Asian-style Driftwood Shelves

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Project by swirt posted 10-08-2018 01:40 AM 2298 views 5 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We found this large section of root mostly buried by sand on a beach on the gulf coast of Florida. It seems similar in style to roots I have seen exposed near the water’s edge on Slash Pine. Though I was surprised by how dense and heavy the root is. The shelves were initially cut during my experience of trying out/developing my gang saw. The section of wood used for the shelves came down during Hurricane Irma. I picked it up from the side of the road in my neighborhood. I initially thought it was oak, but it turned out to be some mystery wood that is much harder, much more dense and has a maroon heartwood. Beautiful wood… I only wish I had more and wish I knew what it was.

The shelves are attached to the root with dado/half-lap joints. I tapered the shelves because I liked the look. Each shelf is also thinner than the next. I liked the challenge of making a three shelf system that requires that all three shelves are parallel to each other, and orthogonal to the wall yet have no standard face or line to reference.

The finish on the root and the shelves is several coats of Hope’s 100% pure Tung Oil. No stain, dye or other colorants were used. The root slides onto two angled lag screws that have had their heads cut off.

Lots more photos and explanation appear on the original post here:
Timberframe Tools Blog: Driftwood and Hurricane Shelves

-- Galootish log blog,

17 comments so far

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3807 days

#1 posted 10-08-2018 03:01 AM

A very interesting idea and very well made buddy !!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View amritabodyspa's profile


2 posts in 985 days

#2 posted 10-08-2018 07:45 AM

So nice!

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3923 days

#3 posted 10-08-2018 09:46 AM

Not only a shelf, but a fine piece of art

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4091 days

#4 posted 10-08-2018 11:39 AM

@steliart Thank you.

@roger Thanks. Most of what I make is pretty utilitarian. This was the first thing I ever made where I actually like it better when it is not doing its job. I think it looks great when the shelves have nothing on them. We’ve been experimenting with what should really live on the shelves.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Redoak49's profile


5274 posts in 3107 days

#5 posted 10-08-2018 01:25 PM

Very interesting project.

You did a great job of putting together the first picture. People have a difficult time with tall projects and post I g a picture. You combined three views to fit the format of the way project pictures are displayed on LJ.

View pottz's profile


17568 posts in 2103 days

#6 posted 10-08-2018 01:49 PM

very creative use of something most would burn.nice job

-- 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 mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4713 days

#7 posted 10-08-2018 01:52 PM

So awesome, very organic love them

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View recycle1943's profile


5485 posts in 2741 days

#8 posted 10-08-2018 03:42 PM

very innovative and extremely attractive – Bravo

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4091 days

#9 posted 10-08-2018 04:32 PM

@Redoak49 Thanks. It was a hard project to photograph. The odd shape and darkness of the driftwood makes it hard to grasp what it is in a photo. So the three panes was an attempt to show the depth from three slightly different angles.

@pottz Thanks. I did get some odd looks from people when they would walk by and ask me what I was making and I would hold up this long root and say “Some shelves.”

@mcoyfrog and @recycle1943 Thank you.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4152 days

#10 posted 10-08-2018 10:55 PM

Very Nice Project & Well Done!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4091 days

#11 posted 10-09-2018 01:28 AM

@Rick S. Thanks.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TonyArru's profile


91 posts in 3333 days

#12 posted 10-09-2018 07:10 PM

yes, these are indeed beautiful and artistic. I love how they interact with the items on the shelves. I may have been inspired by these just now…very well done!

-- Tony S. Arru, Connecticut

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4091 days

#13 posted 10-10-2018 01:13 AM

Thank you @TonyArru Glad you like the shelves and happy to hear they may have inspired you for something new.

-- Galootish log blog,

View oldrivers's profile


2590 posts in 2685 days

#14 posted 11-01-2018 10:33 AM

Beautiful project, love the design, the joinery and the finish,excellent work, job well done!

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4091 days

#15 posted 11-02-2018 09:55 PM

Thank you oldrivers.

-- Galootish log blog,

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