How to build a boat shelf.

Hi there. This is my second instructable and I hope you enjoy it. These boat shelves add a nice rustic touch to any room. A very nice place to showcase your pictures or collectibles.

Step 1: Materials...

How to build a boat shelf.
How to build a boat shelf.

Hi there. Here is my take on a rustic boat shelf for roughly $40. I hope you enjoy this project. You will need:

5 1x4x6 foot pine

2 strips of floor underlay plywood 1/4 inch cut to 12 inches wide and 52+ inches long

Wood glue

Your choice of Paint for the outside

Clear varathane for the inside

Wood screws


First you must cut 2 1 foot pieces off of 3 of the 6 foot 1x4s for the shelves. On the table saw, rip a 2 inch strip off of 1 of the 1x6s and with what is left over, rip 4 1/2 inck pieces. Save what is left as you can use the rest for another project.

Step 2: The glue up.....

How to build a boat shelf.

Using bar clamps, glue 4 1x4x4 foot pieces together with the 2 inch strip in the centre to get the back of the shelf. This will give you exactly 2 feet across. Also, glue 2 1 foot sections together (x3) to give you 3 shelves. Once the glue dries, cut the shelves down so that their width is 10 inches deep. This will allow for our side rails to fit in nicely later on. I left the base full width for a bit of stability but that is up to you.

Step 3: Creating the curve....

How to build a boat shelf.

On the top of your now 2 foot by 4 foot glue up, mark centre and put a finishing nail into it. Now, measure 2 feet down the sides and put a finishing nail as close to the outer edge as possible. By using a piece of thin wood, yard stick etc. place it on one side of the top nail and flex it around the other. This will give you the exact curve on both sides.

Step 4: Curves drawn...

How to build a boat shelf.

With the curves drawn and your shelf placement drawn, your ready to cut.

Step 5: Cut the curves...

How to build a boat shelf.

Using a jig saw, cut the curves. After they are cut sand the back of your shelf until smooth. You can also just leave it to give it a rustic look if you choose but I like it sanded.

Step 6: Shelves...

How to build a boat shelf.

Once cut, sand your shelves. One of your shelves will need to have its sides cut on an angle as it will be near the top and into the curve of the boat. To get this angle, roughly place it in it's location and mark it with a pencil. Set your table saw/mitre saw to that angle.

Step 7: Attach shelves and sides.....

How to build a boat shelf.

Secure your shelves in place by using wood glue and screws through the back. Once the shelves are in place, run the strips of plywood up the sides and measure exactly the length. Depending on your curve, your plywood has to be cut accordingly. Mine came out to 52 1/8 inches long. Once cut to proper size, glue and nail your plywood sides on. I used an air nailer but it is not necessary. Clamp the top where the sheets meet. you can use a 1x1 inch piece of scrap to nail into or you can use a glue gun to hold them together if you wish.

Step 8: Rails.....

How to build a boat shelf.

Using clamps, first glue the inside rails on. You have to measure the length first and cut them accordingly. Once dry, measure and cut the outers. Using your clamps again, glue and clamp the outer rails on.

Step 9: Completing your shelf....

How to build a boat shelf.

If you look closely at the picture, you can see I added a piece at the nose and 2 gussets at the base. This is purely for looks and is optional. I painted mine blue but you can choose whatever color you like. Forest green looks very nice. I put 2 coats of clear varathane on the inside. This shelf is 4 feet high. I have seen 7 foot shelves sell for $450 at a local craft store. You can use this instructable as a guide and make a 7 footer if you choose. I hope you enjoyed my instructable. Thanks for looking.


Tag cloud

make build easy simple arduino making homemade solar laser printed portable cheap mini building custom cardboard wooden create super lego turn paracord chocolate your paper light intel