Oak shelf for our living room

We wanted to have a custom size shelf in our living room as an eye catcher and storage mainly for child books often read by our daughter. It should stand on high legs to give room for toy boxes below.

As an eye catcher I decided to go for half-blind dovetails. To get them done in a good quality I made use of a Sauter FD600 trim guide system. It takes some time to properly adjust everything but then it's pretty easy to get solid results.

After drilling holes in a 32mm raster I glued up the outer parts. The dovetails fit was pretty tight. Also the temperature and humidity dropped significantly during that build making the wood bend a bit. That made it pretty hard to get the pieces together. I had to use a lot of clamping power. But eventually I succeeded. In hindsight I should have had less time between trimming the dovetails and gluing them up. And also the fit should have been a bit more loose. But in the end it worked.

I used a piece of scrap wood to prevent the dovetails edges to break while pressing things together.

The next task was to make the middle board that should come with a dovetail as well to stabilise the construction against wood movement. While making the groove was pretty easy it took me a while to get the dovetail shape right on the board. What worked for me was using my router with an edge guide and moving it over the edge of the board while it was fixed on the workbench flush with the front face of the bench. This way I could use the bench as a surface extension to prevent the router from tilting. That worked well.

Testing the fit with a scrap piece.

It again was pretty hard to get the board in. I started by using clamps to press it in. But this didn't work anymore after the board was in for 2/3. Slightly panicking I decided to take a big hammer and hammer it in (with a protective scrap piece indeed). It was close for me to give up and remove the piece again before the glue dried. But I finally managed to get it in place by applying quite some force with the hammer.

Finished sanding and edging

Colored oil finishes testing


Legs: https://superfront.com/de/moebelfuesse/leg-slender-high-brass

Oil finish: https://www.osmo.de/en/finishes/interior-finishes/finishes-for-kitchen-worktops/topoil/ (with matte white colour)