Right Sentinel Display Shelf

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Project by MarkTheFiddler posted 03-16-2013 12:00 AM 2129 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch


Martha and I have been collecting treasure together since 1981. Most of the collection is in boxes while only a few pieces get displayed. The Sentinels were built to display and look over our collection.

Oh man! I’m glad I have one of them finished. Over 2 months of work went into this one and its mate. Since I’m done with one of them, I’m posting it. The other will be posted when I’m finished with it.

These guys are made from ¾ Jatoba flooring. The shelves themselves are ash plywood. The whole thing is stained with Warm Cherry.

This project was cursed from the beginning – My table saw died. My Belt Sander Died. My HF pin nailer, bought specifically for this job, wasn’t up to snuff so I bought a Porter Cable.

About the time when I thought I was doing well, I ran inside to get a camera. When I got outside and held the camera up, a gust of wind toppled this poor guy and threw the whole thing out of square while chewing up some of my work.

Once I got that repaired, I kept on building. I discovered that I had made all the back rails too short, because the uprights were made from thinner pieces of wood. I had already installed the front rails and I was about to attempt to add the last column and my heart sank. They didn’t fit. The front rails were too long. They were well attached to the rest of the shelf. I had to use a palm router to shorten them in place.

This was my first experience with a palm router and there was no one around to set me straight. I started off with too big a cut for the super hard wood and the infernal machine grabbed. It ripped a chunk out of the wood then jumped from my hands with the bit spinning the whole time. The guide plate hit my knee, and sent the router twisting to the concrete. This is as close to a serious accident as I ever want to come and I thank the lord for watching over me.

On top of that, I didn’t read the manual (It’s a guy thing to be this dang bone headed). I was running the router from Right to Left. It was tearing out wood in the worst way. When I learned to go left to right – It was better.

My Blogs capture some of this turmoil. I thought it was getting ridiculous so I stopped Blogging the project.

One more thing – I don’t quit – but this project dipped all the way down into my reserves of patience. I’d dance up a storm if I wasn’t so danged tired, sunburned——and I didn’t have the second one to finish.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

13 comments so far

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3529 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 12:09 AM

Here is a pic of the shelf before I discovered the front rails were too long. I was oblivious to the pain that was coming.

And then the router episode – This piece was actually turning out OK – then I realized how Out of square it was. My fence had slipped. YAY!!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4772 days

#2 posted 03-16-2013 12:32 AM

I would be proud to have that fine piece of furniture in my home. If you hadn’t said a word, no one would know but you. You learned a lot and more importantly you learned how to blend the mistakes into a beautiful piece. Job Well Done. Bravo Zulu.


-- Scott, Irmo SC

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5559 days

#3 posted 03-16-2013 12:43 AM

Surely some piece of your treasure must have an ancient curse on it.

But you prevailed in the end, and it looks just beautiful!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Jpedi's profile


100 posts in 3400 days

#4 posted 03-16-2013 12:49 AM

Outstanding! Can you make me about 10 of ‘em same way? Hehe JUST kidding…. no matter what the process to get to the end product, ya done good!

View waho6o9's profile


9135 posts in 3917 days

#5 posted 03-16-2013 04:06 AM

Good job Mark, way to persevere and have a
beautiful Sentinel in your home.

I like the caps and the bead work as well.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4275 days

#6 posted 03-16-2013 04:37 AM

Despite all the setback, you made a fine piece Mark.
It must feel really sweet.

The finish looks great and the whole thing is really nice.

Great work

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View nonickswood's profile


570 posts in 3728 days

#7 posted 03-16-2013 11:28 AM

Mark that looks Great! despite all the anguish.
Job well done..

-- Nick, Virginia,

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3529 days

#8 posted 03-16-2013 01:33 PM

Thanks guys. Your comments are really encouraging. I’m off to finish the other.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3613 days

#9 posted 03-16-2013 02:53 PM


Just a few short months ago you shared your ‘Dumpster Find; Wood Gloat’ with us and now you share what you’ve transformed it into.

Your Sentinel Display Shelves are a wonderful addition, not only to your Familyroom but also to your Project Portfolio.
Expanding your skills, design capabilities, finishing techniques and your ability to overcome design modifications ‘on the fly’, strengthens your craftsmanship exponentially.
Your willingness to share your trials and tribulations along the way speaks volumes to your confidence and character.

Well done, great Blog and a ‘Wink and a Nod’ from Mother Nature for repurposing that found lumber.

Best Reards. – Len

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4207 days

#10 posted 03-16-2013 03:08 PM

It’s a beautiful piece and you did a nice job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 4171 days

#11 posted 03-16-2013 04:08 PM

Hats off to you Mark. It’s been a battle but you didn’t give up. Congrats!!!! It looks great!
It’s all a learning process. Learn from the mistakes and keep on keepiin on.
Now the second one should be a piece of cake…... ;^)
P.S BE CAREFUL !! and one more word…dry fit, dry fit, and dry fit…oops..more than one, but I’m sure you know what I mean….

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3529 days

#12 posted 03-16-2013 08:55 PM

Dry fit dry fit dry fit. I count one word there.

Gentlemen. Thank you for the very kind comments. I have one of my lumberjocks mentors and a home refurbers mentor weighing in. Your comments mean a lot. Thank you very much!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View KOVA's profile


1362 posts in 3719 days

#13 posted 03-17-2013 04:34 AM



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