How to cut a laminated wood shelf
Laminated wood is often used for furniture like shelves, tables, or chairs. Such products are typically very durable and can be kept safely indoors or outdoors. For this reason, many people buy custom-made laminated wood furniture; however, it can be difficult to find a professional to do the work.
By following these instructions, you will be able to cut and assemble your own laminated wood shelf without any prior experience with cutting or assembling wood.
Whether you are upgrading a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen, or just replacing an old broken shelf, adding a new laminated shelf to a room is usually a quick and easy process and will produce a fantastic end result, if done correctly, of course!
The first thing you will need to do is get hold of a piece of laminated wood; just make sure it is longer than the size you need. It is super easy to cut a piece off the end, but a long harder to try and stretch wood to fit a gap!
In order to cut a laminated wood shelf, the first step will be to lay out all of your tools and materials in a safe place where they will not be knocked over or damage the floor.
Remember, safety is always important when working with power tools! The next step will be to measure up the dimensions that you want your finished shelf to be.
This will determine how thick the wood needs to be. Then mark out this distance on each piece of board before using a pencil and craft knife (for more precise cuts) or circular saw (for faster cutting) to cut through each side of the board.
Here are the steps
1) Choose the size of your new shelf from those available at your hardware store or home center. They should come as standard lengths, but you may have some measuring to do if you want an odd length not offered by these vendors.
2) Cut two boards that will serve as the end pieces for each side of your new shelf according to the measurements you took in step 1 above. These boards will need to be wider than what they’ll end up being once cut because they’ll need to sit on top of the existing shelves and extend out to meet the ends of your new shelf.
3) Cut four pieces that will be the sides of your new shelf according to the measurements you took in step 1 above.
4) Gather all of your tools and materials in one place, making sure that no children or pets are in any danger of getting hurt. You can also cut through vinyl-coated particleboard (called MDF — medium-density fiberboard), which is often used for drawers, but it dulls saw blades faster than plain particleboard does.
A utility knife yields faster results; it cuts easily even when slowed by hardwoods like maple or oak. Lay two boards side by side in the right order for how you want them joined.
5) Make a pencil mark on the laminated wood shelf boards where they need to be cut. Then, use a circular saw or jigsaw to cut along your marks, running the tool slowly so it won’t splinter the edges of your new shelf.
6) Sand any rough spots at either end of the sides of your new shelf, then measure over 3″ from both ends and draw two lines with a pencil that are spaced 1/2″ apart all along one edge of each side piece.
7) Run a tape measure between marks to mark out an even indentation every 2″. Lay plywood scrap under this line (so you can sand it later), and score it with your utility knife.
8) Lay the sideboard lengthwise, so one edge butts against a wall, and the groove you just cut is facing up. Run a bead of carpenter’s glue along the bottom face where it will meet another board, then press everything together to distribute any excess glue. Clamp across both ends of each joint for at least an hour or two to let the glue dry completely before moving on to step 9 below.
9) Turn your glued-up sides around so that their grooved edges face down and line them up in front of what will be the back end piece of your new shelf unit, making sure they’re even all along their lengths. Place a scrap of plywood beneath this joint and clamp to hold securely. Drill at least two screws where the back and sides meet, making sure they’re no more than an inch from the ends of your side boards and running them in along the same diagonal as the corner joint.
10) Lay out both end pieces for your new shelf unit with their grooved edges facing up, and their fronts flush against each other. Use a pencil to mark a line around one side, then break apart the two pieces and drill screw holes as you did between the back piece and glued-up sides in step 9 above.
Clamp these pieces together again if necessary after marking lines, drilling holes, and adding screws all along that marked edge. Then repeat this process on the opposite end of the assembled frame before finally drilling any screws into the unassembled face of either end piece.
11) Flip your assembled frame over so you can see what faces down. If you’re using plywood, cut it to size and attach it to the bottom of your new shelf with 1-1/4″ brad nails or 8d finish nails. For particleboard or MDF, cut that sheet material to size and attach it with 1-1/4″ brad nails or 5d finish nails. Use a countersink drill bit to make sure each nail head is below the surface before you move onto step 12 below.
12) Sand everything which will be visible on the finished unit — including sides, top, bottom if you made one, back, and face — until everything’s smooth – sanding them flush with a hand block or finer-grit sandpaper if you drilled holes. Make sure to remove any pencil marks as well if you only want the shelf unit to have a clean edge on all four of its sides.
13) Fill any holes from drilling or sawing with toothpicks soaked in wood glue, then sand those spots once they dry. Next, run a damp rag over your finished shelf unit before finishing it with paint, clear coat, stain, felt pads for table legs on the bottom of one sideboard so that the new shelf stands away from the wall an inch or so when placed against it, or however else you choose to customize your new piece of furniture exactly to your taste.
This guide provides a detailed step-by-step process on how to cut and assemble a laminated wood shelf. By following these instructions, you can create your own customized furniture piece that is perfect for your home.