Saturday, 1 December 2012

Buck tradition and build your own tree this Christmas!

Project notes:
• This Christmas tree shelf unit is made of pine, which is planted, grown and harvested in a sustainable manner. The small trees we purchase on the side of the road usually are not. It is also reusable, making it a somewhat "greener" option than a traditional tree.
• The method used to construct the shelves (‘branches’) of this tree is such that it allows for the tree to be easily put together and disassembled.
• As an alternative, you could construct the joints by cutting opposing channels in the upright plank and shelves, and gluing and slotting these in place. This is a more permanent (and stronger) alternative.
• Click here to access a PDF version of the sketch and get more details regarding the project.

Quick project guide
Hard labour: 3/10
Skill level: 4/10
Time needed: about four hours (excluding drying time)
Do it yourself for: ±R650

Shopping list
A one 2400 x 305 x 22mm laminated pine plank (base structure) cut to:
– one 600mm (bottom)
– two 450mm (sides)
– one 900mm (top)

B one 2400 x 144 x 22mm pine plank (upright) cut to 2000mm
C one 2400 x 220 x 22mm pine plank (shelves) cut to:
– one 1000mm
– one 700mm
– one 500mm
– one 200mm (off-cut for the star)

D one 1800 x 220 x 22mm pine plank (shelves) cut to:
– one 900mm
– one 300mm

Other items
• four hinges
• 16mm screws (for hinges)
• two 1000mm X 10mm wooden dowels
• medium sandpaper (120 grit)
• paintbrush and foam roller

• jigsaw
• cordless drill
• 10mm drill bit
• combination square
• sharp pencil

Get Started
Measure and mark out a 144 x 22mm wide rectangle centred midway along the 900mm x 305 x 22mm (top) and the 600mm (bottom), as shown. Remember to do the same midway along each of the 220 x 22mm shelves.
Create the same 144 x 22mm wide outlines at each end of the 900mm (top). Position these cut out sections 50mm from the ends. Use the combination square to make sure all angles are at 90º, as shown.
Use the cordless drill and 10mm drill bit to create a hole within each of these markings. This will act as a starting point for the jigsaw blade.
Use the jigsaw to cut out the rectangular shapes you had marked out above. TIP: When cutting, work inside the lines. To create neat corners, cross over into the opposite corners in an arc motion. The majority of the shapes to be cut out is removed this way, allowing you to work back along the sides to create perfect right angles.
Measure and mark out cut outs at each corner at one end of the two 450mm sides. Measure 80mm in from the sides and 70mm from the end. Then remove these corners with the jigsaw, as shown.
Place the 450mm sides alongside the (600mm) bottom and fix the hinges in place as illustrated here, using 16mm screws for this.
Now measure and mark lines at 400mm, 600mm, 900mm, 1200mm, 1500mm and 1800mm from one end of the 2000mm upright. This end, where you started measuring from, should be the bottommost end of the upright. Use the cordless drill and 10mm drill bit to create two holes just beneath these lines, about 30mm from the sides. IMPORTANT: Make sure that you drill these holes at perfect right angles to the upright to ensure that the dowels will sit level when supporting the shelves (see steps below).
  • Cut the 1000mm x 10mm wooden dowels into 120mm long sections. You will need 12 of these.
  • Enlarge the star template to roughly 180mm wide and trace it onto the 200mm off cut. Cut out the shape using the jigsaw. Also cut a 20mm-wide slot along one side to fit onto the upright.
  • Give the tree a once over with 120-grit sandpaper (especially along the edges!) and then use the paintbrush and roller to coat the entire structure with the colour(s) of your choice. We painted our ‘tree’ silver and the base white and added presents wrapped in red, black, white and silver to create that complete Christmas picture.
To assemble
• Fold the two 450mm sides up at angles
• Position the slots at each end of the 900mm top over the cut outs of the sides and slide into place – this creates the base for the tree
• Now slide the upright through the slot in the top and into the slot in the bottom
• Fit the dowels in place (at the 400mm line) in the upright, just below the top; this will help to give the tree some rigidity
• Now place a set of dowels in the next pair of holes and place the 1000mm shelf in position by sliding it over the upright from the top; it will rest on these dowels
• Repeat this process with each successive shelf until you have completed the tree
• Use the diagram as reference, if necessary. The star is placed on last.

This crafty idea came to you from the pages of home, your practical guide to beautiful living. 

No comments:

Post a Comment