Radiator Shelf

Made by atalbot

My goal was to create a shelf to fit over the radiator in my room. The idea was to have a shelf that attaches directly to the radiator with no screws or fasteners to the wall or floor. I wanted to make the shelf minimal and match the aesthetic of both my room and the radiator the piece sits on. The shelf is cut all out of 1/4" plywood with a laser cutter, with laser engraving all across the top of the shelf in a topographic map pattern.

Created: October 10th, 2018

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My project intended to solve an issue in my bedroom in my apartment. My house, like most houses in Pittsburgh, is heated by radiator heat. Thus, I have a large awkward radiator in my bedroom behind my bed, which is both ugly and also removes a lot of storage space from my room. Thus, I decided to design a shelf to fit on top of the radiator to add storage for my phone and a plant. 

I started by taking dimensions of my radiator, including the circumference of the fins and the length and width of the radiator. I decided to go with a solution that mounts on the top, without any connection to the floor or walls. I didn't have a good way to mount it to the wall, and making it connected to the floor would make it unwieldy in the space.  The solution I came up with was a sheet of 6mm ply with wooden legs that fit around the circumference of the spaces between the fins of the radiator. After my first try, the shelf fit well, but it had some movement around the radiator made it feel unsafe to use for certain items. I redesigned it to have a piece in the front to balance it, so it wouldn't swivel back and forth as much.

I also designed the back of the radiator to have an efficient method of cable management for my phone and Echo. I added slots in the back to route cable through, and 3D printed custom clips that fit over the back to hook cables into to route them to their destination. This worked surprisingly effectively. 

On the second pass, I ran into some issues with the process. The first try on the cutter was unsuccessful, and repeated tries ran into a variety of issues, including ventilation issues with the Rabbit cutters. I managed to get half of it cut, but because of continued ventilation issues I decided to cut the other half on the School of  Drama's Epilog Fusion 120. This did a great job finishing my project. 

My second pass had added extra support on the legs and bottom to keep the shelf more stable, as well as a nicer top pattern and an improved back. Overall, the added supports did little to help the piece stay more stable on its mounting location, but I think the aesthetic improvements worked well. The shelf isn't perfect, but I think it works well in my room and is aesthetically pleasing, so I consider it a success. 


Link to Presentation:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1uPPsue3e6yWi1YrAdjAMNFStfqgfZ4aSNjsEt31G3Nw/edit?usp=sharing

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My goal was to create a shelf to fit over the radiator in my room. The idea was to have a shelf that attaches directly to the radiator with no screws or fasteners to the wall or floor. I wanted to make the shelf minimal and match the aesthetic of both my room and the radiator the piece sits on. The shelf is cut all out of 1/4" plywood with a laser cutter, with laser engraving all across the top of the shelf in a topographic map pattern.