't cost as much as it would if I had to buy a new one.) You don't need this if you use finishing nails.

12: Wood glue.

13: Finish. Whatever you want. I used laquer. Dries fast and looks good. PLUS I can smooth it out beautifully. Feels like silk!

So... Got all that? Took over the garage? Good stuff. Let's get to work.

Step 2: Cutting Out Main Parts.

I wanted an approximately 2.5 inch thick shelf so I could make it a floating shelf.

I gut each piece to 1 inch wide and maintained top and bottom halves of the same board so it would look good and consistent. I pre-mitered them so I could lay them out and get an idea of how it would look. It's VERY IMPORTANT to leave parts long, so you can trim to size more accurately later. Not to mention, mistakes and tearout will likely happen at the ends anyway, and that's much easier to just cut off if the parts are too long. The idea is to miter the pieces at 22.5 degrees to create a 45 degree angle and fade into the wall. The center will have the acrylic sitting inside of a rebate so it won't slide while screwing the pieces together, and so the LED strip has a recess to sit in.

Take notes, and be patient. Every step to create the parts you see was carefully thought out, and I still made mistakes.

Step 3: Drilling and Screwing

Lay the acrylic into the rebate and clamp each piece together.

Then mark equidistant spots and pre-drill for screws. I drilled 5/8 inch deep with a 1/2 inch bit before drilling the rest of the way with a bit sized for the screws I chose (Lathing screws.)

Then I layed them out on my work surface to ensure everything lined up as it should. Grain direction is the most important thing to line up here.

Step 4: Getting It Together

Now you can take your plywood and rip it to your desired width with the understanding that the feature wood will add to that some, so measure carefully. 2x

Miter each end of your plywood so it is the length you desire. also 2x

Face the feature pieces. To do this, I raised the tablesaw blade high enough to cut a little over half the height of the feature piece. Set my fence at 15/16, and ran each piece through with the face towards the blade. this way I would have a nice, flat, front.

And cut a rebate (OR rabit, however you want to say it.) in the BACK of your feature pieces to receive the plywood. Top AND bottom! Be sure it's on the back side though or you have messed up bad!

Step 5: Bring It Together!

Apply glue to the bottom side of the rebate and brad nail it from the bottom, Starting at one side, then the center, then the last side. This way you can measure and trim perfectly to the length needed instead of trying to measure each piece perfectly.

IF you can use a pocket screw jig you will do so BEFORE joining the pieces to the plywood. I show a picture, but my shelf isn't thick enough to use that method.

My method: AFTER joining the pieces to the plywood, I used a heavy stapler to help hold the mitered edges together while the glue dries. I've used this method on a lot of frames, and they have held up very well over the years. Use a punch to slightly recess the staple.


Step 6: Frame for the Top

I decided to make the top "Float" in case I ever need to pull the shelf apart to change something. To do this, I made little bits of molding from the pieces that came off the feature wood when I ripped the center out of them to get the width I wanted. I hope you understood that. XD

I set the trim piece back about an eighth of an inch and glued/stapled it in place.

To make it easy to set the plywood in place, you may need to sand the edges of the plywood at a slight bevel to reduce the thickness slightly. You CAN do that on the tablesaw. Set the saw at approximately 5 degrees, and the fence at the thickness you want (1/64 smaller in my case) And run the plywood edges through. Instant bevel.

Step 7: Lights

I like lights. LEDs are awesome.

I screwed the controller down in a spot that I found convenient for running the wires.

Then (Being sure I could still plug in the power supply) I ran the remote receiver and measured out a spot to drill an appropriately sized hole for it. 1/4 inch in this case.

I then ran the strip around and cut it at the right length. There are spots that you have to cut it, so plan appropriately.

I then hot-glued the strip in place, seating it in the glue with a piece of acrylic. The material you see in the picture is 1/16 inch white acrylic (Diffusion acrylic from the inside of an LED TV) I added it as an afterthought.

The LED strip has a silicone coating so the hot glue doesn't stick that well, but "stitching" across it holds it quite well. Still, I think bedding it in the hot glue helps with light transmission so I advocate that as a step.

Step 8: Sanding and Finishing

Sand it. A lot. Until the acrylic looks nice and clean.

Done? No you're not. Sand it some more.

Good. I used brushing lacquer with a satin finish as my finish. It looks good, and after hitting it with some 800 sandpaper, it feels as smooth as silk.

Step 9: Finishing Up

Mark and cut the loose top piece to allow the plugs to be used. My shelf is shallow so I have to cut an actual hole.

Based on the openings location, glue in two side pieces to create a box around the tray your power strip is in.

Make sure the top still fits well.

Screw the top (NO GLUE) onto the strips you glued in place.

Now you will need to cut a board (Hardwood is better) that fits snugly into the space left in the back. IT'S IMPORTANT that it fits snug AND is at least 1.5 inches wide. You will be bolting this piece to the wall.

(I did not include a mounting picture because I need to do some electrical work first. Turns out the AC guys who installed the unit before we bought the place cut a wire and there was a live floating free in the wall. YAY!)

Mount the mounting board (I used pine. My shelf is light) to the wall into at least 2 studs and heavy lag screws. Then slide your shelf into place and use some nice looking screws to hold it down. That's it! You made a floating shelf complete with LED's that are remote controlled! I will add a mounted photo after the electrical is done!

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