Pine Wall Shelf

This small shelf unit is a pleasant project and will provide an attractive background for display of pewterware, figurines, plants, or perhaps some richly bound old volumes. Construction is entirely of Yi" white pine, with the exception of the drawer bottoms, which are of fc* plywood.

Start by laying out 1" squares on cardboard or a scrap of Masonite, and enlarge the shapes of the upper back and shelf sides. Use a jigsaw to cut the two templates and then transfer the designs to the pine stock. Cut the sides first and run the three dadoes across each. The upper back edges are given a stopped rabbet as shown. A router makes this work easy, but a fine job can be done with a straightedge and sharp chisel.

Next, cut the two shelves, bottom, scrolled back, and drawer divider to finish size. Don't forget to locate and cut dadoes for the drawer divider. Sand all parts thoroughly before assembling with glue. Be sure to double-check for squareness after clamping, and if you prefer to stain later, remove all glue drippings with a damp cloth.

Although the drawers are small, the woodworker should exercise care in their construction. Shortcut methods, such as nailing the bottom directly to the sides, only detract from the quality of your workmanship. The method of construction shown is a good approach for most light-duty pine drawers. Grooves for the drawer bottoms should be cut wide enough to allow the drawers to slide freely. Use glue and finishing nails to join drawer sides to fronts. After the drawers are completed, glue small stop blocks in each drawer opening, located so that the drawer fronts will come flush with the shelf sides. Install %"-diam-eter wooden or porcelain knobs.

Distress the piece a bit and round off all sharp edges before giving it a finish sanding. Apply an antique pine stain, and after 24 hours finish with a couple of coats of low-luster synthetic varnish. Rub down with 4/0 steel wool to provide an even sheen; then finish ofT with paste wax.

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