Curvy Wall Shelf

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Curvy Wall Shelf

A skill-building project to display treasured mementos

When I teach woodworking classes that focus on basic woodworking skills, I try to pick projects that require a variety of techniques and that develop both hand and power tool skills. Of course, it helps if the finished piece is attractive and useful, without requiring a major investment in materials. This curvy wall shelf meets these requirements nicely. Its sides and rails involve a bit of curve-cutting with a bandsaw or jigsaw, followed up by some fairing with a file and sandpaper. Cutting the joints teaches you how to efficiently and accurately rout dadoes using a shop-made guide that will be useful for lots of other projects as well. Sawing and fine-tuning the tongues is a great exercise in basic joint-fitting, and profiling the edges of the parts employs two different table-router techniques. For the final part of the lesson, you’ll learn how to rout keyhole slots to hang the unit, again using a simple shop-made jig that will prove its worth in many other projects. I made this particular shelf from cherry, but just about any wood will work. One suggestion: Consider making a pair of these, as the work on the second one will go quickly having set up operations for the first. My guess is that you won’t have any problem finding a taker for the twin.

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