Plate Shelf

The base of this oak plate shelf features a couple different architectural-style moldings. And on top, there's a simple galley rail with spindles.

This oak plate shelf doesn't require difficult joinery. Instead, it features a couple different types of architectural-style moldings that are mitered together, refer to drawing below left.

For starters, there's a layer of dentil molding. While this molding is "buried" in the middle, it's the key to building the base of the shelf. But more on this later.

Just above the dentil molding, there's also a layer of thick crown molding. This molding isn't difficult to make either. It's built up in layers, so to create the profile, all you need are a couple of common router bits.

dentil molding. The base of the shelf is built around the dentil molding, so I made it first, see Fig. 1. But I didn't worry about cutting it to an exact dimension. That's because it's more important to end up with a full dentil block at each corner, see Fig. la. (Later, I sized the other base pieces to this piece of molding.)

All the dentil molding (A) starts out as a single 1/2l,-thick blank, see Fig. 1. Then to cut the dentil blocks, I used a simple shop-made jig, see page 18. Once the dentil blocks are cut, the blank can be mitered to create a three-sided frame.

base bottom. The dentil molding will be glued together at the same time if s glued to the bottom. So I cut the :'/t"-thick bottom (B) to size so the dentil overhangs it V4'1 at the front and sides, see drawing below left.

To cradle the molding, I cut a rabbet around all four sides of the bottom, see Fig. lb. The rabbet is sized so the molding pieces fit together and are flush at the back edge.

Now, before gluing the molding to the bottom, I routed a V21' roundover

V4" overhang bottom


Cut shelf bottom after molding is mitered d . Miter dentil block with full block on dentil molding

On the top piece, I routed a V cove, leaving a lA" shoulder on the top. The bottom piece gets a V2" roundover with a Vi" shoulder on the bottom.

Next, glue the two pieces of molding together. And when the glue is dry, miter the blank so the bottom shoulder extends 1/4" beyond the dentil molding, see Fig. 2b.

shelf. With the base complete you can concentrate on the shelf. The shelf (D) is a 3A' '-thick blank cut to finished size of 6y4" x 36", see Fig. 3.

Then to hold the plates, I routed two 'A "-deep grooves in the shelf, see Fig. 3a. Plus, I added a thumbnail profile to the front and side edges with a Vi" round-over bit, see Fig. 3b.

shelf rail. Next, I added a shelf rail (E), see Fig. 4. After cutting it to size from '/(¡"-thick stock, I routed another thumbnail profile on all its edges. But this time, I used a 3/8n round-over bit, see Fig. 4a.

To join the rail to the shelf, I pur-


Miter crown molding to fit on top of dentil with V4" overhang on front edge

Crown moldings!, overhangs | dentil V4" Ijl cove—

W round-over-

crown molding

(Two W-thick blanks)

note: Don't rout back edge of shelf m round-over bit shelf


W cove bit

Router fence mm.

shelf rail






VA'-long spindle shelf \rail note:

Drill %" holes

Vk" deep for spindles

3/s" round-over bit note: Rip 45° bevel on hanging cleat hanging cleat

Woodsmith on the front and ends, see Fig. lc.

crown molding. The next piece to add is the crown molding (C), see Fig. 2. Actually, this molding is two 3/4ILthick pieces glued together.

Note: The idea here is to make these pieces look like one thick blank, so you'll want to choose your stock carefully, refer to page 19.

But before you laminate the pieces, first rout a profile on each, see Fig. 2a.

chased lW-long galley spindles (2" overall), see Figs. 4 and 4b. Simply drill 3/8M-dia. holes 5/i6M deep for the tenons. These holes start 1" from each end and are spaced 2" apart.

After gluing the rail and spindles in place, I drilled countersunk pilot holes in the shelf (two on each end and one in the middle), see Figs. 5 and 5a. Youll need these for screwing the top shelf to the base. (Gluing the shelf wouldn't allow the wood to expand.) Later, these holes can be plugged, trimmed, and sanded flush.

hanging cleat. Finally, to hang the shelf, I used a hanging cleat (F). It's just a ^"-thick blank ripped in two with the blade set at 45° see Fig. 6. Screw the wider piece to the wall and glue the other inside the shelf. ES

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