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Hexagon Shelf – a DIY shelf project

When family is in town, what better way to spend time together than working on a Hexagon Shelf Project for our little baby girl. When I was young I used to help my father with some projects around the house. Sometimes it was installing flooring, or building a shed, or painting. Sometimes it was really boring work that I didn’t Completed Hexagon Shelfwant to do because I was a brat (you know, like every kid). But I’ve always had fond memories of working late, ordering pizza, and finishing a project late into the night … Maybe that’s why I work that way sometimes?

When my parents came to visit for the week, my wife & I thought it would be a good idea to have them help with building a few of the projects that we’ve been planning for our little one’s room. We really wanted to install some shelves for all the books that we already have for her to read. She has so many books!

I searched on Pinterest (as I usually do for inspiration) and I came across some awesome looking Hexagon shelf designs. They came in every size and colour … so obviously I had no choice but to test out a few designs in my 3D CAD software to get approval from the wife.

This looks like a simple project, but it turns out it is a little more geared to the Moderate-Advanced DIY-er. As you can see from the Material/Tool list below, you’ll need quite a bit of stuff. If you’ve been doing this kind of project for a while, you should have most, if not all, of these things already.

 

The Inspiration:

I found a few of these Hexagon Shelf Designs on Pinterest. None of them were exactly as I wanted them, but I could use them for inspiration. For instance, I like the idea of having different sized hexagons. I also liked just having a few hexagons bunched together, but not all connected. The white trim at the front was also a nice touch. You can check out my Pinterest board for our little girl’s room here: https://www.pinterest.ca/DropbobDesigns/marina-room/

My Design:

I’ve created a PDF drawing for my design, for anyone who wants to use it. Please do reference my blog if you do:

The Materials:

The Tools:

    • Hand Saw (circular) – Best to use a Mitre Saw for the 30deg cuts, but I didn’t have one
    • Band Saw (I used this as an alternative to a mitre saw for the 30deg cuts)
    • Cordless Drill – (Or Drill press if you have one)
    • Drill bit 5/64″ (for the deck screws)
    • Drill Bit 15/32″ (for the nut insert)
    • 1″ Spade Bit (for the Cap screw connections)
    • 3/4″ drill or spade bit (for the Cap screw connections)
    • Countersink – I bought these and loved them: RYOBI 2 Pc Countersink (1/2 Inch + 5/8 Inch)
    • #2 roberson drill bit (for the deck screws)
    • Phillips drill bit (for the machine screws)
    • Socket Wrench (for the Cap screw connections)
    • 3/4″ Socket (for the Cap screw connections)
    • Hand Orbital sander
    • 40 Grit & 150 Grit sand paper
    • Painting accessories of your choice (recommend any small roller and brush)

The Build:

Wood pieces

The first step is to cut all the boards to the correct length. In this case, you don’t actually need to be exact, you just need to make them all identical. Even if you cut them shorter or longer than you need, the hexagon will just get bigger or smaller with your measurements. But do make sure to cut straight and level. This is important!

Wall Connections

Once all the pieces are cut, I marked the Holes to be drilled, then countersunk at 2″ from the edge of each board (2 screws per board). You should mark them so that they are dead center of the attaching board piece. This should be about 3/8″ from the bend edge. Your countersink should be deep enough to hide the screw entirely. The idea is that you don’t want any of the fasteners to be visible (except the ones you want to make visible). Note: the boards are all cut at 30-deg angles (like a trapezoid) and one board is always placed on top of the other in the same pattern throughout. I’ve seen it where the boards are sometimes butted against each other with a perfect cut right in the middle but this is a weaker type of connection and should be avoided (example shown here).

Once your Hexagon Shelf looks like a bunch of Hexagons, it’s time to add the fasteners that will tie the whole system together. You’ll need to add the 4x 1/4-20 Wood Insert Nuts on the outside of the Hexagon right where the next hexagon will connect with it. This way the Furniture brace bracket is fully hidden when completed. The bracket will be right behind the hexagon that is next to it (you can this on the third image above).
Inter-Connections

The other thing you want to do (probably right before you finish putting each Hexagon Shelf together is drill out the connecting holes between shelves. You should use the 1″ spade bit before you drill out the 3/4″ hole so that the spade bit does not vibrate everywhere (I made that mistake). The spade bit should counter-bore your hole deep enough to make the Hex Head Cap Screw heads nice and flush (the Nuts may stick out a little depending on what kind you got, I suggest getting the thin versions if you can find them – Probably only at Fastenal).

The finishing

After you have all the proper holes and connection hardware installed, its time for sanding and painting! These are my least favorite things to do … So I let my Dad do that … He did a great job with the sanding and painting. We painted the insides Red (two coats to POP) and The outside white (one coat to see the wood finish).

The smaller ones (these are 8″ diameter) were a pain in the ass. These were harder to work with because we had very little access with our large tools. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we made them. They are super cute, and the perfect size for our little girl. But if you don’t need to make them, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache.

The finished product

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