Shaker Hanging Shelf

February 15, 2021

Latest Post My epic journey from Orchard to Orchard by Owen Soule

Ah yes, that rare unicorn of the Soule Designs forest has finally returned after years of hibernation, the elusive woodworking blog post! This is a pretty small project, just enough to tackle in my down time over the Christmas holiday this past year. Let’s start with a picture of the unfinished piece, know around these parts as “Shaker hanging shelf”.

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It's a shelf that hangs from Shaker peg rail!

The drive behind this project came after I remodeled our laundry room during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020. We replaced some cabinets and made a bit more space along with adding a fresh coat of paint. I also installed the utilitub pictured above, but unfortunately we had no place to put paper towels. We use paper towels when cleaning dog feet after a walk, washing hands, etc. My stopgap solution was that plank of wood across the tub but I always knew there had to be a better way. Enter the Shaker hanging shelf!

Luckily, during the laundry room remodel I put Shaker peg rail all around the perimeter of the room for coats, hats, and anything/everything that can be hung. After a bit of research I found some interesting real world Shaker hanging candle sconces that piqued my interest:

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Image from Colonial Sense

With the above website as a guide, I doodled my own plans for a two peg hanging shelf to rest above the utilitub.

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Just like drawing comics, most projects start with a rough idea...

The next step was refining my plans and drawing them to scale, and what better way to overcomplicate that process than to head to Maya 3D and make a model! That's just how I operate - and here is that 3D model of the Shaker hanging shelf:

 

 

With a plan in hand, I was off to buy wood and start construction. I opted for 1/2" poplar hobby boards from Home Depot to somewhat match the originals from Colonial Sense - plus it was pretty much all I could easily find in a 1/2" hardwood. Obligatory constructions pictures incoming!

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All pieces ripped & cut to length, rough fit here.

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To scale profile templates created from my 3D model.

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Profile template transferred to a side piece.

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Side piece profile cut with a jigsaw.

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Laying out the peg holes on the hanging pieces.

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All profiles cut, time to build!

Moving onto joinery. Initially I had visions of dovetails or tongue and groove joints brining these pieces together, but in the end I didn't want to sink that time into the project so I opted for brad nails and glue.

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Bradded and glued together.

To finish up I applied a black cherry oil based stain and then some high build water based polyurethane.

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The stain takes on an interesting purple hue over the green-ish poplar.

And that wraps up this project - lots of work, photos and words for a small shelf to hold paper towels? Absolutely. What's that you say, "Hey dummy, why didn't you just get a cheap-ass $10 paper towel holder from Amazon?"

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Too easy...

Once again, overcomplicating is kind of my thing. Plus this holds other stuff too, like battery chargers, running headlamps, etc. Excellent!

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Much better :-)
Owen Soule

Published February 15, 2021