Bookcase Installed

Installed isn’t really the right word but I never like it when titles span more than one line, so I didn’t want to go with “I moved the bookcase into its final location.” If you’re not familiar with this project, it began almost two months ago. I would have finished it earlier, but two things got in the way – the weather and the weather. It has been hot and humid here for four or five weeks. That makes it hard to finish a piece of furniture. Two weeks ago, we got a break in the weather and I was able to stain and finish the case.

“Finish” in this case refers to the top protective coat applied to the wood, not the end of the project. The stain that I used is a brown oak stain that matches the Mission Writing Desk the bookcase is meant to complement. The finish, on both pieces, is Minwax Wipe-on Poly. I chose the satin variety.

Someone asked me if I considered leaving the wood unfinished. It’s a good question. I don’t always stain furniture projects, but the desk and bookcase are made from pine. Mission furniture is normally made from oak, and it’s not normally left with a light finish. Plus, pine yellows over time unless some very specific finish is used. While I agree, the natural bright pine pieces looked good in the shop, the desk would be a dull yellow by now if I hadn’t stained it over ten years ago.

The bookcase fit nicely in the space I had for it. I am happy with the way the style, color and the slate drawer front brings the two pieces together as a set. It’s well on its way to being filled. Despite the light and airy look, I think it’s strong enough to stand up to whatever I can give it. In case you’re interested, anchoring the bottom shelf is the Complete Far Side and the Complete Calvin and Hobbes.

We are back in the relentless hot and humid pattern that has defined this summer. I think the bookcase probably appreciates the air conditioning.

I’ll be working inside until it cools down on Wednesday.


  1. Terrific, Dan. I went back and read how you designed and built the bookcase and I’m envious of your skills. My dad had some of your ability and in a different time, he would have been an engineer. Congrats on finishing the project — the bookcase is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That bookcase is such a work of art it should be able to sit in the middle of a room so people could walk around and admire it from all sides. Your skills are showcased here, and I applaud them. 👏🏻 Yes, I think a lot of New England will be inside until the middle of the week. It’s not bad until about 9 a.m., and then it starts to heat up. Stay cool, and pat yourself on the back for another wood project extremely well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You did a great job on the bookshelf and I see that you are trying to fill it up with subject matter. I’m wondering, though, why Calvin and Hobbes is on the bottom shelf. Shouldn’t that be a top selection? ;-)

    I hope you feel a break from the heat soon and I’m not talking about upper 80’s. How good would it feel to have a day in the 70’s and low humidity? I bet you and Maddie would both be happy at not having to get up so early to take a walk. And you both could “sit” outside all day and enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you sure it can still go as low as 70? We haven’t seen that during the day for a long time. The Far Side and Calvin are tall heavy collections. They will hold this in place when MuMu jumps on top. Fortunately, I can reach both from my desk 🙂

      I’m worried about our walks. If they do start school, we have a problem as I can walk Maddie when kids are out waiting for a bus. We don’t walk until 8:30 during a normal school year. Not that this will be normal.

      I hope you have a great week. Do you have a countdown clock running ?


  4. 👏👏👏👏 Job well done! Your bookcase is perfect. The finished product is well worth the time it took. It certainly shows off your expertise in woodworking.

    Glad Maddie can still get her walks and ‘sits’ in before the brutal heat and humidity hit each day. Today is going to be just plain bad.

    All your wildlife look healthy and happy. I love the bee making itself at home in the Rose of Sharon! Great shot.

    Stay as cool as you can. Good day to relax in the AC and read a couple of those books in the new bookcase!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve walked and we’ve been sitting for almost an hour, Ginger. I’m trying to give Maddie a nice morning because after this, she’s only coming out to pee.

      I have to relocate a coat hook I took down to get the book case in place, and finish shoving books in. It will never look this neat again 😏

      We’ve been sitting here feeding squirrels and chipmunks. I think they will be heading into their nests pretty soon.

      Stay as cool as you can today.


  5. Beautiful project, the bookcase looks great and is useful, even. I like black squirrels but rarely see them around here. The bluejay looks majestic and is still. Rarely see that around here either.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The bookcase is a beauty, Dan! Calvin and Hobbes proudly sit on my bookcase, too–I can never get enough of Spaceman Spiff. All your little outdoor buddies are adorable. Wow! Sammy is really getting muscled up. Maybe we need a game of squirrels vs crows. Swing, batter!! Our school date has been pushed back from Aug 10 to Aug 24. Twice as many parents as was initially thought voted for remote schooling so the teachers need more learning time. Can I tell you how happy I am that I don’t have a child in school now? I really feel for these parents. Have a great week, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spaceman Spiff is needed today! Sammy has been working out. This one in particular will sometimes stand up on his hind legs, and he looks like a mini-boxer. I should think about putting them up against the crows.

