Branching Out – A Shelf Inspired by Trees

Inspired by French designer, Olivier Dolle, our DIY Top Team make a shelf for gardening books

Shopping List
Pine battens in the following sizes:
2 x 800 x 145 x 35 mm
1 x 600 x 145 x 35 mm
2 x 400 x 145 x 35 mm
2 x 300 x 145 x 35 mm
4 threaded bars (150 x 10 mm)
16 joining dowels (8 mm)
Wood glue

TOP Tools
Spreader clamps, tape measure, try square, mitre square, handsaw, marking gauge, pencil, level, claw hammer, rubber mallet, electric hammer drill, dust mask, Jack plane, 8 mm and 10 mm wood drill bits and a 10 mm masonry drill bit


1: Hand-plane the 1 x 600 mm, 2 x 400 mm and the 2 x 300 mm battens to taper by 10 mm on the one side. Turn the batten over and taper the other side by 10 mm, leaving one side 15 mm thick while the other remains at 35 mm thick. Using a marking gauge will make this easier.

 2: Mark a 45° angle on both ends of one of the 800 mm battens. On the other 800 mm batten mark a 35° angle on one side only.


 3: Cut the excess wood away using a hand saw.


 4: Join together the 400 mm and the 600 mm battens using joining dowels. Join the two 300 mm battens together. Drill three holes into the edge of the batten using the 8 mm drill bit. Place glue on the tip of the dowels and insert them into the holes. Drill three holes into the opposite batten, glue and connect the two pieces.


 5: Use this method, plus the diagram as a guideline, to assemble the shelving.


 6: Use the spreader clamp to hold all the pieces together, leaving the shelf to dry for 2-3 hours.


7:Apply 2-3 coats of light oak stain. Allow for drying time between applications.

 8: Hold the shelf up to the wall and with a tape measure mark where the thread bars will go into the wall. Make sure the end shelf is level.


 9:Using an electric drill and a 10 mm masonry drill bit, drill four holes to a depth of 75 mm into the wall.


 10: With a pencil, transfer marks from the holes in the wall to where the holes must be drilled in the shelf for the thread bars. Use the 10 mm wood drill bit and drill holes to a depth of 75 mm into the shelves at the markings. Confirm that the end shelf is still level.


11:Tap the thread bars into the wall using the claw hammer.


12:Line the shelf up with the thread bars and tap them in with a rubber mallet.

The Gardener