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When the construction side of the shelves was complete we attempted to finish them using an oil based mahogany stain. A quick trip to the miter saw gave me the 45┬░mitered cuts that formed the front and sides of the shelves.
After letting the oils dry for several days, the surface was lightly sanded with 320 grit sand paper then finished off with a couple coats of spray on polyurethane.
So today, I finally was able to take down those UGLY store bought shelves and replace them with the ones shown here.
Cut 17.5" off the end of each of the 8 foot long boards for the shelf decking to make these. In the article entitled Floating Shelves I talked about building a set of floating shelves out of mahogany after the store bought ones were a total disappointment. The fluted edges were to be on the front and side only, the rear is a straight piece of mahogany, ripped to 2″ width.
The oil was brushed on with a disposable brush, allowed to soak in and the then excess was wiped off. The first coat was done with a high gloss poly, while the second and third coats were done with a satin finish.
I quickly became passionate about this hobby.In this blog I hope to share some of that passion with you.
First fasten all the bottom dividers in place, fastening through the shelves into the ends of the dividers.

First the stain was from a brand that we no longer use, because that particular brand tends to get cloudy when it dries.
But where I had used a router bit to create the flouted edges, the stain didn’t want to come out. So, now I had a real problem, the store bought shelves were a disgrace, and the ones I had built and finished looked really bad. Once again I used two sets of hold downs to keep the stock tight against the fluting knives and the bottom of the stock in constant contact with the shaper table.
Then a little glue, a little persuasion to make the joints line up, and the second set of floating shelves were done. One of the other things I did different this time was to use the painters pyramids that allowed me to apply finish to both the top and bottom at the time. I prefer this method, as I feel that the Gloss finish provides a harder top coat than the satin. I didn’t want to have to patch the screw holes I had made installing them in the first place. Even after I made another pass over the decorative edge with the same router bit, stain residue remained. Once again I started out by dressing all of the lumber, first with the jointer to ensure that two edges were completely perpendicular to each other and then through the surface planer to make it all the same size.
I did make one slight change on this set, I made the flutes a little more pronounced by taking a deeper cut then on the original set.

Again, to keep the mitered corners aligned while the glue set, I used several spring clamps . The new shelves were installed in the same locations, so I was able to cover over the holes. Make sure you bookrack is square before fastening the rails, as this step will set the bookrack. After the stain had dried, all of the beauty of the mahogany was lost, I could have painted the finish on and gotten just as good of a result. When I figured that I had all that was going out come off the project, I cleaned the entire project with Naphtha and attempted to apply a finish using a combination of Linseed Oil and Tung Oil.
To prevent chip out, I made the deeper cut in tow separate passes, adjusting the fence after the first pass.
To fasten the bottom edge of the top divider, nail at an angle through the bottom corner of the divider into the shelf.
The outcome, well let’s just say that I felt that I had just wasted several hours of work trying to clear the surface of the oil stain.

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