Window Shelf

February, 2016

My daughter is developing quite a green thumb and has accumulated a few small house plants over the past few months.  She likes to keep them in her bedroom window during the day to give them a bit of light.  However, at night, she lowers the shade for privacy so she must move the plants to the floor.  So, she asked me to build her a window shelf so she can leave her plants up all the time.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to do some carving using my X-Carve to make it really pop.  I talked my daughter into sketching an ivy design that could be carved into the legs and top.  My X-Carve has a limited carving space, so I decided to do a single pattern on one side and mirror it onto the other side and carve it in 2 separate sessions.



I scanned the images of her ivy sketches and imported them into Inkscape.  I traced the sketch and made minor adjustments to make it carveable.  I then imported the Inkscape file into Easel (X-Carve’s G-code sender tool).




I bought a 1″ thick x 9″ wide Poplar board at Woodcraft.  I chopped it into pieces and carved it using a 1/32″ up-cut fishtail bit.  After the first leg, I broke my bit.  I ordered replacements from Inventables, but they were on back-order, so the project got shelved for about a month.

I used my bandsaw to cut out the legs and belt-sanded most of it to a nice finish.  The inner hook took quite a bit of muscle to get smooth.  I put a fancy roundover bit into my router table and finished 3 sides of the top.  More sanding and they were finally done.

I used a 3/4″ chisel to carve square holes into the under-side of the top for a tight fit.  I took a 3/4″ bit and drilled shallow holes on the inside of the legs to hold the 3/4″ round dowel rod.





My daughter selected a red wood tint called “Cinnamon“.  I applied it using a foam brush in several coats to get the desired colour.  I finished it with a clear, satin top coat.




I used drywall anchors to afix the legs to the wall, and wood glue to join the 3/4″ dowel rod and leg pegs.  The top was a tight fit into the window sill, but I put 3 screws straight down just to make sure there was no movement.


In total, the project took about 2 months, but about 1 of those months was waiting for router bits to arrive.  Most importantly, my daughter is happy, so I’m happy.


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