Michael A. Shelley's

Stuff Made of Wood


Corner Shelf (2002)

1/2" plywood and poplar, oak stain with urethane varnish

approx. 8" x 10"

Pattern from Spielman and Reidle's "Scroll Saw Fretwork Patterns." One of my first projects that came out half-decent.


Fish (2002)

1/4" birch plywood, unfinished

approx. 3" long

This is what you do when you get frustrated with cutting out intricate Christmas tree ornaments that don't come out right. These are actually pretty neat, but I don't know what to do with them yet. Design is from Dan Geary's "Getting the Very Best From Your Scroll Saw" - which is a good book to have.

I've also used the animal patterns from the same book cut from 1/16" plywood and painted bright colors to make a mobile.


Mantel Clock (2002)

1/2" oak and 1/4" birch plywood, urethane varnish

approx. 12"

While I'm not wild about the miter joints or the finishing, or the placement of the face marks, this came out okay. We needed a mission-style clock in oak to match some furniture, so I designed and built this one.

The movement is a standard AA-battery model available from a number of sources - probably Wildwood Design in this case.


Plate Stand (2002)

1/2" Cherry, wax finish

approx. 12" tall

Made as a Christmas gift for my mother, who paints plates better than I make stands for them. Actually, I'm fairly pleased with the result on this one. The design is my own, inspired vaguely by Celtic knotwork patterns.

Putting a wax finish on fretwork is a pain. Spray lacquer is the way to go for this type of work.


Pen Stand 1 (2002-3)

1/4" Oak, spray lacquer finish

approx. 5" tall

I've made these out of oak, walnut, and scrap plywood. The walnut was particularly nice, but I don't have photos of it as someone actually gave me $20 for it.

I'd been looking for some kind of pen display stand and couldn't find anything, so I made one. The design is rather mechanical, as I was looking at a lot of Victorian-style machinery and steam engines at the time.


Pen Stand 2 (2003)

(removed due to ugliness)


Intarsia Sun (2003)

Pine and poplar, dye and spray lacquer

11" diameter

From Cherry Tree pattern 41-585. (You can search for it yourself.) Clock movement is optional. My first attempt at intarsia, which involves lots of trimming with the scroll saw and the conversion of about half of your wood into sawdust. (I used a 1" belt sander.) Dye is Woodburst yellow with a bit of orange. Useful tip: add dark color to light, not light color to dark. I've got half a bottle of too-dark orangey-yellow that I can't use. I'm actually pretty pleased with how this came out.


Bassoon Reed Box (2003)

1/4" Walnut, 1/8" Basswood, spray lacquer finish

approx. 2.5" x 3.5"

Holds three baroque bassoon reeds (barely.) The lid isn't really hinged, but it was supposed to be. Slight problem with brads splitting the 1/8" thick lid. Maybe I'll fix it someday and use hinges like I should have in the beginning. I remembered a neat trick for getting decent miter corners on this one - stack two adjacent sides together, flip one, and sand them at the same time. That way they match even if they aren't exactly 45 degrees.


Monkey Mobile (2003)

1/4" Walnut, Purpleheart, Cherry, and Oak (I think), spray lacquer finish

approx. 24" x 9"

Made for one of my nieces. Fishing line was used to suspend the monkeys from the crossarms at top. It's a hassle; I'll use black thread next time. The monkey pattern was adapted from those used in Barrel of Monkeys (tm).


Porch Lantern (2004)

White Oak, Glass, Copper, spray spar varnish finish

approx. 28" x 9" x 8"

From a plan in Workbench magazine. This was harder to make than it should have been since I didn't have a table saw to do splined miter joints and the like. (I used a router table and rabbetted everything instead.) The copper was cut on the scroll saw; a stained-glass supply house cut the glass for me. There is no protective finish on the copper and it began tarnishing after only one day outside. I'm not fighting it. Lighting is from a 40-watt bulb.


For more things I've made (or are making) out of wood, check the Slumco site.

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Last updated 14 June 2005