Step 1: Cut the Pieces.

plate rack overview
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Follow the cut list. To lay out the curved sides, first mark the back edge of a blank at each shelf location: 5, 18, and 29 inches from the bottom. Add ¾ inch to the depth of each shelf, then measure and mark that distance from the back edge at each shelf location. Tack a brad at each mark, and tack one near the top and bottom edges, inset ¾ inch from the back. Next, bow a thin batten between each pair of brads and use it to trace four shallow arcs. Gang the two side blanks and cut along the lines with a jigsaw.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • flexible batten
      Thin, flexible batten to draw curves
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 5/16-inch drill bit
      5/16-inch drill bit
    • shims
      Shims
    • one-and-a-half inch paintbrush
      Paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1x12 poplar board. Get one 8-footer for the sides and shelves, which will need to be ripped to width.

    5/4-by-4-inch poplar board. Get one 4-footer to rip for the dowel rails.

    ½-inch beadboard panel for the back. Get one 4-by-8-foot sheet.

    5/16-inch maple dowels. Get four 4-foot pieces.Four Shaker pegs

    French cleat. Get one 18-inch metal cleat like this one.

    1-¼-inch wood screws

    Brad nails

    Wood glue

    Paint