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Thread: New Shelves from Reclaimed Maple Tree

  1. #1

    New Shelves from Reclaimed Maple Tree

    My wife asked me to make a couple of shelves for her to display the candles she makes, so I thought this would be a good project to use for my first use of the PC 2210 dovetail jig, so I joined the sides to the top and bottom using the half-blind dovetails, and I inserted the shelves using dovetail dados/sliding dovetails.

    The wood is from a silver maple tree that I cut out of our back yard. The color (ambrosia maybe?), figure, and spalting is pretty impressive, IMHO, and I chose to feature some of the character of the wood in this piece by keeping the live edge in some areas. Instead of using all maple, the shelves are poplar with maple faces on the front, and I happened to find some great plywood that actually has some spalting, and included this as the back panel by recessing it in a rabbet. The finish is 4 coats of orange shellac, buffed out with a scotchbrite pad.

    For some reason, some of the pics make it look like the shelves are not parallel. I assure you this is an optical illusion. This project took me about 4 evenings, start to finish, to choose and prep the wood, cut the dovetails, and assemble with the shelves. I think it came out pretty well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Shelves 4.jpg   Shelves 5.jpg   Shelves 2.jpg   Shelves.jpg  

  2. #2
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Great job Homer!
    One thing for sure, you couldn't buy book cases that nice. You would have to make them or have them made.

    Beautiful Work!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Zushi, Japan

    Those shelves are beutiful. Harvested in the backyard and milled in your own workshop, gotta love that. And the grain is spectacluar.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Very nice Homer, now let's see it full!!

    So, did you earn some points with your lovely wife on that project?

    Nice work!!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Those came out great, Homer. That's some pretty wood indeed, and knowing it was self-harvested makes it that much better when your great-great grandkids are deciding who gets to keep it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  6. #6

    Great stuff! Like the natural edge a lot, thanks for the post!


  7. #7
    Thanks, everyone! I'll try to get some pics of the shelves when they are filled. My wife will be using this in her display for her storefront, so I'll have her take some pics when they are set up.

    She has already used the shelves at a couple of shows, and she had several woodworkers come by and rub the wood, especially at the dovetail joint, and ask where she got it. I definitely earned some brownie points on this one, since my wife rememebers playing around this tree when she was a little girl, as does her mother.

    The great thing is that I had this tree milled at the same time that I had a black cherry tree milled, and the sawyer said he really like the cherry, but that I was probably wasting my money on the maple! If I had to choose, I'd probably take the maple, especially after I priced out boards of this figure at the local hardwood store.
    Last edited by Homer Faucett; 02-07-2007 at 12:34 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Hi Homer,
    You did really Good on those shelves, and that wood is so beautiful coupled with the fact that your wife and her mother have known that wood from a standing tree. A real super success. congratulations.
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