A beginner's first piece

  • Advertise with us
Project by morath posted 05-24-2016 03:30 AM 1390 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I would like to present my first piece—-a bookcase. My wife wanted the largest painted bookcase that would fit between the fireplace and nearby door, so this is what I came up with. 80 1/2 tall, 32 wide, and 12 1/2 deep. Home depot 1 sheet plus one additional shelf of 3/4 pine plywood, 1 sheet of 3/8 bead board, 1 2×4, 1 1×4, pocket screws, no. 6 1” dry wall screws, glue and 18ga 1 1/2 brad for a total cost of 60-65 bucks. Each shelf is 12 inches deep as well as 12 inches tall to hold large reference books on the bottom and “decorative” stuff on the top. The lady was adamant about the wide open shelves.

The shelves are attached to the sides with 4 pocket screws per end. The back of the sides has a 1/2 by 3/8 rabbet that the bead board back fits into and then is screwed down with the no. 6 1” dry wall screws. That rabbet helped greatly in squaring the case and makes the whole unit unbelievably solid—-definitely worth the effort. The edges of the plywood are covered with solid wood 3/4×1 1/2 ripped from a 2×4 and secured with glue and brads. 1×4 for the top and bottom arches. It’s the wife’s job to paint it.

I included a photo of my workshop and workbench. A concrete front porch and a 2×2x2 stand that I threw together from scraps years ago. A hammer and nail set would have worked, but a compressor and brad nailer sure are nice. The old hand me down table saw was used to cut the sides and shelves to depth as well as to produce the rabbet. The circular saw cut everything to length, cut the bead board to size, and was used to rip the plywood in half (to fit in my father’s suv) at home depot since the nearest store doesn’t do cuts. Drill, kreg jig, and clamps for the pocket screws. Jig saw for the arches.

This was a good learning experience and proof that you don’t need a full shop in order to produce decent work.

-- My mom says I'm handsome.

13 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19582 posts in 2609 days

#1 posted 05-24-2016 03:55 AM

Lookin’ good….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Sharryn's profile


15 posts in 1900 days

#2 posted 05-24-2016 01:38 PM

You’re off to a great start! Very nice job you did there. Congratulations!

-- -Sharryn

View BurlyBob's profile


5304 posts in 2200 days

#3 posted 05-24-2016 01:41 PM

Way to go. That’s a fine looking cabinet. Now your wife needs to let you expand your tool collection and build on your skills.

View a1Jim's profile


117032 posts in 3511 days

#4 posted 05-24-2016 01:44 PM

Outstanding first build.

-- wood crafting & classes

View ohwoodeye's profile


1967 posts in 3088 days

#5 posted 05-24-2016 02:07 PM

Very nice.
Not sure I agree with the arch at the bottom (open space). I foresee you fishing out a remote or other small items as they get kicked under there.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View helluvawreck's profile


30527 posts in 2801 days

#6 posted 05-24-2016 02:58 PM

This is a nice looking book case.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2625 days

#7 posted 05-24-2016 07:23 PM

Nice looking bookshelf .
Your Shop is just about the same as mine except mine is in the Carport Parking area of an Apt. bldg. where the tools have to be taken out to and then back into the Apt. when done. Some Day a Real Shop for both of us.

View morath's profile


26 posts in 2123 days

#8 posted 05-25-2016 01:25 AM

Thanks for all the encouragement guys. The next planned project is a set of kitchen cabinets. I’m seriously thinking of upgrading to one of the job site type table saws to make it easier to process the plywood.

-- My mom says I'm handsome.

View Luddite's profile


193 posts in 1173 days

#9 posted 05-25-2016 01:40 AM

Wow, very nice work indeed! Looking ahead to your future endeavors. Best of luck.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View oldrivers's profile


1255 posts in 1501 days

#10 posted 05-25-2016 02:00 AM

Super project and you have excellent marks for building a good bookcase congratulations,

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Dreggy's profile


82 posts in 1539 days

#11 posted 05-25-2016 02:53 AM

Of course you know wood is a very addictive & expensive habit. Starting out so well can only end well. :)

-- No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you're still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying.

View sfglass's profile


25 posts in 738 days

#12 posted 05-26-2016 03:47 AM

That’s a well executed first step in the right direction.

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

736 posts in 1606 days

#13 posted 05-26-2016 06:32 PM

Nicely done! Way better than my first build piece!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics