Introduction: Rustic Shelf

After jointing tech shop you will be required to take a safety class to use the basic woodworking equipment.  During the class we created the components to make a shelf.  However at the end of the class we were just left with 4 simple plain looking pieces of wood.  This instructable will teach you how to take some plain jane pieces of wood and give them an aged and worn appearance.  Then you will be able to take your shelf pieces and build a shelf you will feel proud to hang on your wall.  

I made it at TechShop.

Step 1: Cut Pieces for Shelf

I am going to real quickly go through how I made the pieces for the shelf.  Feel free to experiment and make the shelf to whatever dimensions you please.

I started with a 1 x 12 piece of pine board.  I first cut the board to 16" long.  Then ripped the board along the length to create a 4" wide section and a 6" wide section. (These dimensions aren't exact as the saw blade removes some of the material, but you get the point.)

From here I cut the end of the 4" wide board twice at a 45 degree angle.  these two triangular pieces will be the support for the shelf.

No you have your pieces for the shelf!  Feel free to cut the large and smaller piece to whatever shape you please.  I simply rounded the corners where the shelf will be exposed. 

Step 2: Roughing Up the Wood

You now have your four pieces needed to make the shelf.  Now it is time to beat them up to make them look as though they have been around for ages.

1. Sand down all the edges:  To do this I used a belt sander.  It is important to sand down all the sharp edges on each piece of wood.  While doing this, the more uneven the sanding is the more worn the pieces of wood will look.  

2. Beat your wood! Its time to rough up the lumber so that it looks like it didn't come straight from the lumber yard.  This will give the stain rough patches and pockets to seep into adding depth and texture. To do this I used a few different techniques.  Using a hammer I struck the wood in localized areas.  I also used the hammer and some allen wrenches to engrave lines into the wood.  Use a bag of drill bits or screws and smack the lumber to create little tiny pockets.

The pictures show how each technique effects the finished look after staining. 

Step 3: Stain, Seal, Build

Now all you have to do is stain, seal and build.  

I used a dark walnut stain and let one coat sit for about 20 minutes.  If you want a darker look just apply another coat.  Then all you have to do is apply a couple coats of polyurethane and put the shelf together.  (While staining and sealing just follow the directions on the cans.  Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area.) 

Congratulations! You now have a cool rustic looking shelf.