A fisherman’s Daughter

What a headline! That definitely lured in an extra 7 people into reading this post! So, one of my oldest friends and curling teammate asked me to build a boat-shelf for his daughters first birthday (he’s a fisherman)! I googled a few pictures and said sure I could do that. Turns out, I could build that and I think it turned out pretty frigging rad!

At the start I didn’t have any plans for the build but an old friend reached out and sent me a link with some (Thanks Nick). I figured this would make everything run a lot smoother. However,  I’ve never been one to follow plans. It makes me feel tied down, I dislike them! (Did I ever tell you about the time I flew to Europe for a month with just a plane ticket and no place to go!?) I’d rather figure it out on my own and make adjustments on the fly. My wife loves this about me ……………………………………………………

Anyway, after several mistakes trying to get the correct angles (I ended up fixing them with putty) it all worked out, it always does ;). I put a lot of time into this build, I’m really trying hone my skills on each project and I think this one shows a glimpse of it. Sure it’s only a shelf, but I’m sure it will be in this little girl’s bedroom for a long time to come. I hope she loves it, it might even float!

Check out the build process below!

First thing first; stuff a sheet of 1/4  plywood down into the basement and into the shop.
I ripped the sides to 10 inches. I never realized how little hair I have till I saw this picture. The sides look great though!
I labeled the shelves before I cut them. Somewhat organized but unfortunately I had the wrong degree in several cuts. I based everything off 100 degrees instead of 90 degree. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Apparently I wasn’t.  Clear as mud?
I had a really hard time getting the shelfs in. I tried to brad nail them but they wouldn’t stay so I camped and screwed them in place.
Looking Wobblier than the Sweeping Beauties (our curling team) coming home after a big Tuesday night win.
Looking like a boat.
I layed the frame on the sheet of plywood and traced the outline for the back.
Cut out my marks and it was a snug fit.


I glued and nailed the back to the frame. Put some weights on for extra support


There were a few small gaps from the angle I cut wrong. I filled it with drywall compound.


covered the screw holes.
Once everything dried, I sanded it all down flush.
I primed everything with Binn. Binn helps keeps the knots in wood from showing through.
One coat of prim.
Next I ripped a 1×4 in half.
Then I ripped that in half for the rails of the boat. I did this because it makes it much easier to bend.
I glued and nailed the rails onto the boat with all the clamps I had.
My nails were too long and went through the shelf. I pulled them out and painted over them. You can’t tell.
I used my chesil to get rid of the access glue.


I’m not even sure what this is called but it goes on the top of the shelf/boat. I routed a little chamfer along the edge.
I made this thing for rope to go in. More decorative than anything. I think my hands could use a little moisturizer. Sometimes I don’t use sand paper. I just rub them in my hands to get the wood smooth.
I used a Q-tip to clear up the glue. It’s really important to clear up as much glue as possible when you can because when you go to stain, glue turns a different color.
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Next, I glued my fingers and letters to a piece of 1/4 scrap plywood.
The letters were tricky to cut because of the size. I like having my fingers.
I spay painted them grey.


I put a clear coat on the rails. I liked the contrast with the white and natural wood!

Glued them to the side of the vessel. Every boat needs a name!
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