Introduction: Glass and Oak Bookshelf

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Two octagon posts support 3 levels of glass shelves, custom oak shelf brackets, routered oak base and custom feet/supports.

The two octagon posts were scavenged, I believe they were for a bed. The top and bottom is oak the but the sides is thick MDF with an oak veneer. The shelf brackets and the feet were laid out in Adobe Illustrator and cut into a vinyl decal. The decals were used to make a hardboard templates. The templates were used to make multiple parts identical.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • Octagon support posts, scavenged, think they were bed posts.
  • 3 Pieces of 1/4" glass, 11.5" x 36......, scavenged
  • Base, 0.75" thick oak, 8.5" x 46
  • Shelf Brackets, 0.75" thick oak
  • Feet Supports, 0.75" thick oak
  • Hard Board for templates
  • Misc Screws
  • Stain, I used Pecan
  • Polyurethane
  • Table Top Router
  • Flush Trim bit, a good one makes a big difference, I used a Katana Part#
  • 1/2" Classical Router bit
  • 1/2" Round Over bit
  • Bandsaw, coarse blade
  • Drill Bits
  • Wood Glue
  • Stain/Urethane Stuff, brushes, rags, stir sticks
  • Sand Paper, various grits
  • Flap Wheel Sander, optional but it gets into the rounded areas well.

Step 2: Shelf Brackets

The bracket was designed in Adobe Illustrator. File is on Step 1

Shelf Brackets Template:
  • Apply the decal or paper template to the 1/4" hardboard
  • Cut with a band saw, ensure not to cut over the lines
  • Using sand paper and files, finish trimming the hardboard to the exact size, any imperfections will show up when its routered.
  • Optionally, attach a handle or block of wood to the template for something to hold onto.
Shelf Brackets:
  • Lay the template on your selected piece of oak and trace it out, if there is room trace out the other 3 as well
  • Using a band saw with a coarse blade, rough cut out the brackets, cut 1/16" to 1/8" outside the line.
  • With all 4 of the brackets rough cut, setup your router.
Routing: I chose to flush trim the wood, to shape then router with a classical, so less wood would be taken off in each pass.
  • Pick out a good flush trim bit with a bearing, I started with a real cheap one, then bought a nice Katana Brand one, the difference was immense, definitely worth the cost.
  • Use some double-faced masking tape to affix the template to a rough cut bracket. I also put some screws in the middle, since they will be drilled out later for mounting the bracket to the posts.
  • Check the depth so it cuts all the wood but not to much of the template.
  • Router all 4 of the brackets flush, using the same template.
  • There is a 90 degree inside corner, where the glass fits in, that the flush trim bit can't get into, finished the notch with a bandsaw.
  • Setup the router for the double-sided profile. There might be bits that do this in once pass, but I used a 1/2" classical with the bearing riding higher than normal. And routered it from both sides. See image
  • Sand, I had quite a bit of burning, probably due to the low-quality classical bit i used. I found a small dowel rod quite useful for getting into the profiles.

Step 3: Feet Supports

Since the shelf posts are narrow at 7.5" square, some feet attached to the base board are required to make it wider and sturdier.

Feet Template and Routing: These were made the same way as the shelf brackets in Step 2 Except......
  • After the template was made, a 2x2 block was attached for something to hold onto during routing.

Finish: Once 4 sets of the feet have been flush trimmed to the template, 2 must be glued together to make 1.5" thick piece. I had wanted to dowel rod them together using the screw holes, but due to some confusion, the holes weren't in the right places and didn't line up.
  • Apply some quality wood glue to one
  • Carefully apply the other piece, and clamp securely. Careful not to dent the wood with the clamps.
  • Once dry scrape off excess glue and sand until they are even and smooth.
  • Setup the router with a 1/2" round over bit, and round off the top edges that will be exposed.

Step 4: Base Board

The two posts are attached to a routered base board with octagon ends that match the posts. The edges of the base board are routered around where the posts will be. See last image

Base Board:
  • Used a 8.5" x 46" x 0.75" red oak board
  • Set the posts on either end and placed a sheet of glass between them
  • Positioned and marked the length, marked where the corners will be cut off.
  • Cut the length and the corners off with a chop saw.
  • Using a 1/2" roman ogee router bit, the front, ends and corners were routed, 1/2" deep.
Bottom Shelf Support: I made just one of these for the center, after completing the project I wish I had done 1 on each end, cutting corners is never a good idea.
  • This is a 10" x 2" x 0.75" red oak board, with rounded ends(Not Pictured til Later)

Step 5: Stain and Lacquer Then Assemble

The wood was stained with Minwax Pecan, all my wood stained a different shade. Follow the directions on the can.

Clear Coat:
I used Minwax Polyurethane, did 3 coats, lightly sanding in between, as per the cans directions.

Support Assembly: Later I hope to cover up the screw heads. I eyeballed the one screw then used a level to straighten the brackets before screwing in the other 2 screws.
  • Started by drilling and countersinking the brackets, 3 holes per.
  • Then the Octagon posts, the top bracket is down 3/8" from the top. Screwed in with 3 black oxide screws
  • The middle bracket is 14.5" down from the top of the top bracket, also attached with 3 black oxide screws
Base Board:
  • Centered and attached the bottom shelf support, screwed in from the bottom
  • Centered the feet under the support posts and screwed them in from the top, counter sunk the heads.
Final Assembly:
  • Flipped the octagon posts up side down on the floor.
  • Positioned the base board, with the feet and bottom shelf support attached. Had to do this real carefully.
  • Drilled and countersunk the holes, used 4 screws per octagon post.
  • After both posts were screwed securely, I flipped it right side up.
  • Insert the glass shelves

Step 6: Put Some Stuff on It

All Done!

While it is very sturdy, the 1/4" glass will limit how much weight can be put on it.

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