My New Blog: TF Workshop

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Building and Installing the Soffit Shelf

I fabricated the shelf that goes around the kitchen soffit. I glued and air-nailed 1/8 cherry plywood to a center core of 1/2 maple plywood. I left the center set back as shown to allow of it to mount to the strips I attached to the soffit.

Here are a couple of pictures of the strips. These are poly glued and air-nailed with 1.5 inch nails. I used a little marking fixture to mark the bottom of the strips all the way around before trying to mount them.

When I mounted the shelves on the strips (tapped it in place with a mallet), I had the unexpected result of having them stay up on their own. Once I put the 45 degree corner peice in place, it became very solid.

I had to basically build the corner piece in place, buy marking, cutting, then hand planing the pieces to fit. If everything were perfect, the piece would have 22.5 degree sides. In this case, they ended up being 21 on one site and 24.5 on the other. It takes a little while to get a good fit, but having tight joints is worth it.

Here are the shelves installed - I still need to put the front trim strip on, which will be dadoed to help provide good support, and allow me to blind nail it.

I have some cast iron 90 degree brackes I will put on top the shelves to reinforce them, and add some decoration.

Here is a picture of the kitchen - getting close to complete.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful shelves! Do you have any recent picture? I want to see how the shelves look with all the "stuff" on them. Do they seem to close in the kitchen or does it ever feel like it lowered the ceiling? I want to do something similar but am hesitant....

Green Machine said...

I'd love to know how you figured out that 1.5 inch nails wouldn't puncture the air duct in the soffit? Also, it's unclear how you attached the shelves to the strip you put up. It does not look like the shelves are sitting on top of the strip from the photos, so did you nail the boards up into the strip? That doesn't seem sufficient to hold the weight!

I'm looking to do this myself but certainly have a few questions!

Troy Farwell said...

The shelf has a slot in the back of it that goes over the strips I nailed up. It's glued and tacked from above, so it looks like its seamless from the bottom.