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Thread: Project Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Exeter, CA

    Project Question

    I just put up my new wall mounted big screen. It's cool, but anyway...

    I want to make a floating shelf
    54 x 16 x 2.25

    I think I'm going to do this by using 3/4" plywood, cutting out 3 shelves, gluing them together, then finishing with some veneer. I've previously refinished a LOT of furniture, but want to start building my own projects. Initially I wanted to make a floating entertainment center, but since I've never really "built" anything of my own, and never dealt with veneer, I decided this way would still look really good, and be a little bit safer for my first effort. All flat surfaces, the front being 2.25 thick will be easier than the 3/4 " edges that would have been on the other project.

    My question is this..

    1. Is my thinking sound as far as gluing the boards and making my first easier to apply the veneer?

    Yes I thought about using veneered plywood, but I want to use some different veneer, something semi unique. I really wanted to use the plyboo bamboo plywood, that stuff wouldn't need anything even on the front edge, but it's not really available where I live.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    My $0.02 would be to use 2 * 3/8" thick pieces with a wooden frame around the outside edges to hold the two pieces together. This has the advantage of being substantially lighter and mounting something like this to the wall is actually one of the bigger challenges. The hollow form also opens up a lot of mounting options.

    I'm thinking something roughly like this:
    Although instead of making the solid wood pieces the actual outside like they did you could certainly just put them only on the inside of the two plywood panels flush with the outside edge of the plywood and apply a veneer to the combined edge. That also has the advantage that the solid wood pieces don't have to be all that well done in comparison (given limited tools that's always nice). I'd probably half lap the corners for strength if you put all the wood inside the panels. The main challenge would be to avoid any gaps in the joins so the veneer will go down smooth so maybe something like Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty might work there (tape off the top/bottom so you don't get any on those or they'll show it when you put the finish on)

    (I'll defer the veneering part to the veneerers cause my veneerifing skills are pretty dubious).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Add another 2 vote for a hollow shelf as opposed to a chunk of solid plywood. A 2 1/4" thick slab of plywood the size you've described is gonna weigh about 30 pounds, and that's going to be a bear to mount securely to a wall, especially since you'd be cantilevering 16" of it out into the room. Because of the cantilevering forces, a 30 pound floating shelf is harder to hang securely than a 100 pound flat screen TV. Also, as Ryan mentioned, the hollow box offers more and better (more secure) hanging options.

    That said, it sounds like a fun project to try veneering on.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Agree. A veneered torsion box type assembly hanging from a cleat of some of these would cut your weight. You probably plan to put something on the shelf and you don't want it to be at capacity just under its own weight. This may help too.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-09-2015 at 01:31 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Exeter, CA
    Thank you guys so much. A box it is. An to the gentleman with the link to the braces, uh THANK YOU. I found those on ETSY for 75$ lol wow that guy is killing it.

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