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How to Build a Wall-Mounted Buffet Shelf

Build a wall-mounted shelf to hold decorative items. Follow these step-by-step instructions.


1x4 and 1x2 oak lumber
1/2" dowels
wood glue
glue brush
drill press
biscuit joiner
220-grit sandpaper
toggle bolts


1. The front panel of the featured project is six feet long and made out of two pieces of 1x2 for the top and bottom plus two carved panels made of pieces of 1x4. The dowel section is filled in with seven dowels cut an inch longer than the finished opening so 1/2 inch on each end of the dowels can be buried in the top and bottom pieces of framing.
2. Once the position of the dowels has been determined and marked in the top and bottom 1x2s, drill the holes using a drill press to make sure they're vertical.
3. For the diamond designs, mark the center of the two 1x4 boards with an X, and then draw a 7-1/2-inch diamond using a straightedge. Inset the second diamond 1/2 inch, and then use a chisel to score around the lines with the flat side out. With the chisel at a slight angle, remove pieces of the wood until the diamonds are complete. Sand lightly to remove the pencil lines and smooth the designs.
4. Cut the top and bottom framing pieces and the diamond panels for joining with a biscuit joiner. First, mark the location of the biscuits on the front face of the framing and the diamond panels. Line the biscuit joiner up to the pencil marks and quickly push the blade in to cut the grooves for the biscuits.
5. To put all the pieces together, add glue to the dowel holes and the grooves for the biscuits in the bottom framing piece. Add glue to the biscuits and insert them in the grooves. Slide the diamond panels into place. Next, insert the dowels into the bottom framing piece. Continue until all the pieces are in position; add the biscuits to the top of the diamond panel, and then slowly work from one end to add the top framing piece, dowel by dowel, biscuit by biscuit (this is the trickiest part of this whole procedure).
6. Slide the side pieces for the ends into position after applying glue to the sides that will touch wood. When everything is in place, clamp the panel pieces together and wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth.
7. Cut a board for the back mounting piece to the same dimensions as the completed front panel. Cut about four wood supports to fit between the front and back panels for stability along the underside and cut the two end pieces. Secure the pieces together using wood glue and screws (secure the top from underneath to hide the screws).
8. Fish as desired and attach the unit to the wall with toggle bolts once dry.

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