Cookbook Shelf Units #1: Design & Cutting the Stock to Size

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Blog entry by Greg Guarino posted 05-18-2014 04:55 PM 1635 reads 2 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cookbook Shelf Units series Part 2: The Dowel Jig »

A ways back I made a large set of bookcases for our family room. Those now store just about all of the books in the house: 500 or so. But we still have a large collection of cookbooks that we’d like to keep closer to the kitchen. It’s a small house, so nothing is ever that far from anything else, but these units will live in the living room. They will probably hold a few display items as well. I’m building two of them.

cookbook shelves ladder

On my previous project I “discovered” pattern routing. It worked very nicely, so I designed a couple of curves into this project:

cookbook shelves ladder top

I’m a novice, and this project should stretch my skills a bit. One of the challenges will be to get everything square without the plywood sides and back that have made my previous projects easier. That said, I designed them to be possible to complete with my limited tool complement. I set up a long zero-clearance “extension table” on my miter saw to make it easy to cut the many, many identical pieces that will be necessary. I did the long pieces that will make up the legs first:

Cutting the Leg Pieces (47")

Cutting the Leg Pieces (47")

First Side Squared Off

The 1×3 uprights for the front and back:

1x3 Stock Cut to Length

And the 1×2 pieces that will become the “ladder” sides:

1x2 Stock Cut to Length

Then I started cutting the ladder “rungs”. I did it in two steps; first cutting them to a slightly excess length, then trimming them to finished size. I need 32 of these, but I made a few extra:

Cutting the Rails

Cutting the Rails

I then cut the 1×3 pieces for the tops and bottoms of the “ladders”. (These will eventually be cut so their bottom edges are curved)

Cutting the Rails

The plan, at least at present, is to fasten the “rungs” to the stiles with dowels. But that will require 256 holes. Next? Making and testing the dowel jig.


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