For some reason lately, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make curved pieces out of wood (like this pet bed). It definitely can be done, has been done, but I was looking for a method that doesn’t use equipment and time I don’t have. I started experimenting with DPI board (the stuff that peg board is made of), and my initial idea was a huge failure. DPI has a somewhat limited versatility (it snaps pretty easily). I’m happy with the piece I ended up with though! It really is a simple and elegant solution if you are wanting to introduce a round shelf to a space in your home– and it cost less than 20 bucks to make.
-DPI board (you only need one sheet
-a pine board (1 x 6 x 8 would be just enough)
-10 wood screws
-paint & polyurethane
-saw tooth picture hangers (optional)
-table saw (you could get away with just using a hand saw)
-2 clamps (or a pair of helping hands)
Step One: Alright, first things first: cut 2 strips of DPI (each 6″ x 48″) and one board at 6″ x 28 11/16″. On either end of those pieces, measure and mark in 3 inches. If you want to know how I got to those measurements, keep reading, or you can just skip right to step two (choose your own adventure style). Since these pieces are going to create the hoop, you can find the length of the middle shelf with a little bit of fun math, or you can just take my word for it. 48 x 2= 96. 96-6 (since you are overlapping each end 3 inches) = 90. So the circumference is 90″ (or 7.5 feet). The diameter of that is 2.39 feet (equation is circumference divided by π). So cut the middle piece at 28 11/16″ (2.39 times 12). I’m giving you all the math so you can adjust the size as needed. I think a circumference of 7.5 feet is about the smallest you can get without the DPI snapping when you bend it, but you could go bigger!
Step Two: From here, it’s just a matter of taking one side of each of the DPI pieces and putting them together, overlapping by 3 inches, then clamping them together. (Clamp on the end of each piece. You want room to screw into the middle shelf.) I made sure to keep the shiny side on the outside. (I think some boards are shiny on both sides.) After I had one side clamped, I caaaaarefully bent the two unclamped ends together, overlapping by 3 inches, and then clamped them. DPI will bend (obviously, I have pictures to prove it), but when you are bending it, do it slowly and without applying too much pressure to one single section, or it will snap. Hardest part right there, but it’s not too bad.
Step Three: Once the circle is formed, and if you did your math right, the center piece should fit nicely. From there, you can hold boards up wherever you want them and mark. Then cut. (I guess you could do that with the middle pieces, but I think if you do the math, it’ll be easier to keep the circle true.) If the piece hits right in the middle of the circle, you won’t need to cut angles. I like a bit of asymmetry, so I put one vertical piece to the side, and the angle ended up being 30˚, but it will change with location.
Step Six: Finally, you can just put a screw or nail in the wall, hang the shelf on it, and call it a day. Or spend 5 more minutes and put a couple saw tooth hangers on the back for extra stability. There you go! What was that, like 6 steps? Six easy steps. I guess seven steps if you include painting. I painted the interior boards with a couple coats of gloss white, and the circle has three coats of poly (I lightly sanded between coats). The poly really made it, I think. I’m not sure if you can tell by the photos, but I think it boosted it’s appeal by at least 67%.
Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua Rhodes and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.