Circular Shelf Unit 2015

Prototype is full diameter, but shallower than the final piece.
Prototype is full diameter, but shallower than the final piece.

This project may be the ultimate proof that I’m a form over function person. I wanted to create an enclosed book cabinet to house my precious Lost Art Press (  offerings. Some of them are large format and my favorites tend to be quite heavy as they are printed on very high quality stock with top-notch bindings.

As I pondered the shape of this case, I saw a segmented cylinder with proud spacers in a FWW Gallery image. “Hmmm, well, that looks very cool. Something like that could go on top of my book cabinet.” As I explored the shape, I decided to make it into a shelf unit roughly 24 inches in diameter. Having open shelves, I would not use it for long-term book storage, but in time some utility could be found.

I created a full diameter, but shallow prototype of poplar to figure out joinery, sequencing and feasibility. I decided to use walnut for the segments and Pitch Black milk-painted poplar for shelves and accents. I used 8/4 walnut for the segment blanks. Yes, there will be lots of left over material from this build. Cut the board to roughly 7-1/2 x 10 inches, marked sequentially (as they came off the long boards), then matched and marked for the 15 inch deep segments.

I stacked them and put into position to verify positioning and my labeling. It will be very easy to become confused when working on these elements in various positions and orientations.

Next up will be marking the curves and location of loose tenons.