Birch Plywood Shoe Shelves

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Project by bdresch posted 05-12-2014 02:11 AM 2000 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to share my first big project after trying to get into woodworking this year. I bought a table saw and router early in the year and the first thing my wife wanted was shelving. Shelving was easy I said. Then came the pictures from Pinterest of shoe shelves with tons and tons of pockets. I still said easy, not really knowing what I was getting myself into.

It was a good experience. I had never used a dado blade, so that was fun. I got to build a crosscut sled, which was also fun. I even got to buy Harbor Freight out of every last one of their 6” bar clamps.

I learned some lessons too. After a horrible battle during the glue-up of the first shorter shelving unit, I learned that dados don’t need to be tight. I learned that the open time of Titebond is something that needs to be watched. I also learned that I should never give my wife time estimates on projects because they will always take 4x as long as I think.

The specs on the shelves are this. 5X sheets of 1/2” birch plywood. 4 coats of amber shellac wiped on. It was a fun first project.

5 comments so far

View Ted's profile


2877 posts in 3092 days

#1 posted 05-12-2014 02:28 AM

I learned most of what I know by diving in head first. Not that I know a lot, but it is a fun way to learn and hopefully get something nice out of the ordeal. Looks like a success to me! Welcome to the wonderful world of woodworking.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3375 posts in 3902 days

#2 posted 05-12-2014 04:59 AM

A very nice build and a great use of not used space.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View a1Jim's profile


118142 posts in 4458 days

#3 posted 05-12-2014 02:15 PM

Very cool a very involved glue up. Good job.


View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1409 posts in 2515 days

#4 posted 05-12-2014 03:07 PM

Very nice fist project, better than many who have been doing it for years.

Shellac is great isn’t it? Too many people don’t appreciate it.

I guess by the success of this project that you are all in… :-)

-- Jeff NJ

View bdresch's profile


156 posts in 2489 days

#5 posted 05-14-2014 02:09 AM

I really loved how the Shellac went on. The only finish I had ever used before was brushed on oil based poly. This was so much nicer. I do with I would’ve gone with the clear Shellac and not the Amber. I didn’t think it would be that dark, and I had a few spots in the corners of the boxes that I couldnt get to even out, it was very difficult keeping a wet edge when doing those small boxes.

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