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Live Natural Edge Shelves With Steel Brackets

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

This is a step by step way to make steel brackets for live edge shelves. There are many ways to make the brackets, some times I make them out of wood, but this time I used some steel I had in stock in my shop. Materials that I used are 2″x 3/8″ flat bar, 1/2″ steel pipe, 2″x#8 wood screws, and some black Tremco hammered look paint.

Materials used to make live edge steel shelf brackets.

Flat steel bar and pipe

First thing I need to do is layout where the holes are going to be drilled, then where the pipe stubs are to welded. I cut the flat bar and the pipe on the band saw, then used the hand grinder to get the sharp edges off.

preparing steel for welding.

Cleaning up the steel

Now it’s time to drill 4 – 3/16″ holes in each flat bar. I also contersunk the holes with a 5/16″ drill bit.

drilling holes in steel for brackets.

Drilling holes in steel flat bar.

Now the welding begins. But not before we layout our marks on the steel so we get everything inline and straight. I keep the 3 flat bars tight together and use soapstone to draw the mark straight across all 3 bars. For the live edge slabs to sit flat, the pipes need to be welded all in a straight line, and be plunb and square. First the pipes are tacked with the mig welder to the flat bar. Then they need to be checked with a square. After the pipes are nice and straight it’s time to weld them on solid to the flat bar.

Welding live edged shelf brackets.

Welding

After the welding and the steel is cooled down I spray painted them with Tremco Hamered black paint. This paint works great for small projects like this, and it dries in around 10 minutes. Almost done, we need to make some marks on the wall now so the brackets will be level and straight. Now it’s time to screw the new steel brackets on the wall. This wall happens to be 1 inch thick pine, so I don’t need to find the wood studs. The #8 wood screws screwed into the 1 inch pine should be strong enough to hold my shop books and some wood turnings.

Installing live edge shelf brackets

Mounting steel brackets on the wood wall.

The live edge shelves are now installed on the Pine wall. I used 1″-1/4″ live natural edge Cherry wood that I cut on my sawmill last spring. The boards are not screwed to the brackets, I may do this later on. Black Cherry is one of my favorite woods to work with, it also gets darker with age. There are many ways to make brackets to hold and mount wooden shelving, the track brackets can be used with no welding involved, or you could make the brackets from wood. There are many times I use metal and wood together to build a project, it just depend on what I feel like useing at the time.

Live edge black cherry live edge shelves with steel brackets.

Cherry wood live edge shelves.

Making A Live Edge Bench With Steel Legs

February 21, 2015 2 comments
top for live edge wood bench

Sanding the wood slab

2 years ago I had a dead Elm tree that needed to be cut down, so that winter when the ground was still frozen I got the 361 Stihl chain saw out and chopped it up.
There’s not much wood that goes to waist here, all the small bits of wood were good for firewood to heat the wood shop and to make maple syrup.
The longer Elm logs were milled on the sawmill just this year into 1 inch and 2 inch live edge slabs.
Early this week I picked out a 2 inch Elm slab and welded up the steel legs for the new bench.
I used 2 inch steel square tubing for the legs.
After all the welding and grinding was finished, I sanded and wiped all the steel with varsol.
Paint was next after the primer, I used a semi gloss Black paint (3 coats).
I had already put the slab through the thickness planer so it was very flat on both sides.
Now it’s time for sanding the Elm.
I started with 150 grit then 180 to 220 and the last sand paper grit was 320.
Elm is a hardwood like Sugar Maple, but I like the grain much better in the Elm.

Sanding live edge lumber.

Sanding the edges of the slab

I know there is some nice Maple that has great looking grain and figure, but the Elm wood is just one of my favourite woods to work with.
Today I did all the finishing sanding, then put my finish on the bottom.
I screwed the steel legs onto the slab, and put 2 heavy soaking coats of tung oil on it.

Live edge bench with steel legs

Live edge bench now finished with Tung oil.

The live edge bench with the metal legs is now finished.