It seems that I’ve skipped an update, here, on the simple DVD wall shelf that I began working on two-weeks ago – my apologies for that. After roughing out all the timber for the four shelves and two sides last time, I was still left with a small collection of cupped boards. This cupping wasn’t as severed as with the 10in-wide boards I’d started with but, I knew it was still likely to cause me some problems later on.
After much deliberation (soaking the concave face and leaving it to dry for a few days didn’t really do anything), I decided that the best approach would be to rip each board down the centre on the bandsaw (with its fine kerf) and then, to re-joint the edges and glue each board back together. With a little care, the joint lines should almost be seamless!
Using Titebond Original, I was able to remove each board from the clamps in no more than half-an-hour, which is ideal when you’re working in a small space with a limited supply of cramps. To stop these sash cramps from continually tipping over (the domino effect!), I made uo these simple wooden block, using the trenching stop on my sliding mitre saw:
Where one or two of the shelves had these splits running down a part of their length, I tried re-gluing them, using masking tape to hold the join, which actually worked quite well:
Despite all that careful work to re-joint, glue and align the boards for each component, a lot of sanding with a belt sander was still required in order to flatten the joints and remove any high spots.
What I wouldn’t give for a small drum sander, sometimes!!
Once that was done, with the edges cleaned up, boards ripped to final width and all internal faces sanded with my random orbit sander, it was time to cut the biscuit slots that would locate each shelf position:
I actually made and used a new jig for this purpose, which references off of one end of the sides and basically, guarantees that all your biscuits will be in the same places and parallel across the width of the piece – I’ll show you that in more detail in my next update!
One final step involves making and fitting a French Cleat for the top shelf, which will be used to hang the unit on a wall later on:
I’ve never actually made and used the French Cleat system before but, I’m sure that my method of ripping a 45° bevel on the table saw isn’t the safest, where there is a potential risk that the timber may bind and get trapped between the spinning blade and the fence. I really should’ve reset the fence so it was to the left of the saw blade (from the operator’s perspective), given the way that the blade tilts on this saw. Also, that would’ve meant that, using a push-stick, I could’ve safely and accurately guided the cut piece through the saw for a better cut – and, not “the offcut“, as I’m actually doing in the photo above!
I tried clamping the cleat (which was biscuited) on to the underside of the top shelf but, due to the bevelled edge, I couldn’t get the right kind of cramping pressure. Another option might have been to glue a square-section lipping on and to then rip the bevel afterwards, depending on the capacities of your saw and the safety aspects involved… On a better quality job, I probably would’ve tenonned this in to the two sides. This time though, I elected to simply screw the cleat in place, using counterbored holes and wooden plugs to hide the screw heads.
All of the other three shelves also had their rear edges lipped, to held strengthen (and, hopefully, to straighten!) each length. But also, this should mean that I don’t need a back panel to keep the contents in place – next time I move home, I may even be able to lift this unit off of the wall without having to store any of the DVDs in another box! 😉
That’s all for this update. Next time, I’ll should you how I made the biscuit jointing jig and, after that, it should be time to assemble and finish this not-as-simple-as-I-had-hoped wall shelf! 🙂
Thanks for reading.