Cypress Shaker-inspired CD Rack

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Project by Gary posted 09-11-2006 08:05 PM 2684 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Jennifer, my eldest daughter, travels a lot. Knowing that, I wanted to build something she
could easily transport and use to store her vast CD collection. I've built several CD racks for
my wife & myself, my brother, my other daughter Meagan, and for use around the office and
the design has been one that's evolved. I think I've hit a rather good formula, and am happy
with the stability, the usefulness, and the look.
An early design used sliding dovetails and shelves angled at 10 degrees from the sides. The
backs of those shelves had a sliding dovetail piece that was also angled 10 degrees so to be
parallel to the edge of the sides. An early unit in cherry can be seen pictured here:
The cypress version I build for Jennifer uses stopped dados rather than sliding dovetails and
through tenons with walnut tusks. Building the rack this way, it can be disassembled by simply
removing the 8 tusks. The first picture shows the unit dry-fit prior to adding the tusks to the
through tenons. The second picture shows that the unit is designed so that the CDs just extend
out a little bit -- just enought to pick one out of the rack. The third picture shows the unit from behind.
The rest of the pictures can be seen online, here:

-- Gary, Florida

6 comments so far

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4567 days

#1 posted 09-12-2006 12:38 AM

I like that design. I may have to “borrow” that someday…

View mikeH's profile


98 posts in 4532 days

#2 posted 09-12-2006 03:31 PM

that is so simple that it is way cool. i am guessing that the shelves and the backs all fit into dadoes. so that when put together they all lock together. and the tusks hold it in place. is the whole rack pretty solid when everything is tighten.

-- mjhaines

View Gary's profile


1341 posts in 4565 days

#3 posted 09-12-2006 08:24 PM

Thanks guys.
The cherry rack uses sliding DTs for all the joinery including the back to shelf connections;
it’s rock solid ‘cause the DTs were very snug. In fact, that unit is put together without glue
and there’s no movement.

The cypress unit gave me a few problems and I ended up gluing the backs in place to
the shelves. The result is each shelf and back are a piece when it’s disassembled.
When the tusks are pushed in, the unit holds itself together solidly.

With cypress, I’d expect a sliding DT to become too loose over time if it’s assembled and
disassembled often. That’s why I went with a dado. When I make another, if I use a soft
wood like cypress, the backs with also have a tenon that’s in a shallow mortise in the sides
as well as between the shelf and its back.
If I use a hardwood, I’ll likely just use sliding DTs.


-- Gary, Florida

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4164 days

#4 posted 10-04-2007 05:30 AM

Where do you get your Cypress Gary? I was in touch with St Johns River Recovered Wood in Ocala this is the web site. Do you know anything about them being your in that area?
Curl Cypress

View Karson's profile


35154 posts in 4641 days

#5 posted 10-04-2007 05:39 AM

A nice cd rack. It looks like a fun design.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4277 days

#6 posted 10-04-2007 03:33 PM

It’s quite nice. I have never worked with cyprus before but generally know it as an outdoor projects wood. It looks very nice.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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