      I am so glad to be retired.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember well all the steps you took in building that bookcase, Dan. It is great to see it in its finished form and already being filled. I chuckled at your explanation of the title–I might have chosen to be more cryptic and called the posting something like “Final resting place.” I chuckled also at your inadvertent anthropomorphizing of the pieces of furniture. While it is true that the desk and bookcase may compliment each other on how good they look, I can only wonder if you intended for them to complement each other. Smokey, Sammy, and Chippy seem to be doing ok in the heat, but with that weather forecast, I can certainly understand why you go for walks with Maddie so early in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. Of course you know I’m going to fix that ;-)

      I got into trouble once trying to have a cryptic title, but I really don’t like long titles. Maddie and I walked and sat very early today. I’m not going back out unless I have to. I hope you can get out before the heat.


  8. Kudos, Dan. The book case is gorgeous. The drawer makes it exceptional. My Internet is too jacked up for me to look at the slideshow, but the thumbnail pics are wonderful. MuMu seems to approve of “her” new bookcase. =^-^= Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The bookcase is beautiful, Dan. I’m really jealous of your complete Far Side and complete Calvin and Hobbes. I had both as well but lost them in a flood in 1996. I never got around to replacing them. It might be time. Your photos were great. I liked the 7:00 am shot where the humid mist is hanging off in the distance.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The bookcase looks great! I love the drawer as the accent. It’s lovely.

    The first image of the Rose of Sharon is wonderful, and so are the ones with the bees. The one made me laugh out loud where the bee is really diving in to get the nectar. 🤣 It’s cute with its legs all splayed out. The critters and birds are cute too.

    We’re staying in too. We’re supposed to get thunder and lightning today along with gusty winds up to 50mph. I was out back getting everything anchored down and tucked away for when it rolls in. I may set up my camera for some lightning shots if it comes.

    Stay cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. If you have to have that weather, I hope you get some pictures of the lightning. The drawer started out as a silly idea, but when I noticed that the dimensions would allow me to make the slate front, I was sold.

      I was hoping that bee would come up for air, but it was determined to dig in.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations on the bookshelf , Dan. Must be nice to finally finish the project and to set it in place . On to the next ! I’m mostly accused of never finishing anything ( not true, I just take my time .)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your bookshelf is gorgeous and just perfect for its location. I’m sure you’ll get many years of use and enjoyment out of it.

    Oh,oh… you’re just the person to ask: my husband and I are making a wooden frame for an existing picture. It’s all put together and stained… now we are ready to put the top protective coat on (satin, oil-based sealer). The guy (older, been doing it forever) at the woodworking store suggested using cheesecloth to apply the sealer. We usually use a regular or a foam brush. I’m curious what you use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For oil-bases finish, I use a foam brush. They generate too many bubbles in water-based finishes. For the wipe-on finish, I used a lint-free cotton rag and a foam brush to get into the tight places.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Dan – well done on finishing the bookcase – they fit well and obviously suit you. Wonderful photos of a few hot summer days … I’m glad you’re fitting the workman days into the cooler hours … take care – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the bookcase, Dan. That drawer at the top stained black with the brass pull is just right. Yes, you had to stain the pine. What a stretch of summer weather we’re having. I am spending many days like I was at summer camp, in a bathing suit much of the day and jumping in the pool to cool off (no AC). The porch at night is glorious. Is Maddie doing okay in this heat?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I feel sorry for our furry outdoor friends when the temps get this bad. Keeping cool must be next to impossible for them. Not that it’s much better when it’s an arctic chill, of course. Not sure which is worse for them. Dogs and cats are pretty lucky, all things considered …

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The closeups you are getting of the neighbourhood residents are really good – especially Chippy. Well done.

    … and the true sign of craftsmanship is that the back of the bookcase has also been finished!

    Calvin & Hobbes and Far Side – two of my favourites!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually just have my phone when we’re out there sitting. Occasionally I think to take my camera. Those guys will pose if they know a peanut is coming.

      I’ve been finishing the back of casework for over 30 years. It just feels better.

      I miss both those comics.

      Liked by 1 person

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