The blank needs to be a minimum of -11⁄2" (here it’s -3⁄4") thick by 8" wide by 24" long. A special extra-long drill bit is required to bore the mounting holes.
Draw a gentle curve on the front of the shelf. Use a handheld jigsaw or band saw for the cut. Sand the curve smooth.
Determine the stud locations in your wall where you intend to install the shelf. Use a stud finder to locate the studs. Mark the stud locations on the wall. Make marks on the back edge of the shelf to match the distance between the studs. Drill a 1-in.-dia. x 1/8-in.-deep hole on each mark with a Forstner bit. Then use the extra-long 7/16-in.-dia. bit to drill a hole in the center of the first holes (inset photo). The 7/16-in. hole should be slightly deeper than the length of the support rod.
Using the Forstner bit hole as a starting point, trace the outline of the mortises for the mounting plate as shown above.
Use a sharp chisel to chop out the plate mortise. A 1" wide chisel will work well for this task. Install the mounting plate (inset photo).
Chamfer the three outside edges of the shelf, leaving the edge that will be next to the wall. Sand the shelf smooth. Apply the finish of your choice.