Bookcase Design Challenge

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Blog entry by Nick_Stepp posted 04-21-2008 05:48 AM 1859 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I learned about the LumberJocks/Popular Woodworking bookcase design challenge through The Wood Whisperer website just as I was finishing drawing this bookcase plan. It was designed to be the first library space for my best friend’s baby, who is expected in mid-June. For that project, I will likely use rosewood solids and black walnut sheet goods (for contrast and cost benefits). This design, however, is for walnut solids and hard/rock maple sheet goods. In terms of design, the bookcase is made to bridge the gap between mission style red oak furniture and a contemporary crib with a dark coffee-colored stain while still providing a furniture piece that will maintain a visual appeal once both of those two furniture design elements are no longer used in the room. For that room, I am building two identical bookcases and a corner shelf. The moulding on the edges adjacent to the corner, then, will use sliding dovetails to be removable for assembly as a corner unit. Here, however, I am submitting only the simple bookcase.

The bookcase is 30” in total length, 36” in total height, 14-3/4” deep, and has 3 adjustable shelves. The general construction is frame and panel. The face frame uses mortise and tenon joinery. The sides of the bookcase are essentially recessed panel construction using 3/4” solid walnut and 1/2” maple ply recessed 1/4” from the outside of the panel, and therefore flush on the inside. The shelves are 3/4” maple ply edge-banded with 1-1/2” wide solid walnut strips. The top of the bookcase mimics the sides in appearance; it uses 3/4” maple ply and a border of solid walnut constructed to look like breadboard ends using sliding dovetails. Just beneath the top of the bookcase, there is a table-saw made cove moulding of solid walnut backed with scrap pine, maple, poplar, or oak. The moulding is a 1-1/2” radius cove with a 1/4” step top and bottom and a 1/4” reveal on the underside of the top and below the moulding on the top face rail. The top rails on the sides, in contrast, are over-sized to allow for a 2” reveal so as to make an even border around the recessed panel.

I had some trouble getting SketchUp to draw the cove moulding around the top edge of the boookcase, so I am including a detail drawing of it here as a .jpeg. Note the outline suggesting the presence of cove moulding on the left side of the bookase in the SketchUp file.

Here is the .jpeg:
Bookcase Moulding detail

And here is the SketchUp file:

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