the bookcase #5

board glue-up

board glue-up

granny gear

It’s been a slow couple of weeks in the workshop.  We had family in and since Spring has finally sprung I’ve had a few things to do around the house – get pool up and running, get vegetable garden planted, get sprinkler system going, the kids had a few things going on (I say kids, one just turned 21 and the youngest seems to be gaining speed on her – ugh, I’m getting old).

back on topic

I have managed to complete construction of the lower cabinet for the bookcase.  It’s together and actually sitting in the living room in about its final location (minus the finish).  I did this to clear room for the upper bookcase build.

I ripped and crosscut the rails and stiles for the upper bookcase sides and back panels.  Then it was over to the router table to cut the mission style profiles.  I know I’m supposed to cut the end grains first but since I have to fit the stile to the rail it seems to make sense to cut the inside profile of all pieces first, and then cut the stile end grain profile and fit it to the inside profile of the rails.  The bad thing about this is you run the risk of tear out at the end of the cut.  I used a sacrificial backer board to help but even with this but still experienced more tear out than I had hoped for.  (Red oak is a hard wood and I really wasn’t expecting this amount of tear out – nor have I experience it before with this species – maybe it was this particular tree or something ???)  Luckily this bookcase is for personal consumption and likely no one will notice the few spots that aren’t exactly up to par (so don’t tell anyone).

end view of bookcase upper section rail & stiles

end view of upper case rails and stiles

making lumber

I’ve mentioned previously my disappointment with purchasing solid (non-joined) wood from my local hardware store (it’s hit or miss as far as that goes).  Since the wood I purchased was already joined 😦 , and since I will be staining this very black, I figured it okay to continue the theme.  I guess I’m not really making lumber but I am making wider boards.  I needed a solid oak board 11-3/4” wide and since a 12” board is actually 11-1/2” I had to rip three boards to 4” wide and glue them together to make a 12” board – which I’ll end up ripping down to final width.  I used biscuits to help with the board alignment, lots of glue and of course lots of clamps.  They turned out pretty straight.  I took the scraper to the glue squeeze out and will crosscut them to their approximate lengths then send them through the planer to get them perfectly flat and ready for the router table.


in the cue

I sometimes feel that I spend as much time (if not more) planning projects than actually making projects.  I’ve got quite a few lined up including building a complete bedroom set for my oldest daughter.  This will include a queen size bed frame (maybe a footboard), a couple nightstands, and at least one dresser.  (This is possibly the first of two sets since she will be taking this set when she moves into her own place and I’ll have to replace it.)  The bedroom furniture will likely be made of poplar since it will be painted.  As mentioned this is for my oldest daughter and she has a very bright concept of color so I’m almost afraid to ask her what color she wants it (this is the kid with the florescent green highlighter bedroom walls).  Whatever color she chooses, I’ve told her that I’m only painting it once – if she wants to change the color at another time (like when she comes to her senses) – that will be her project.  There are a couple shop tables and jigs I need to build somewhere along the way.  I’ve got a couple small projects planned (like 10) and eventually a walnut mirror and hall table project.  I haven’t worked with walnut before and I’m really looking forward to it.  It’s a beautiful wood when finished. Of course I hope all my projects become pass-through-the-generation pieces, but I’m hoping the mirror and hall table will be something the kids fight over 🙂 .


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