This simple and casual storage unit offers a choice when it comes to stock selection. In the November 2007 “I Can Do That” column, we discussed an easy way to glue up panels using pocket screws (“Shaker Step Stool,” issue #165). So you might wish to follow the steps outlined there to make panels for the backs, top and shelf.
But, you can also buy already glued-up panels of pine at the home center for just a little more cash outlay, so that’s what I did for this project. My shopping trip for this corner shelf was quick and easy. I picked up two 24″ x 48″ pine panels, one pine 1″ x 8″ x 3′ for the sides, one pine 1″ x 2″ x 2′ for the rail, and two double hooks with a rubbed-nickel finish.
Start by cutting your top to the proper-sized square; the rest of the pieces simply need to fit under it, as shown below. While the top in my version is 23-1/2″ square, you can easily makes yours smaller (or larger), and base the size of your other pieces off the top, calculating in a 3/4″ overhang.
To cut all the panels to size, I clamped a straightedge with a beefy edge to the piece, 1-1/2″ to the left of my cutline, and used that as a rail along which to guide the jigsaw. (Note that one back piece is 21 1/4″ wide, the other is 22″ wide because they overlap.) Depending on the width of your jigsaw (or circular saw) base, your setup may vary. To set your straightedge location, simply measure from the edge of the blade to the outside of your baseplate. That’s the offset for your guide.
To join the two back pieces, lay the narrow back piece face down on a table, line up a thick caul (a piece of 2×4 works well) across the edge, and clamp it in place. This allows you a flat reference surface against which to balance the wide back piece as you drill holes and screw the pieces together (I used 1-1/2″ x #8 screws). Set the back pieces aside, and move on to the top and shelf.
To make the 45° cuts across the top and shelf, use the same jig setup as for the panels. On the top, the angle begins 8″ from the back corners; on the shelf, it’s at 6-1/2″. The sides were simply chopped to 7-1/4″ length from the dimensional stock to 16″ at the miter saw.
Then, I measured in 1-1/2″ from the bottom edge, grabbed a handy bucket off our shop shelves, and used that to draw my arcs. The arc ended at 6″ from the side’s bottom edge, so that’s where I installed the shelf later in the process. The position of your shelf can vary based on your radius – or based on what you think looks most attractive. There’s no structural reason that the shelf be aligned with the curve.
After marking and cutting one side with a jigsaw, I used that cut to mark the second side. I then cut it, clamped the two together, and did the final shaping and smoothing with a rasp and #120-grit sandpaper. I also sanded to clean up saw cuts and break the edges.
Now it’s time to put it all together. First, position your shelf and mark on the back of both back pieces the location for your screw holes (I used five screws across each back piece). Drill pilot holes at the marked locations into the positioned shelf, then sink your screws.
Position your side pieces with the top edge aligned with the top of the back pieces, and drill pilot holes and countersinks to attach the sides to both the backs and shelf (I used four screws along the side, and two to hold the sides tight to the shelf).
Nail (or screw) the top in place after drilling pilot holes, making sure you have an even overhang on both sides.
The last step is to measure across the front edge just under the top, and cut your rail to length. So that it fits snugly into the angled opening, cut 45° angles on both ends. Now run a bead of glue along the top edge, position it, drill pilot holes and nail it in place.
Now that everything is assembled, fill your screw and nail holes, then paint, add the hooks where you like them, and you’re done. PW
Megan is the managing editor of this magazine. Contact her at 513-531-2690 x11348 or megan.fitzpatrick @ fwmedia.com.