Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hexagon (honeycomb) shelves -- DIY

When I posted my living room pics, I mentioned that I didn't know what to put above my TV.  My friend Rachel (mentioned two posts in a row, this girl has GREAT ideas and great taste) suggested some hex shelves.

Best. Idea. Ever.

I learned last summer that vacations at my parents house are more fun when I have a project to work on.  Last summer I did my mom's second wing back chair.  (The link takes you to the summer before when I did the first one) and so when I went down in March I asked my dad to help me make some hexagon shelves. 

We went and got some plywood at Home Depot (not a sponsored post, but Hey!  Home Depot!  Wanna sponsor me????).  One of these big sheets was way more than we needed.  I think half of it made our five shelves.
This kid was such a fun boy at Home Depot.
So we sliced that sucker into five inch strips.  And then cut the strips into ten inch pieces.  We tried 12 inch pieces but the hexagons are going to be bigger than the size of one side.  12 inch pieces ended up being HUGE.  So we cut them down.

Now for the hard part that took us way too long to figure out.  You're going to cut the ten inch pieces at an angle.  So, some geometry for you.  Each angle in a hexagon is 120 degrees.  Divide that in half because you're bringing two pieces together, and you get 60 degrees.  But what got us confused is that the saw only cuts angles up to 45 degrees.  It makes sense because 45 is half way, and then you're just cutting the other direction.  What you do is realize that an uncut board is 90 degrees.  You need a 60 degree angle, so you cut off the 30 degrees.  Does that make sense?  It doesn't have to.

30 degrees, that's what you cut the edges of your boards.  That's all you need to know.  Disregard that paragraph above.  I'm no math teacher!  We used my dad's chop saw to do this.  Just google chop saw if you don't know what it is.

After we had the pieces cut, we put some wood glue on and staple gunned them together.  To make sure they were exact we had an angle checker, but we found that by putting a string around the entire hexagon and slipping in small pieces of wood around the edge until its tight made it pretty true.  After the glue had dried we sanded them and I painted them back in Utah. 
Here you can see the string and little wood scraps we used to make the angles tight and true. 
One down, four to go.  And if you look closely you can see our ten inch pieces with their little 60 degree angles.
To hang them I bought some picture hangers and nailed two them on the top board, one on each side.  Then each takes two nails to hang and I feel like that is heavy duty enough to hold them and any small trinkets I want to put in them.
The finished product!!  I'll show them decorated when I do my final living room reveal.  In two years.  I kid, I kid.
If you're annoyed with how wordy I am, you can blame the fact that I used to teach 90 minute class periods and had a looooot of time to fill ;) 


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