Bookshelf - first woodworking project...

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Project by hypnos posted 1870 days ago 1747 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally finished my first project and learned a lot in the process. Next step is getting some better tools, my wife is less weary of me spending the money because the next project is a crib and a changing table and on and on…
The triple ladder like structure is padauk, finished with teak oil for the UV protection, then Danish oil and wipe-on poly. The shelves are poplar finished with Danish oil and poly – I regret not using just poly because I actually wanted the green in the wood to remain more than it did along with the contrasting whiteness, but it probably looks a little more elegant this way with the yellowing of the oil.
It was assembled using dowels which was a real pain with a hand drill. Everything was ripped and cut with the crappiest table saw in the world, but it was a birthday gift from my folks so I can’t complain too much, but it will be the first thing to go. The table is a Skil 3305 with a massive 26” wide table;) I did buy a 50 tooth thin kerf Freud LU83R010 combination blade for it after trying the table out and struggling to make raised garden beds. The blade cost $40 less than the table saw. That helped a good deal in being able to rip the 8/4 padauk.

From Bookshelf

I’ll add a picture of it covered in books when it makes it’s way to it’s final home in our bedroom. I’m just going to hide cheap bookends inside the books on either end.

The shelf is in place and filled with books and here are a few more pictures, I’m happy with how sturdy this turned out to be. I added adjustable gliders to the front two posts because our floor slants a little bit and it added a little extra stability giving it the slightest back tilt on the carpeting in our room.

-- David P., Kansas City

10 comments so far

View ratchet's profile


1285 posts in 2411 days

#1 posted 1870 days ago

Your first WW project….really??? If this is your 1st then you are destined for great things.
Well executed and elegant design.Thx for sharing.

View hypnos's profile


28 posts in 2063 days

#2 posted 1870 days ago

The design is a modified version of a bookshelf they sell at Target – I posted in the forums quite a while back when I first wanted to start this project, and that post shows a picture of the original, albeit nicer looking in the picture than you actually find in the stores. I spent about $30 dollars more on the wood and finish than it cost, changed the look a good deal and obviously I’m a lot happier with it than I would be with Target furniture…

-- David P., Kansas City

View CompleteRookie's profile


18 posts in 1876 days

#3 posted 1870 days ago

That is your FIRST project. Wow. That is a gorgeous bookshelf. My first project was sawdust. (it was beautiful sawdust by the way).

Congratulations and condolences. Grats for the project. Really … it is awesome.

Condolences because now that your wife knows you can woodwork, your “honey do” list just grew exponentially…trust me….I know.

-- I can make firewood with the best of them!

View JoeinDE's profile


367 posts in 1947 days

#4 posted 1870 days ago

That is very impressive for a first project. My first project was so shoddy that I wouldn’t dare post it here.

-- A bad craftsmen blames his cheap #$%ing tools

View ellen35's profile


2564 posts in 2057 days

#5 posted 1870 days ago

Nice work! First projects are always special…we know every knot and flaw.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View kjwoodworking's profile


246 posts in 2511 days

#6 posted 1869 days ago

If that’s your first woodworking project, I can’t wait to see what comes next. Good job.

-- Kirk H. --

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2297 days

#7 posted 1869 days ago

Nice work for your first project.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 1876 days

#8 posted 1869 days ago

Your brave to use paduak for your first project! But rightly so, it turned out great. Nice work.
Looks like the kids like it too!


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View a1Jim's profile


112008 posts in 2201 days

#9 posted 1869 days ago

You’ll always remember your first. very well done.

-- Custom furniture

View clieb91's profile


3263 posts in 2559 days

#10 posted 1868 days ago

A great showing for your first project. Looks way better then the one sold at Target, the stuff there is always good for inspiration though.

I’ll keep an eye out for your next projects, good luck with them.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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