How to Build a Corner Unit

Written by michael straessle
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How to Build a Corner Unit
Lightweight but strong (

Corner units are always a good thing because they utilise a difficult space that is often overlooked. Building your own increases the likelihood of the corner unit doing exactly what you need it to do. A little woodworking knowledge will help this type of building project go a lot smoother.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 piece flat mould 30-inches long
  • 4 pieces 24-by-24-by-¾-inch oak plywood
  • 1 piece 24-by-30-by-¾-inch oak plywood
  • 1 piece 24¾-by-30-by-¾-inch oak plywood
  • 20 feet of 1-inch iron on oak edge band
  • Iron
  • Variable speed drill
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • Hammer
  • 4d finish nails
  • Nail set
  • Wood putty
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Jigsaw

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  1. 1

    Place the flat mould on a worktable. Mark the centre close to one end and drill a pilot hole with the 1/16-inch drill bit. Next, measure from the pilot hole 24 inches down the flat mould and drill another pilot hole.

  2. 2

    Place the four 24-inch-square pieces of plywood on the worktable. Insert a 4d finish nail in one of the holes and place it as close to one corner of the plywood as possible; secure it with the hammer.

  3. 3

    Insert a pencil into the other hole. Draw a semicircle with the flat mould and the pencil on one of the 24-inch pieces of plywood. Cut the line with the jigsaw. Repeat this process for the other three 24-inch square pieces of plywood. If needed, sand the rounded edges with a belt or table sander.

  4. 4

    Measure and cut the oak edge band to cover the rounded edge of the plywood. Iron the edge band on each of the shelves with a hot iron. Be certain to leave the iron against the edge band long enough to activate the glue on the back of it. Repeat this process on one edge of each of the two 30-inch-long pieces of plywood. Trim excess edge band with the sanding block.

  5. 5

    Place the two 30-inch pieces of plywood on the table with the covered edges opposite each other. Measure from one end of the plywood, making marks at 10½ and 20¼-inches. Place the framing square on the marks and draw lines across the width of the plywood. The shelves will be installed below the lines. The space between the shelves is 9 inches.

  6. 6

    Apply glue to the 24-inch edges of the shelves. Secure the shelves to the 24-by-30-inch plywood with the finish nails. Be certain the covered edge is facing front. Apply glue to the remaining edges of the shelves and secure the 24¾-by-30-inch plywood to them with the finish nails.

Tips and warnings

  • Take your time when cutting the rounds on the shelves.
  • Sand the rounded edges with a belt sander or table sander to ensure uniform look.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Do not stain or paint the corner unit without proper ventilation.

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