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Project Lab: Solid wood fabric-storage shelves, in the style of Ana White

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My wife loves to sew, but her fabric collection was becoming hard to handle. She needed a place to organize it. 

Could I build her some shelves based on Ana White’s cubby design? Abby wondered. She had even found some nice wire baskets to sort fabric by color.

“Sure thing!” I said. It looked simple enough. I could build it for her birthday, which was a couple of weeks away.

That was in June 2016. I finally finished the shelves, more than two birthdays later.

Whoops.

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Sewing fabric shelves

This delay isn’t quite as bad as it sounds. I actually completed building the frame and shelves shortly after the first birthday goal, so Abby has been using them for a while. I just needed to finish the top for cosmetic purposes. But I feared messing it up, whether by picking the wrong wood or making a mistake during construction.

Finally, I got the gumption to dive back in. I settled on a butcher-block-style slab made from pre-surfaced oak boards. And I promptly screwed it up.

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Butcher block top

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You won’t see this in the above video, but I didn’t use enough glue, so there were noticeable gaps between the boards. I had to cut them all apart and start over.

Yet even though my worst fears came true, it was still no big deal. And the second glue-up went swimmingly. I shouldn’t have waited so long.

Oh well. I still got it done.

Time to procrastinate about the next thing.

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Sewing fabric shelves

Wisconsinite Andy Reuter writes and shoots video about whatever DIY project is holding his attention at the time. For more, follow him on Instagram, find him on Twitter, or subscribe to his channel on YouTube.

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