|Project by AaronK||posted 12-29-2008 09:44 PM||2479 views||9 times favorited||19 comments|
This completes my first ever true woodworking project. (I’m not including some pine utility shelves I put up, although I did practice some finishing skills on those.) The bookcase design is the “contemporary bookshelves” design from the Popular Woodworking website. I liked the simple lines of the design, the open back, and the minimalistic two-tone contrast. However, I changed the plans quite a bit:
1. used poplar, not oak
2. finished with several coats of minwax antique oil (not straight poly). I applied each coat by rubbing in a small amount and leaving it, not flooding and wiping as instructed. It did raise the grain a little bit, but I smoothed things out with 0000 steal wool. finally, a coat or two of paste wax.
3. stained the vertical member a combination of “cherry” and “walnut” instead of ebony/black
4. most importantly, I used traditional joinery, not screws and nails. Meaning, dados, tongue/groove, and mortise & tenon.
Being a first attempt, I think I’ve made a pretty, useful piece of furniture. Changing the joinery also meant I had to change the dimensions, and I think that was the source of my mistakes. So, things I learned:
1. best to glue up narrow boards even if wide boards are available because of warping
2. work through mortises from both sides to eliminate chipout/punchout.
3. if applying multiple coats of stain, wait until previous coats are good and set first! (I blame cold weather for this though!)
4. use chisels for finishing up/planing joints, and saws for the stock removal.
5. never ever drop your chisel(s)!
6. the wood looks good in spite of your (my) ineptitude.
but just dont look too closely at all those grooves/dados for the shelves on the left side! they’re pretty tight in the vertical direction, but too deep horizontally. Fortunately they’ll be loaded vertically. Still, If they do come loose, I’ll have to add some metal to this project after all. At least the cat won’t mind.
finally, I had the most fun with this project when it came to the layout of the actual lumber, and I am the most pleased with and proud of that aspect of it.