There’s no hex on this shelf

It looks a bit complicated, but it’s not, and this hexagonal shelf can grace any wall. Here’s how you make it.

But before we begin, the outer sides of this unit are 250mm, which gives outer dimensions of 435mm. if you want to make a larger or smaller version, we suggest get some stout cardboard – your local Mica should have a box or two you can have – and experiment to find the length of side you want for the particular size of shelf unit you want.

And we’re off…

Materials:

  1. SA pine one 2.4m length 22x96mm (naturally, if you want a deep or shallower unit then you would select timber of the appropriate dimensions. Likewise if you wish to make a large unit, then you need to take that into account when purchasing the length/s of timber
  2. Wood glue
  3. Picture hanger and screws
  4. Finish of your choice. For the time being we left this unit in it natural state, but of course you may wish to varnish or paint it.
  5. *Optional backing – 3mm hardboard; in this case we left off the backing as we wanted the wall behind to show through.
  6. You will need a roll of masking tape, at least 20-25mm wide, but wider is a better option as this will be used to hold the sides together during assembly.

Method:

  1. First mark off your sides – in this case, each one is 250mm.
  2. Set the mitre saw (or jigsaw if you use one) to an angle of 30° and cut each side. It is vital that you cut each side – if you are going for the equi-sided shape we have made – absolutely precisely to the same length.
  3. The six sides cut to 250mm. as you cut them, label them 1, 2, and so on, so that if you are going to varnish the unit, you will be able to match the grain.
  4. Lay the sides out sequentially, face down – note how the grain is matched.
  5. We used two offcuts for this unit; hence the slightly different colours, but when the upper one is sanded it will be the same colour as the lower one.
  6. To ensure that each side lines up exactly edge to edge, top and bottom, we used a piece of offcut to fix them in position temporarily.
  7. Then we applied the linking tape across each junction.
  8. Once all the junction 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 had been linked, we carefully rolled the unit into its shape, so that the end of side 6 met up with the start of side 1. Doing a dry fit like this confirms you have the sides all correctly cut and that the joins are flush and neat.
  9. Now, with the linking tape still in place, we rolled the sides out again and prepared to have a luggage strap ready to act as a securing band.
  10. We taped the sides of each join so that excess glue would not mar the inner surfaces of the unit.
  11. Applied the glue and rolled the sides up, just as we had done for the dry fit.
  12. Then we used the strap to secure the unit while the glue cured. Excess glue seeping out of the join could be collected and put back in the bottle – waste not, want not!
  13. We confirmed the sides were all level. As it turned out when the unit was check after the glue had cured and the straps and tape removed. As it turned out on the two diagonal axes, the unit measured 435mm and on the vertical, it measured 434mm – so almost a perfect result.
  14. Now for the central shelf. It is 455mm long, so we first trimmed one side, 30° from each edge, to create a mitred wedge of 60°.
  15. Like this.
  16. With the first mitred end just lodged in the far corner, we marked off the other end.
  17. Then we cut an identical 60° mitred wedge and dry fitted it… it is a good idea to use a length of timber slightly overlong so that you can trim and profile each end for an exact fit – as shown here. Glue is used to secure the join.
  18. The final step in this case was to add a picture hanger plate in the centre of the top of the unit. It is a good idea to bias the plate lower than having the screws on the centreline of the wood so that there is more wood above the screws than below. Placing them about 2/3 down from the top makes for a stronger join. If necessary, you can cut out a small rebate in the top edge of the shelf so that the head of the screw in the wall can slot through the rounded slot in the hanging plate.

The finished unit – effectively three surfaces for ornaments or whatever you wish to display. If you wish you can change the shape simply by making two of the adjacent sides far longer. This would create a lozenge shape.

Panel:

These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.

Project guide

  1. TIME: 1 day
  2. COST: R150
  3. Skill: 4
  4. Assistant: No 

Tools required:

  1. Jigsaw
  2. Mitre saw
  3. Strap clamp
  4. Luggage strap.