Bookrack Project Part 1

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Blog entry by davidroberts posted 11-22-2009 05:12 AM 2285 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been working on this bookrack project for the past two months and we finished today. It is for my son’s Eagle Scout project. The idea came from a charity resale shop our boy scout troop supports. My son wanted to build something for them so we ask what they needed. They said a paperback bookrack. I must admit, this would not have been my first choice, but hey, we gave it a shot. The next few pictures will get you through about half the project, then I’ll post the remaining pics in a followup blog.

Here’s a picture of a paperback bookrack in use at the resale shop…


This shows the set of bookracks they have in the resale shop. Notice the bookshelves are set at different angle from top to bottom. I figured this was to allow a customer to see the book titles without bending down.


The first thing we did was take some measurements of the existing bookracks, then my son created a plan using sketchup. We got the materials at Lowe’s, which made a 50% donation. This pic is the MDF pattern of the side I cut out using a jigsaw and touching up with a hand rasp. It is lying on 3/4” oak veneered hardwood plywood ready to trace out a side.


To minimize tearout, I used a piece of 1/8” masonite board along with the 3/4” MDF pattern to sandwich the veneered plywood prior to routing with a flush cut bit.


So here are four side routed flush with the pattern. We decided to make two sets of bookracks. We figured it was just as easy to make two.


Of course, there were some dents on the plywood as the selection of plywood sheets was less than stellar…we took the best 4 of 7 sheets left on the rack. We were under a time crunch, long story. I wetted the dents pretty thoroughly, let them soak, laid a towel on top and applied a hot iron. This works well on actual dents, I tried to cut around the occasional scratch or gouge.


I then made six working patterns for the shelves and backing, and a pattern for each angle.



Then I ripped the shelves and backs to the correct widths on the TS, lined them up side by side and cut them to rough length using a circ saw with a new Freud crosscut blade. The Freud performed well.


Here is a pic of the shelves and backs clamped together for whenever I can get back to the shop.


How do you keep up with measurements?


I got around to cutting the shelves and backs to length using this rigged mitersaw setup. A dedicated MS stand is my next project.


OK, I’ll stop for now and post the rest in a few days, or tomorrow (haha). Thanks for looking.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

1 comment so far

View jack1's profile


2103 posts in 3997 days

#1 posted 11-22-2009 05:27 AM

You guys did a bang-up job! I don’t think a lot of people appreciate the skill, effort and time that goes into reproducing a “twin” so to speak. I can see it’s a duplicate and yet it could stand alone because of the quality you put into it. What a great Eagle Scout Project. I wish I had completed that, only got to Life Scout then girls happened… ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

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