A few weeks before Christmas, I decided to make this wood Christmas tree-shaped shelf by Ana White. I would consider myself a beginner in woodworking, and right around the time I started working on the angled cuts with the chop saw, I firmly agreed that “Intermediate,” as the project tagged is tagged, is definitely appropriate.
This was my shopping list:
- 12 ft. 1×3 pine boards
- 1/4″ plywood about 6″ x 15″
- 1-1/4″and 3/4″ brad nails
- 3 hooks; I bought a pack of 18 on Amazon
- Acrylic Paint by Craft Smart in Campground
Technically, I had a 16-foot board, so as if this project wasn’t too complicated already, I decided to shrink the shelf plan enough that I could make two shelves! Whyyyyyyy…..
Anyway, I already had these supplies and equipment:
- Measuring tape
- Chop saw
- Circular saw
- Brad nailer
- Orbital sander and sandpaper
- Protective gear
- Wood filler
If you look at the plans linked above, you’ll see allllll the bevels. This project was not only my first time making a bevel cut, but it was also my first time using a chop saw. Go big or go home, right? The problem is, I didn’t allow for the width of the saw blade and measured everything ahead of time, so some of my cuts were WAY off.
This post should be titled, “How I Almost Threw a Project in the Garbage Three Times But Ended up Finishing It and It Looks Fine Now,” but that was kinda long.
I’m not exaggerating on the cuts being off:
You know what else is difficult for beginners? Successfully shooting brad nails on an angle. By the time the first shelf was finished, it looked like the guy from Hellraiser. I’m not kidding. Thankfully, I’m pretty handy with snips and wood filler.
Can you see yet why these shelves almost made it to the scrap wood pile in the garage?
But then, suddenly they looked OK:
Here’s the shelf I painted gray:
I glued on some small scrap pieces from the bevel cuts in the top triangle gaps, filled with wood filler, and then painted, and you almost couldn’t see the errors.
I distressed the green shelf, which hid the imperfections even more. Once the hooks were on and I decorated the shelves, I actually really liked it and am glad I stuck with this project.