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Blog entry by bayspt posted 04-04-2008 09:37 PM 1178 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Brand new to the wonderful world of wood working (well almost), and thirsting for knowledge, I turned to my old, not so faithful friend, the World Wide Web. I went looking for how to videos (for free of course) and stumbled upon The Wood Whisperer. After watching every episode (most of which where way beyond my level but still easy to understand) I heard mention many times of, so I decided to check it out. After spending a down day in Sao Paulo, Brazil (on business mind you not pleasure) reading the forums, watching the videos, etc I decided to no longer be a shadow like I had done with previous forums but instead become a member. Then I noticed that I could write a blog as a member (very well put together site I might add) so I decided I would spend this time that I should be using to catch up on paper work to instead write about my current dreams as a wood worker. So without further delay here we go.
(I know I said without further delay but) Just one side point- I like to use these ( ) allot in typing as an aside in the middle of sentences, hope it doesn’t bother anyone (or my perfect spelling and superb use of the English language) Feel free to comment about anything I say and remember I have no stinking clue what I am talking about and please tell me so (if you have a viable solution instead of just “your wrong”)

My first real project-
I convinced my loving wife to let me have the router (PC 694vk) and router table (woodpecker 24”x 36”) (because what good is one without the other (or so I told her)) with the promise that I would build my almost 5-year-old son a bookcase for his room. (She really wants a set of 2 matching book cases for our living room but I think she is trying my skill (I have none per say) in a little less visible part of the house)) He is rapidly outgrowing his old storage system for books as he is learning to read and needs a “big boy book shelf” (and my wife wants his current one to put in the babies room before the baby to be is put in there in June) So a couple of months ago I made a basic design in Sketchup (and had it approved by the boss). I did the research on sag using a neat online calculator I found in a magazine that I can’t seem to remember where I found it now (in the mag or on the web). I am planning to do it in 3/4 clear pine (from the big box store (yea I know)) with an amber lacquer finish, so it will match the other furniture in his room. It seems a bit hefty of a project for me but like TWW and numerous others have said you really learn when you challenge yourself. I plan to make all the joints hidden for a nice clean look and if I can figure out how I will add Sketchup pics. My plan was to joint two 1×8s for the carcass (using my homemade router table jointer fence which works surprisingly well) with a spline of 1/4” ply as a glue joint. Then rip these to 12”. I would use stopped lap joints for the carcass. Then using dadoes for two of the shelves and sliding dovetails for the top middle and bottom I would use 1×12s for the shelves stopping the dadoes and dovetails 3/8 from the front edge. I would then use a sheet of 1/8 paneling (with rabbits in the carcass) for the back. My reasoning for the dovetails is glue up. Since my biggest clamp is 24” (I have one) and the rest are 18” (I have 4) I thought I might have a little trouble with clamping at glue up. The idea was that three nice tight sliding dove tail shelves should hold the project together nicely for final assembly. Now my concern is fitting six 11.5-inch long sliding dovetails (read as “it’s a good thing I am using pine and pine is fairly cheap”). I hope to add pics from Sketchup of the design so you can have at it. Any input would be appreciated (but before we get to that, yes I know it’s pine, and yes I know I need more clamps and “the proper tools for the job” but the wife wants pine and the budget (dictated by the wife) doesn’t want more clamps). I was thinking of doing tapered dovetails but have no idea how to accomplish them. I guess more research is in order. Thanks for reading, and maybe I will do a series on the wayward ways of the beginning wood worker trying to make a simple bookshelf. Sorry for the long post and hopefully I can add pics since the really do say a thousand words.
Jimmy (the wayward wood worker)

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

18 comments so far

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3737 days

#1 posted 04-04-2008 09:50 PM

Sounds like a nice project. Looking forward to seeing your results.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3699 days

#2 posted 04-04-2008 10:15 PM

here are the pics I promissed
angle view
shelf joints
carcass joints
view with shelves
view without
As you can see the top and bottom shelves are removeable (I plan to use shelf pins). This is a feature my wife wanted since he is young now and has taller board books and such but when he is 15 he may just want extra shelf space for regular paper backs. And before it is asked yes I plan to secure it to the wall.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3763 days

#3 posted 04-04-2008 11:36 PM

wow that does look like a great project. keep up posted on how it goes!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#4 posted 04-05-2008 12:06 AM

This looks good to me. I like the sliding dovetails.

It also looks like a bookcase entry as well. Were you planning on submitting it?

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Grumpy's profile


23916 posts in 3846 days

#5 posted 04-05-2008 12:19 AM

Great drawings Jimmy. Now comes the fun part.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3699 days

#6 posted 04-05-2008 01:28 AM

Scott, I don’t speak the Queen’s English but I think the espletive you are looking for in you signature is “bloody”. It just seems to fit. As far as entry, forgive me for being new but what are you talking about?

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4120 days

#7 posted 04-05-2008 02:00 AM

Looks like a cool plan! The only thing I’d do is put that bottom horizontal piece (I initially typed “shelf”, which it is, kinda) up about 4” and put a strip across the front, that way if the floor and the bottom don’t have the same notion of “flat” you can adjust easier.

I also find that a little kick room to bang the broom around on the bottom of things helps.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3699 days

#8 posted 04-05-2008 02:09 AM

Dan, Thanks for the idea, I guess it would be a toe kick. I will have to check vertical clearance in the room and see how much I can come up. That would give a much nicer look.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3699 days

#9 posted 04-05-2008 02:19 AM

Just as a side note the online sag calculator was here

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3769 days

#10 posted 04-05-2008 08:11 AM

Hi Jimmy

Plan looks good to me. “GET ER DONE” No dought in my mind it will turn out great. Keep us posted.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3709 days

#11 posted 04-05-2008 08:18 AM

Your project looks nice, You’ll enjoy working through it. Doing it is sometimes the only way to learn.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3957 days

#12 posted 04-05-2008 02:08 PM

I would change the back panel to at least 1/4 inch. 1/8 seems much too light to me. I use 1/2 inch back panels on my cabinets because I consider them an integral part of the construction. I then get cussed because the cabinets won’t “rack”. You should make your dove tails with one pass with a straight bit and then one or two passes with a dovetail bit. n
There is a very good adjustable jig for cutting dados with a hand held router. I use one and they really work. Be sure to set up test pieces to check your set ups. I hope this will ease things a bit. I agree with Dan about adding the kick board. You can do it, we will watch. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 3793 days

#13 posted 04-05-2008 03:03 PM

BEST of Luck – well thought out project, most important thing! Keep your wife happy and impressed this way she is willing to ok the purchase of your next tool !

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#14 posted 04-05-2008 03:19 PM

1. Welcome to LJ. Glad to see that you decided to join
2. an excellent blog. I enjoyed every entertaining and informative word
3. wow.. quite the project. Sure doesn’t sound like a “beginner” project.
4. You already have a Challenge Entry! Cool.

I’m looking forward to watching the progress of this project coming to life – and to more blogs.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3794 days

#15 posted 04-05-2008 03:49 PM

looks like a good one. Cant wait to see the real one.

-- making sawdust....

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