Saturday, November 21, 2009

Furniture Construction - Bookshelf

I found time a couple of weeks ago to make a bookcase for some friends, Rich and Cindy, who live in Belmopan. They had some ideas that they wanted me to work with but left the style and design completely up to me (kind of scary since I am an accountant). Some of their thoughts were:

1. Have the ability to put books on the shelves from either side.
2. Make all the shelves see through (this meant no back for structural integrity).
3. About seven feet tall, three feet wide and a total of one foot deep (to accommodate 2 rows of books).

I thought about the structural part a lot since a backing is used so there is strength if you push on one side and decided that I could make it strong enough if I used two pins for a support for each shelf. I also added a challenge for myself since I wanted to make this a little unusual: make the entire unit without using nails, screws, and glue.
(Top bracket to keep the side boards together)
(Bottom bracket to keep the side boards together)

Rich and Cindy picked a local hardwood, milady, for the project. I had a stack of it in the shop that I purchased about a year ago and have never used. Not being a professional cabinet maker, I was surprised at how much lumber I used – ALL of the milady that I had!

After a lot of sanding, lining up dato joints, lining up doweling pins, and figuring out the logistics of how to assemble the unit, this is what I came up with.
Luckily, on the day I was doing the final assembly, two friends, Alex and Angel stopped by on their motorcycle just to say hi. It took all six of our hands to piece it together. It is nice when everything fits just right when you are all done with a project!


sandy a said...

that is very nice! I like the top and bottom rounded ends

Marge & Tom Gallagher said...

The top and bottom pieces I made up on the fly as I was finishing. I had some scrap 2x3s laying around and I was trying to figure out how to keep the sides from coming apart, hence the locking devices! Thanks for the cudos, Sandy.

JRinSC said...

Boy, well done Tom! That is a neat design... wish I had a place to put a bookcase like that.

R said...

We LOVES our new bookcase, Linda. Thanks, Tom! (And thank you, Marge, for the "behind-the-scenes" support!!!)