Boat bookcase for Nicky

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Project by AJ1104 posted 08-30-2017 12:56 AM 1015 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This spring my wife spotted a boat bookcase at a local store and thought it would make a great project to give to our grandson, Nicky. I was inspired from a fellow LJ rwingnut’s project in 2014.

I used 1/2” birch ply for the back and shelves. The bullnose for the shelves are poplar. I followed rwingnut’s idea for the sides and used 1/4 birch ply relief-cut every inch. Some of the cuts seemed visible so I added a single sheet of 1/8” to the outside before I dyed and finished in poly.

I began by laying out the overall size in sketchup. I cut the dados first and then cut the shape out of the plywood. Next glue in the shelves and brad nailed them from behind. Each of the shelves had to be bevel cut to match the curved shape of the hull. The shelves and the base formed the structure to glue and pin the first layer of ply on the sides. The outer layers of ply were veneer layered on top.

The gunwales are made of sapele that were glued 3/16” strips and formed to match the shape. I felt the sapele gave it a genuine nautical look.

I made a template from the hull on plywood and made a bending jig. (I learned that from inlay cutting boards) I had a problem with the gunwale angles. They ended up a bit shallow in width so I needed to add two layers after the inital glue-up to make them look the way I had envisioned it. The gunwales were screwed and plugged.

I did not dye the sapele, just several coats of wipe on poly.

I always want to thank all of LJ’s for the inspiration for so many of the projects I build. This is an amazing site filled with amazing artists and craftsman.

All and all it was a very rewarding project as you can see, my reward is the picture of him and his boat which is now filled with books to read! I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer! AJ

-- AJ

9 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5917 posts in 2411 days

#1 posted 08-30-2017 03:40 AM

That’s really fantastic!

View Woodwrecker's profile


4191 posts in 3721 days

#2 posted 08-30-2017 05:07 AM

Nice work brother.
That boat-bookcase came out great!

View cmmyakman's profile


200 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 08-30-2017 01:08 PM

Very impressive build! You did an outstanding job!

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3012 days

#4 posted 08-30-2017 03:13 PM

I love these boat bookcases and this is a very nice one.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View WayneC's profile


13775 posts in 4243 days

#5 posted 08-30-2017 03:27 PM

Awesome work. A heirloom piece.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View AJ1104's profile


540 posts in 1805 days

#6 posted 08-30-2017 03:28 PM

Thank you very much for the comments! It was a lot of fun to build. I saved the templates for another when the time comes.

-- AJ

View ralbuck's profile


5117 posts in 2412 days

#7 posted 08-30-2017 04:23 PM

Very well designed and executed too.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 921 days

#8 posted 08-30-2017 06:33 PM

Nice job

View oldnovice's profile


7196 posts in 3513 days

#9 posted 08-30-2017 06:35 PM

Outstanding project with some one special in mind.
The results show that you didn’t take any shortcuts!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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