The Mug Holder Shelf
Looking for a fast-selling item that's quick and easy to make? You just found it ! Here's an elegant and practical item that looks great in any kitchen, whether its décor is Early American or more traditional. For a more contemporary look, replace the arched top with a straight one and the shaker style pegs with straight, 1/2" diameter dowel rods glued into position at a slight angle.
For our example, we used red oak with oak shaker pegs…but you could just as easily make the Holder from a light-colored wood such as maple, birch or pine with birch shaker pegs…or, for a higher priced model, choose cherry or walnut with matching pegs you turn yourself on a lathe.
To build the project, you'll need a table saw with dado attachment, a disc sander and a drill press. As an option, a shaper or router set-up could be used to shape the edges of the project for added value.
If you're making our arch-topped model shown here, you'll also need a bandsaw or scroll saw. To save time when cutting the tops on the curved versions, you can stack four or five blanks together with double-sided tape and pad saw them all at once using your bandsaw.
1. Cut the backs (A) and shelves (B) to length using the table saw.
2. Change to a dado set-up and cut the 3/4" wide by 3/8" deep groove that holds the shelf. (NOTE: The width of this groove could change slightly, depending on the actual thickness of your wood)
3. Make a template for the back profile by transferring the (1" grid) pattern shown below to a piece of cardboard or hardboard (Masonite)…then flipping the pattern over to form the other half. Use this template to trace the profile onto your backs (A). Use a shop-made 2" radius circle template or compass to mark the lower corners of the back, and a similar 1/2" template for the front corners of the shelf (B). Cut out the back profile using your bandsaw or scroll saw. Be sure to feed your stock slowly through the cut to maintain accuracy.
4. Use a drum sander to smooth the curved top of the back…and a disc sander to smooth the two bottom radii and the two front corners of the shelf (B).
5. OPTIONAL: To increase the value of these shelves, you might consider shaping the edges of the back and shelf, using the Shopsmith Shaping Package or Pro Fence System Router Table. We suggest that you use a 3/16" cove and bead cutter with the Shaping Package or a 5/32" Roman Ogee bit if you're using the Router Table.
6. Lay out and use your drill press to bore the 1/2" dia. holes in the back for the pegs. Test fit one of the pegs to check for the proper hole depth.
7. Finish sand the shelf and back with 100-grit sandpaper.
8. Glue and clamp the shelf to the back. Glue the pegs into their holes.
9. For wall mounting, attach screw eyes and a picture hanging wire…sawtooth hangers or picture hanging tabs to the back. As an option, you could use a router with a T-Slot Bit to create hanging slots in the back side.
10. Apply the stain and cover coat of your choice. Suggested retail price: $25 to $30