Floating Shelf (Maple, Curly Maple, Quilted Maple)

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Project by nashvillenative posted 04-16-2020 06:51 PM 955 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Floating shelves…they’re everywhere. Everyone wants one, they’re right up there with sliding barn doors on the pinterest hit list when it comes to wood projects. So I decided to make one for one of my close friends for their nursery. The shelf is done, but I haven’t been able to present them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can wait until this crisis is over.

For a backstory about this gift the soon to be mother had listed a wooden table on her baby shower registry. I was outraged that she would put an MDF low quality table on their registry KNOWING that I am a novice woodworker. I immediately called her and displayed my disappointment, jokingly. She told me she wanted me to make her, take a guess, a floating shelf for the baby’s nursery.

I decided on maple for the initial design and added curly and quilted maple later on in my process, out of necessity. I resawed, planed, jointed, and laminated around 6’ of 8/4 S3S maple I got from a local supplier to make the 30” x 14” top. I then used remnants to box joint the frame. I routed a groove 1/4” from the top and rabbeted the top to fit the groove.

For the base that would attach to a french cleat I used quilted maple I had from the same supplier here in middle Tennessee. First off, I love maple. Secondly, any figure in maple is always going to make me want to use it. Its such a versatile wood. I initially cut the base to the right dimension and routed a 22 degree bevel on the ends. This action then made the base too short for the top. Which is where the curly maple came into play. I routed the grooves and cut the tongues? inlays? floating tenons? (Not sure what you would call them) to size.

I used pocket hole screws to attach the top to the frame (about 2 1/2” deep into the top), routed a 45 degree chamfer into the french cleat socket in the back, put 3 coats of Arm-R-Seal and finished with a personal note on the bottom of the top.

I am please with how this turned out and am eager to see how they like it.

Dimensions: 14”L x 30”W x 8”T
Materials: Maple, Curly Maple, Quilted Maple
Finish: General Finishes Arm-R-Seal
Tools Used: Table Saw, Router, Kreg Jig, Bandsaw, Jointer, Planer
Time to Build: 24 hours

-- "any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless"

2 comments so far

View pottz's profile


17473 posts in 2098 days

#1 posted 04-16-2020 07:30 PM

looks great.

-- 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 swirt's profile


6267 posts in 4086 days

#2 posted 04-18-2020 02:55 AM

That is a nice design and beautiful wood.

-- Galootish log blog,

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