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Project Information

For my latest project, I wanted to build something and stain it, rather than painting it like I have done for all my previous projects. I decided to build a standalone shelving unit to put into my closet and hold all my shoes. To make things interesting, I figured I'd also try to use biscuit joinery as much as possible, like I did with pocket-hole joinery on my last project (http://ericdennis.com/content/project-pottery-barn-inspired-bookcase).

I chose to use 1/2" maple plywood instead of 3/4" to keep the weight down, and I used solid maple for the face frames. I ended up using biscuit joinery everywhere except for the face frames: they were just too small for biscuits, so I used my pocket hole jig on the frames.

I started by laying out and cutting all the pieces, then I cut the
biscuit slots. In hindsight, I would have saved time by routing a
simple groove for the upright pieces, as the biscuits made them
unnecessarily difficult. Here are some of the cut pieces:


After cutting pieces and biscuit slots, I stained everything, then applied three coats of water-based polyurethane, sanding between each coat with 220 grit. I decided to stain and finish as much as possible before assembly, and now I see why everyone recommends against it. It was very difficult to get everything assembled without marring the finish, and any glue really shows up on top of the finish, so you have to be very vigilant about cleaning up the glue. Here are some stained, unfinished pieces:


After a dry fit, I started glue-up:




After all the plywood was glued up, I started on the face frames:


And finally, after the face frames were assembled, stained and polyurethaned, I put everything together to get the final product:



Some things I learned from this project:
  • You can never have too many clamps
  • Clean glue up quickly
  • Stain after assembly
  • Squaring your table saw is very important

More pictures are available at http://www.ericdennis.com/gallery2/v/projects/shoeorganizer/.

Gallery

Comments

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16,431 Posts
Looks good!

I made something similar for my daughter, and it was a real bear.

I have two observations:

1) You sure have a lot of shoes for a guy.
2) You must have some really big feet, 'cause that thing is pretty deep. :)
 

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223 Posts
Very cool project. Thanks for the in depth process you outlined. My wife would love something like that if it only had 6 times as many cubby holes. :)
 

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6 Posts
> 1) You sure have a lot of shoes for a guy.
> 2) You must have some really big feet, 'cause that thing is pretty deep. :)

Actually, the reason I made it so deep is because I don't have enough shoes to fill it. :) For the cubbies without shoes in them, I am storing clothes, etc., so I figured I'd make it deep to make sure I had enough room to store lots of other stuff in there. I also am using the top as a storage surface, so the extra depth gave me more usable area there as well.
 

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2,153 Posts
That would be more than enough space for me, my wife on the other hand, would have to grease up the sides and bottom of each cubical to get all of her shoes stuffed in there. Nice job. Thanks for the post.
 
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