Barrister Book Case

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Project by Clement posted 07-30-2009 06:23 PM 2999 views 3 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw the description of the Barrister Book Case years ago in FWW magazine, I decided right then and there that I had to try my hand at building one. You may notice that I use the help of crutches, and a wheel chair to get around the shop, but with the right tools, and a lot of encouragement from Wood working friends like you, handicaps seem to be forgotten for a few minutes.

The Barrister is made from Red Oak. It is constructed in individual shelf sections for two reasons. First I wanted to keep original, then each individual shelf assembly is about all that I could cary on my lap while transporting it into the house, while rolling in my wheelchair.

This was such a fun project, that when I finished the first one, I built the second one. It is now setting in my computer room holding all my electronics books, and wood working books and magazines.

Thanks for looking, and may God bless,


-- Clement, from Longview in East Texas

30 comments so far

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#1 posted 07-30-2009 06:30 PM

This is a great project – nicely done. Great work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Jeff's profile


95 posts in 3296 days

#2 posted 07-30-2009 06:42 PM

Great looking project. Very inspiring.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3324 days

#3 posted 07-30-2009 06:57 PM

Thanks for sharing…wow did that turn out nice !!! And I agree with Jeff…Very inspiring !!!!

-- Don S.E. OK

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4271 days

#4 posted 07-30-2009 07:09 PM

What a great piece of furniture. I really like the raised end panels and the finish. What did you use for the door hardware? Again great project.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3265 days

#5 posted 07-30-2009 07:14 PM

nice job!

View jacoby's profile


3 posts in 3224 days

#6 posted 07-30-2009 07:35 PM

Looks smart that mate – I really like the figuring in the grain

-- Born to grow and grown to die - TVZ

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2734 posts in 3590 days

#7 posted 07-30-2009 08:45 PM

Super Looking Bookcase! Great job. Thanks for posting.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3434 days

#8 posted 07-30-2009 08:54 PM

Looks wonderful! I love barrister book cases, I am glad people are still making them, well done

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4164 days

#9 posted 07-30-2009 09:16 PM

Very nice build indeed! I especially like your choice of wood and it’s use. I’m curious did you use the table saw to create the coves in the molding for the upper and lower cases? Congratulations again on Great Project, and thanks for sharing.

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View Clement's profile


21 posts in 3221 days

#10 posted 07-30-2009 10:42 PM


I tried to use the Barrister slide hardware that I got from Rockler, but found that it was too long for my shelf depth.
I wound up cutting a 3/8 in. slot in the top of each panel, inserting a 1/4 in. peg in each door end, and with a generous amount of past wax, each door slides with ease. I still would like to see if the Rockler slides would work better, but do not think that I will start the third Barrister. Maby next year.

Thanks for viewing,
Best wishes.


-- Clement, from Longview in East Texas

View Clement's profile


21 posts in 3221 days

#11 posted 07-30-2009 10:51 PM


I have used the table saw with the Sears molding head for making the coves, but find rhat setting up the Sears radial arm on a flat just above the work table gives me more controll. And I can push the stock through from a sitting position in my wheel chair. I also did the raised panels using this same technique.
Thanks for viewing,
Best wishes

-- Clement, from Longview in East Texas

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3525 days

#12 posted 07-30-2009 11:44 PM

That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Great project, great build. High on my list of “to do”. Those are great, very nice!!!!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3772 days

#13 posted 07-30-2009 11:56 PM

Beautiful job! You are a true inspiration to us all. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3583 days

#14 posted 07-31-2009 12:00 AM

Well done Sir. I applaud your courage, and determination.So well done again.A nice cook case I hope in the future to see more of your work.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View BeachedBones's profile


201 posts in 3400 days

#15 posted 07-31-2009 01:15 AM

Beautiful job! I too am a big fan of barrister bookcases. I need to get my lazy/poor butt back to trying to build some. I’ve been trying to figure out how to cut a molding like that, and I believe I have a molding set like yours, could you please describe the cutting steps you used?

P.S. that’s a beauty of a shop you have there too… very jealous of you.

-- You know.... I think that old wood needs to be furniture.

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