The North Shore Shelf and End Tables

I am always filled with gratitude when a client asks me to design and build a special piece or pieces. Such was the case last fall, when I began to build The North Shore Shelf and accompanying side tables for a very special couple. The shelf was to be the new “home” to display their lovely collection of Swedish crystal, and would reside in their beautiful house on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Because white birch is a prominent indigenous tree to the area, we collectively decided that the shelf would be made from white birch. The side tables were to be made from cherry (a theme in the room), and maple (also indigenous to the area).

The trailer is loaded with birch, cherry, and maple, ready for transport to the North Light Studio.

Below, the lumber is spending two weeks “alone,” acclimating in the studio.

Here, one can see the lumber, having been planed and cut into 30 16” wide panels.

Next, I built the leg scaffold and the legs.

Mortises are cut into each panel piece for joinery, and the vertical part of the build commences.

All the parts must be square – always!

Everything is cut and dry-fit—no glue until it measures well and looks good!

Before I can apply finish to The North Shore Shelf, I must build the cherry and maple side tables.

After planing and jointing, I made the panels for the tops and bases of the tables.

Almost ready for a dry-fit test.

The dry-fit. 🙂

The patrons really liked the look of Georgian cherry; I have to admit, it is a very rich color!

Once everything is assembled and glued, it is time for the finish. In this case, we have chosen tung oil. Tung oil requires more time than some other finishes, but I like it because I can control the luster with ease.

The day after Christmas, we delivered and installed the shelf and tables. It was a splendid occasion! 🙂

Panorama images help to show context!

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© North Light Art Furniture • Douglas Nimmo, Designer/Builder/Principal
Plymouth • Minnesota • 55442 • 507.382.2129 •