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Red Oak bookcase

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Project by Tom O'Brien posted 12-30-2009 05:13 PM 4627 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this bookcase from a plan published by Woodsmith Magazine. Except for the back (1/4 inch plywood) and the crown moulding around the top, the whole project was made from rough Red Oak. Starting with rough lumber was a new experience for me, but I think the end result was worth the extra work. The shelves and carcase are held together with biscuits, keeping the joinery simple. The only part that gave me any trouble was the staining. I first applied a gel stain, and (I think) because of the low temperature (50F) in my garage, the gel did not go on evenly. I had to take a lot of it off with mineral spirits. I went back over the project with oil stain (same maker) and had no trouble getting the color I wanted. Several coats of hand-wiped polyurethane brought the finish up to a nice hard gloss. You can see the pretty grain and some edge details in the close-up photo. True to its solid Red Oak origin, this project is Very Heavy, and won’t be moved again soon.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity





12 comments so far

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1925 days


#1 posted 12-30-2009 05:33 PM

Love the design. Love the detail. Love the router work. Love the big ‘ol slab, up top.

You did a really great job on this. Congrats!!

-- -- Neil

View bringitonhome's profile

bringitonhome

28 posts in 1827 days


#2 posted 12-30-2009 05:43 PM

nice work!
I’m curious – how to did you get the lark’s tongue on each of the chamfered corners?

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2696 days


#3 posted 12-30-2009 05:46 PM

Neil,
Thanks for the kind words. I think I paid about $2 per board foot for the rough lumber. I did most of the work in the wood shop at MacArthur High School in San Antonio, in an evening class taught by Mr. David Salinas, a kind and talented teacher, coach, and problem-solver.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2424 days


#4 posted 12-30-2009 05:53 PM

Nice looking bookcase.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2696 days


#5 posted 12-30-2009 06:15 PM

bringitonhome,

What you see on the corners is not really a lark’s tongue (which is beyond my skill set). It’s just a stopped cove, done very carefully with the router, almost the full length of the stile. Thanks for the compliment.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

View Sacadelic's profile

Sacadelic

43 posts in 2047 days


#6 posted 12-30-2009 07:49 PM

What issue of Woodsmith is that in? I need a bookshelf and I think this one is it. Thanks.

-- Sac

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2696 days


#7 posted 12-30-2009 09:34 PM

Sac,

The design for this bookcase is from a paperback named “Easy-to-build Bookcases & Shelves”, available from www.woodsmithspecials.com. The book presents it as a 3-in-1 design, with a common design for the carcase and shelves, and three styles: Traditional Oak, Country Pine, and Contemporary Maple. Any of the three designs will give you a fine looking piece of furniture. Note that this case is 5’ 6” tall, 3’ 4” wide, and about 14” deep. A new book by the same publisher has a similar trio of bookcases, but taller.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

View Woodfix's profile

Woodfix

323 posts in 2051 days


#8 posted 12-31-2009 04:32 AM

Very nice, love the details.

Doug

-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112934 posts in 2329 days


#9 posted 12-31-2009 04:44 AM

Hey Tom
This is a great bookcase job well done.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2696 days


#10 posted 12-31-2009 05:59 AM

a1Jim,
Thank you for the kind words. I have a lot of projects to do before I’m done. One is going to be a Morris Chair with bow arms…. but not right away.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2573 days


#11 posted 12-31-2009 03:45 PM

Tom, this is a nice looking bookcase. I like its design and you put a nice finish on it. I am sure it did not take long to fill it up. I posted a pair of bookcases a while back that took my wife every bit of 20 minutes to fill up with her books, “dust collectors” and pictures. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2696 days


#12 posted 01-01-2010 10:53 PM

Scott Bryan,

You are right: it didn’t take long to fill up. The top and one of the shelves are for my wife (she is an art museum docent and needs some storage for reference materials as well as “dust collector” knick-knacks.
The rest of the case I use for woodworking materials – I’m a book junkie. I looked at your bookcases, and they look really fine.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

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