I mentioned this project on Saturday, but out of kindness, I decided not to describe it in great detail. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that project descriptions are a slippery slope with me. I’m going to try to either keep this short or interesting. Short is unlikely, and interesting depends on where you fall on the scale of woodworking appreciation. The range goes from “I couldn’t care less” up to “I love that stuff!” If you’re at the lower end, do yourself a favor and skip to the end of the photos. If you lean closer to the loving-stuff side, grab a cup and relax.
Of course, there’s more to this story than my wanting to build a bookcase. The moose out front should have told you. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The title should have tipped you off to that fact.
I plan to remodel my garage this summer. I’m going to steal 10′ (3m) from behind the cars and combine it with my workshop. That will require removing a wall. That’s fine, I can do that, but the wall is holding a lumber rack on one side. I’m not planning to have a lumber rack in my “new” shop, so the lumber has to go. The best way to make lumber go away is to build furniture. That would be reason number one, if you’re counting.
Reason number two is to test whether or not I will be able to work in the manner in which I’m planning. That would be with my woodworking machines parked against the wall until needed. They are all on wheels; the plan is to wheel them out when needed, use them, clean them and then put them back. It’s those last two steps that scare me. I worked this way this weekend, and I can report that, I think it will work.
The third reason for this project is that I want a bookcase. Yes, yes, I know – I can buy a bookcase at Target – in fact, I can buy a 12″(30cm) bookcase or an 18″(46cm) bookcase. I want a bookcase that’s 17 ½” wide. That’s the space I have to work with.
This will be a mission-style bookcase. I like building mission furniture and because the sides are mostly open, it uses less wood then a standard case. I just happen to have five pine boards that will work nicely. I get a bookcase, and I get five boards off that shelf. Pine is not a traditional wood for mission furniture, but it is what I have. The bookcase will have fixed shelves at the top and bottom and near the center. The top and bottom shelf will have solid connecting rails under/over them. The center shelf will have a drawer under it.
The hand drawn image in the picture below is what I’m working from in the shop. The two sets of illustrations below that were created for your benefit.
The first illustration shows the rough progression.
The second illustration shows the mortise and tenon joint detail – well at least some of it. Since I don’t really need these drawings to do the work. I didn’t want to spend the time to show that the slats are also mortised into the bottom and middle rail and also into the middle and top rail. You can use your imagination.
The parts for the case frame have been cut. The mortises have been cut. The mortises on the back stiles are traditional ‘stopped’ mortises – an enclosed pocket. The mortises on the front are ‘through’ mortises (the tenons will protrude ½”). Through mortises are a design feature of mission furniture, like the side slats and like the curved brackets (not shown) that will support the wide overhanging top shelf.
The gallery includes a few work-in-progress photos and some the usual suspects. If you’re a John Candy fan, his 10 seconds are below the gallery.
Note: Most of the equipment shots were staged with the machines off. The picture of the planer was taken from a distance.