My Round Shelf Unit, an Etagere

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Project by Bernspen posted 07-08-2018 02:10 PM 2886 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Shelves are easy, hoops, not so much.

I think this is technically an etagere, but my daughter makes fun of me every time I try to pronounce that, so I’m just calling this my round shelf.

It’s red oak throughout. The hoops are laminated strips, with a total diameter of 65 inches or so. The shelves are half inch, because I was worried about the weight of 3/4. 3/8’s dowel rods support the shelves, which have a small extra piece glued to the ends to keep the hoops from settling down too far. The bottom shelf is very much fixed, and is 8/4 to act as ballast.

If you try to copy this, don’t use a center hoop, make the two outer hoops wider and thicker. I added the center hoop to keep the outer two hoops from being too “bouncy,” but mostly the center hoop just made final assembly a pain. Make sure you have lots of clamps, and maybe shoot for a smaller diameter!

-- We have met the enemy, and he is us.

12 comments so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10408 posts in 3654 days

#1 posted 07-08-2018 03:35 PM

Very creative and unusual design for a shelf. Even has a unique name! Sounds like it was challenging, but the end product looks great.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View BurlyBob's profile


9344 posts in 3511 days

#2 posted 07-08-2018 03:41 PM

That is very unique and attractive. However you done make it sound like a lot of fun to build. You did an amazing job.

View mel52's profile


2276 posts in 1510 days

#3 posted 07-08-2018 03:54 PM

That is one COOL looking shelf set-up. Great job !!!

-- MEL, Kansas

View ChrisK's profile


2059 posts in 4327 days

#4 posted 07-08-2018 04:07 PM

Very neat design, nice work.

-- Chris K

View therealSteveN's profile


8889 posts in 1820 days

#5 posted 07-08-2018 04:25 PM

High points for originality, I think. I’ve never seen a round etagere anyhow. Looks great, makes an everyday shelf unit look classy, Nice work.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Gary's profile


73 posts in 3508 days

#6 posted 07-08-2018 05:16 PM

Beautiful design. The three hoops really makes the design stand out.

If it’s a little unstable, a bracket getting a little help from the wall would be no crime.

-- Cheers -- g

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4112 days

#7 posted 07-08-2018 06:41 PM

This piece has a very creative design and you did a fine job on it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View KimAccurso's profile


511 posts in 1386 days

#8 posted 07-08-2018 11:04 PM

That is a very creative and unique piece, I’m positive you will amaze people who see it in person. A difficult build and you did a great job on it!

-- Kim - imperfection is the pursuit of perfection

View therealSteveN's profile


8889 posts in 1820 days

#9 posted 07-09-2018 06:28 AM

Doubling back to say Congrats on your 3.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Ivan's profile


17013 posts in 4113 days

#10 posted 07-09-2018 06:38 AM

Pretty cool idea and very well executed!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View pottz's profile (online now)


20692 posts in 2230 days

#11 posted 07-09-2018 04:45 PM

a well earned top 3.that is cool as cool gets.if i did make one even though it made it harder id still go with 3 hoops,i think it looks better that way.what did you use for a form or jig to laminate them?beautiful work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Bernspen's profile


36 posts in 2523 days

#12 posted 07-09-2018 05:23 PM

Thanks to everyone for the kind words.

Ah, the form.

I took two 4 by 8 sheets, one of melamine, one of mdf. Melamine because glue doesn’t stick to it. Cut 2 one by four pieces off the ends, turn them 90 degrees, and attach one to the top an one to the bottom of the 4 by 6 remainder. You’ll have a 6 by 6 piece with a square foot missing from each corner.

Find the centers, and with a router on a long trammel, make a giant circle out of the melamine. Do the same thing with the mdf, except decrease the radius by a couple of inches. Line up the two center holes. Attach the two sheets to each other, near the outer edge of the mdf. Decrease the radius another 2 or 3 inches, and route another circle, only in the mdf, and remove the center piece of mdf.

You should have a two or three inch wide circle of mdf, concentric with the outer piece of melamine. The laminating strips use the outer edge of the mdf, down against the melamine, and the inner edge of the mdf is so the clamps can have a place to grab.

If that doesn’t make sense, ask. I’ve got the form buried under a bunch of plywood, and can’t get you a picture without cleaning out my garage.

-- We have met the enemy, and he is us.

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