Time to complete the project. The finishing touches are simple for this shelf. Right now the shelf is the exact same width as the supports. As the wood expands in width there is a small chance that the top would expand more than the supports and push them off the wall. To prevent this I planed about 1/16″ off the back side of the shelf. A rough set jack plane takes care of this in just a minute.
The end grain of the shelf needs to be planed, if you have not already. The most challenging thing here is holding the board. It was not a problem for my Moxon style vise. See the lost art press blog for more info on that. Notice in the picture that I am using a regular Stanley smoothing plane (3 or 4). Low angle planes work just as well, just take light passes with a sharp plane of your choice.
After treating the end grain I put a very light chamfer around the ends of the shelf. I did this with a block plane, but any plane would work. Watch closely and no guide will be required. I think the chamfer I made was about 1/16in across, but just go until you are happy with it and it is consistent at the corners. That is the place where inconsistency will show the most. I did not chamfer the long edges.
Now its time to glue it up. I only put glue on about the front 3 inches of shelf. The shelf can expand back and will always look right from the front. Here I only have a clamp on the front – add one to the back, too.
After the glue dries it is time for the finish, but that will be the topic of another entry.