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Project by Viktor posted 01-16-2009 08:56 PM 2836 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Bookcase is made of solid yellow pine (except the back panel which is plywood). No glue or hardware is used in the assembly. I like things to be structurally sound with no unnecessary parts. All joints are sliding dovetails. Parts are interlocking such that the bookcase can be assembled only in a particular order. Back panel sits in a groove around entire perimeter. The only way to disassemble is to slide the back panel up ¼ in (the groove in the top has extra depth), this unlocks the lowest shelf and it can be removed. After this the back panel slides all the way down and out. Then goes the rest. There are extra grooves for the second shelf to be installed higher or lower. Entire construction came out very sturdy. I rubbed joints with candle wax for easy assembly. The finish is clear polyurethane. Measures 4ft high, 3ft wide 12in deep.

8 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4243 days

#1 posted 01-16-2009 09:20 PM

Nice construction.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View stanley_clifton's profile


195 posts in 3728 days

#2 posted 01-18-2009 11:13 PM

Simple design, nice looking, functional, ingenious and really well executed. Great stuff.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3489 days

#3 posted 12-23-2010 08:54 PM

how did you make all the sliding dovetails – a router jig? if so i’d love to learn how – they go together very well.

View EEngineer's profile


1103 posts in 3638 days

#4 posted 12-23-2010 08:58 PM

Nice clean job.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Viktor's profile


466 posts in 3444 days

#5 posted 12-23-2010 09:33 PM

First, I cut grooves using straight edge clamped to the work piece. Then I made “tails” on a router table. I had second fence (just a straight block of wood) clamped parallel to router table fence. This helped to stabilize long pieces standing on the edge, and move them smoothly while holding 90 deg. to the table. I first cut test pieces of “tails” from scrap and kept adjusting the fences until tails fit nicely (but not too tight) into the grooves. This takes a lot of trials and errors (errors mostly).
The tails should not be too tight, because the boards are usually slightly cupped and there is a lot of friction over 12” long groove. i.e. your short test piece might fit nicely, but a long “tail” will develop a lot of friction. This could be a problem during assembly as you try to slide opposite ends of a shelf into two groves simultaneously. If the shelf gets skewed slightly it locks up and is very hard to remove and correct.

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3489 days

#6 posted 12-23-2010 10:45 PM

gotcha. thanks for the info. I’ll have to give this method a shot, since it’s a pretty solid joinery technique.

View DocSavage45's profile


8589 posts in 2868 days

#7 posted 02-01-2012 05:04 PM

Interesting exploration in construction.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2865 days

#8 posted 02-01-2012 05:25 PM

I agree with Doc. Nice method.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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