Introduction: FLOATING SHELF W/ EPOXY Inlay // CONCRETE Pegs
I have long been a fan of modern plywood furniture, the design possibilities are absolutely endless. We needed a new coat rack/shelf for our entry way in our house. This was a good opportunity to build out a design I had been working on for a while and practice kerf bending some plywood. There were some struggles with this project but in the end it was well worth the time I put into it!
Download the Sketchup file to make the router template here
Enjoy the build and don't forget to send me pictures when you are done!
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The materials you will need are as follows;
18mm Baltic Birch Plywood - 1 sheet
CA Glue(Use Code "Urbanshopworks" for 10 % off)
The Tools you will need are as follows;
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Step 1: The Cut List
In the photos above you can find the exploded diagram and the cut list. You can make this whole project from one pieces of 5' x 5' Baltic Birch Plywood.
Follow the cut list from the photos above.
Step 2: Cut the Kerfs!
*Please refer to the photos above for reference.
Draw out the lines starting at 50mm from the ends and then make 23 lines 10mm apart. (you are going to cut on the line ever time!)
This part is really important, the kerfs are cut to the width of your saw blade which is probably around 2.2mm wide. The depth of the cuts should be about 16mm or right to the second last veneer of plywood. This is something you should test on a scrap piece of wood before committing to your work piece because the depth of cut really makes a difference with how easy it is to make your bend. You can cut to the last veneer this will make the plywood bend easier but this will also make the piece of wood very fragile! also because the kerfs are so close together it helps to lay down a layer of painters blue tape over the area that is getting the cuts to help prevent tare out.
Step 3: Cut Your Domino Holes!
*Before you start your bend.
Measure and cut you Domino or Biscuit holes in the ends of the kerf piece and the ends of the connecting piece.
It is important to do this step before making your bends!
Step 4: Time to Bend!
This part is tricky. a few things right off the top,
- Take your time
- Don't get the plywood too wet
- Clamp the wood down
- Try to bend the wood evenly over the whole kerf area
With warm water soak a cloth, wring it out and lightly rub it on the back of the kerf area. Do not get the wood too wet! You want to only lightly dampen the last layer of the plywood, this helps the fibres in the plywood bend without breaking. If you get the plywood too wet the glue holding the veneers together will let go and the piece will be ruined. When bending go slow, and bend the whole area as uniformly as possible, You will be able to feel the wood stretch. If you start to hear the plywood crack you are going to fast!
Once you have completed the bend the inward end of the kerfs should be tight together and you should have a 180 degree bend in your plywood. While it is still clamped down wrap the bent end with blue painters tape to hold the bend in place while is dries.
Let dry overnight!
Step 5: Draw Your Pattern With the Template
I provided a download link here to my Sketchup file for the template that I used. You will need a cnc and the ability to convert the file to cut it out on your cnc. If you don't have access to a CNC you can skip the inlay and go straight to Step 10
Dry fit the curved shelf together and use template to draw out the pattern you want. Be creative!
Step 6: Cut Out You Pattern!
Carefully use your Trim Router to cut out the pattern. You can go as deep as you want, I went down 2 layers of the veneer so about 2mm.
Step 7: Apply Sealing Coat of Epoxy
Mix your Epoxy as per manufacturer specifications
If you have your pattern on or near and edge use Tuck Tape to tape off the edge. This will prevent the epoxy from spilling over the sides. Using a glue brush paint on a coat of clear epoxy in and around all of the cut outs that you are going to pour coloured epoxy in this is to seal the wood. Be sure to get full coverage any missed spot will cause bleeding. Plywood is very porous and coloured epoxy will bleed heavily into the wood.
Let dry completely (see manufacturer specifications)
Step 8: Apply Coloured Epoxy
One the sealing coat of epoxy is completely dry you can mix up and pour in the coloured epoxy.
It doesn't hurt to fill the pattern slightly proud of the surface. Let dry full before moving to the next step.
Step 9: Scrape and Sand!
Start with your card scrapers and scrape the epoxy flush with the surface of the plywood once you have reached that point sand the whole surface starting with 220 grit sandpaper then down to 320, and finishing off with 400.
Step 10: Concrete Wall Hooks!
Start by Cutting to length the 1 inch PVC pipe. I cut mine to 95mm its a good idea to make more than you need because some will likely break when you take them out of their forms.
Once you have them cut to length glue down one end of each on a piece of melamine with CA Glue(Use Code "Urbanshopworks" for 10 % off).
Step 11: Hardware
In the pics above are the exact hardware you will need for making one of these wall hooks.
1 x 3/8ths concrete anchor
2 x 3/8th nuts
1 x large washer (bigger than 1 inch)
1 x 16mm 3/8 threaded insert
1 inch pvc pipe (95mm long)
Place one of the nuts down the threads of the anchor with the washer on top with enough room to fully thread the threaded insert on the remaining threads of the anchor bolt. Then place the second nut on to the anchor bolt and had tighten. (see pictures above)
Step 12: Mix Your Concrete
Mix up your concrete as per manufactures specifications
If you have it, add the glass fibres in with the concrete as you are mixing it these will help add strength to the concrete once it is dry. Prior to pouring the concrete into the PVC spray some PAM cooking spray into the PVC this will act as a release agent. Wipe excess away with paper towel before pouring in the concrete.
Once the concrete is poured in each pipe carefully place the concrete anchor in the pipe and centre it in place.
Let dry fully. I recommend letting these cure fully for the complete 28 days before attempting to break them out of the form!
Step 13: Break Free!
Once the concrete has fully cured, snap the pegs off the melamine place the nut in a vise and use a pipe wrench to twist the PVC loose on the peg. Once its loose you should be able to remove the PVC with your hand.
Step 14: Seal the Concrete
I used 100% pure Tung Oil to seal the pegs. Apply several coats and let dry fully.
Step 15: Mark Your Holes!
Mark out exactly where you want to mount your pegs and drill the holes with an appropriate size drill bit using a drill press.
Step 16: Install the Threaded Inserts
Using a Hex wrench install the threaded inserts.
Step 17: Glue Up!
Glue the curved shelf and centre stretcher together and clamp. Let dry fully.
Step 18: Cut Dominos
Now its time to mark out where the shelf will sit on the backer board. once you have everything layed out mark and cut your domino/Biscuit holes.
Step 19: Tape Off the Kerfs
Its time to take your Tuck Tape and tape off the kerfs both at the bottom and all the way up the insides of the kerfs. Be sure to leave it proud of the top of the shelf this will help act as a dam to contain the epoxy you are going to pour in the next step.
Step 20: Pour in the Epoxy
Once you have the Kerfs thoroughly taped off mix up epoxy and gradually pour it into the kerf cuts. Go Slow! don't try to fill the kerfs in one pour. Pour in a little bit at a time and let it set up before you pour in any more.
Once the kerfs are completely filled Let the epoxy cure fully before moving to the next step.
Step 21: Sand!
Sand the epoxy down to a smooth consistent finish using 220, 320 and finish with 400 grit sand paper.
Step 22: Glue Up the Shelf
Glue the shelf to the backer board and clamp as needed. Let dry fully before moving on.
Step 23: Apply Finish
I used Odies Oil but you can use what ever finish you want. Apply your finish of choice as per the application instructions.