Build a Corner Shelf Unit

Project Guide:

Estimated Time: 1 day
Cost: R600
Skill: 2
Assistant: No

*Half sheet 9mm ply; half sheet 3mm ply; 2.4m of 16mm quadrant; glue, small packet of 25mm panel pins (to attach the sides, top and base); finish of your choice – we selected a satin sheen PVA white. (*You won’t end up using all of your ply, but this will ensure you have sufficient should you make an error.)


  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • Sander
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper

*All materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find your nearest Mica and to enquire about availability, please go to, to use our store locator. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.


  1. This unit is 250mm along each side and 680mm high. The first step is to cut the upper and lower half-rounds. Set the router guide at 250mm, and the depth at a fraction less than 3mm – to avoid scoring your workbench top.
  2. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 1

  3. Inscribe the cut in the 3mm ply and use a craft knife to cut through the remaining 0.25mm or so of the ply. You will need two of these. Then reduce the diameter by 9mm and cut the two shelves – 240×240 and the inner reinforcing for the top and base – also 20mm.
  4. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 2

  5. Make up the sides from the 9mm ply, bearing in mind that the one will be 674x250mm and the other will be 674x241mm. When assembled, each side will then be 250x250x674mm. As shown here, the side 241mm wide is the one going down.
  6. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 3

  7. Glue the 250x250mm 3mm ply top and base to the sides, as shown (you can also use panel pins to reinforce the join, if you wish).
  8. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 4

  9. Then apply glue to the surfaces of two of the 241×241 half-rounds and glue them to the inner surfaces of the top and base. Hint: a piece of scrap ply makes a handy glue spreader as the fibres act like a brush.
  10. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 5

  11. To reinforce the joint between the sides, we stuck a strip of 16mm quadrant along the inner seam, and then cut to fit and glued lengths of 16mm quadrant for the shelf supports.
  12. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 6

  13. The shelves are spaced equidistantly – in this case about 220mm apart. Ensure that they are fitted accurately, otherwise the shelves will be distorted.
  14. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 7

  15. Before fitting the shelves, we removed the corner to a depth of 17mm – to account for the quadrant reinforcing the join between the sides, and also added a length along the under surface, to stiffen the shelf. (You can just see the corner cut-off in this picture. The quadrant along the edge is simply held there to ensure that we cut the stiffener quadrant to the right length – mitring each end at 45°.)
  16. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 8

  17. The completed unit.
  18. DIY Corner Shelf Unit Image 9