Six foot corner shelf - no fasteners, no glue

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Project by SawdustTX posted 10-22-2012 11:02 PM 13807 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For an Architecture class at Texas A&M, my daughter had to design a piece of furniture using a full sheet of plywood, with zero fasteners or glue. She of course made it difficult and designed a free standing corner shelf over 6 feet tall with cantilevered shelves and glass insets.

We had a great time building it. Precision was critical for everything to fit together very tight for a strong unit. I can say almost a year later it’s still strong.

We cut the 64 tabs by gang clamping the 8 shelves and running them over the table saw blade on a sled. Unfortunately I didn’t have a stacked dado at the time, so it took a bunch of passes. Then we cut all the slots with a template jig and plunge router you can see in the fourth picture.

The last picture is a footstool we made from the cutoffs, since the project was supposed to use as much of the sheet of plywood as possible. Also no fasteners, no glue. Hammered it together and it’s held very tight with use.

We added a flush mounted LED downlight that projects through the glass inserts.

Now I just to finish it. For our contemporary styled house, I’ll edge band the ply and paint the whole thing black.

Update Dec. 2018: six years later, I finally edge banded and painted it! Picture of the finished product added.

11 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3067 days

#1 posted 10-22-2012 11:21 PM

Extremely cool design—very ingenious!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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Monte Pittman

30551 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 10-23-2012 04:05 AM

Hopefully she got a good grade. Beautiful work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View patron's profile


13704 posts in 4116 days

#3 posted 10-23-2012 04:14 AM

great work here
and a good time for family doings

a very nice design
A+ in my book

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2829 days

#4 posted 10-23-2012 12:24 PM

that is cool

-- Joel

View Roger's profile


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#5 posted 10-23-2012 01:49 PM

Super kool, and very inventive. Wow! You’re daughter is very talented

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

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4352 days

#6 posted 10-23-2012 03:54 PM

This is an amazing design and super build ,kudos to both of you.


View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4798 days

#7 posted 10-23-2012 04:03 PM

What a great job and wonderful you could do with your daughter. Thanks for sharing.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2950 days

#8 posted 10-23-2012 09:14 PM

What a talent you got right there! Beautiful work piece.

View mustang6tee8's profile


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#9 posted 10-24-2012 02:26 PM

My little sister was an architecture student at A&M- they really challenge the students there. Your daughter did some very nice work.

View Rusty's profile


25 posts in 2747 days

#10 posted 01-07-2013 09:06 AM

That would make a grate open curio cabinet for my Fire Trucks… Thanks.. She did a wonderful job..

-- Never do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the Paramedics...

View TiffanyB's profile


1 post in 2187 days

#11 posted 07-14-2014 04:25 PM

I need something that looks exactly like that shelf! I have looked online and have found nothing because I only need two shelves in the center and of course the top and bottom exactly like you have it. Do you know anyone who might be able to build one for me? Would you build one? And how much wood that cost? The piece is absolutely beautiful

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