Immodest Bookcase

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Project by vipond33 posted 1091 days ago 2166 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sometimes we build small projects in our shop, pick em up with one hand, done in less than a day. This is not one of them. Rather, this is a little bookcase I made a few weeks ago with an assistant and installed in a very modern house.

The shelves on this unit are 14” deep by 2 1/2” thick and 192” long in one piece. That’s sixteen feet for all you metric fans. Even laid up in a torsion box style they came in at 100 lbs. each, so you can see why we needed the lift for the trial assembly and final fitting. Admittedly there’s not much wood here, just the front edges and backs but these days it’s woodworking none the less.

The backs, which do not show well in these pictures, were a late change to the spray painted finish originally planned. Instead we used parchment, that ancient biblical material, stretched over plywood. They alone added $18,000 to the price. More than the price of my new truck. I’ve never been able to afford my own day work, but this was really beyond the pale.

The shelves pull tight to the uprights using steel keyhole clips and rest on strong stub tenons. No fasteners were allowed to show anywhere so the backs were installed in rebates from behind with about 700 screws after full assembly. Because of that, the unit had to be put together outside of its final resting spot and pushed into place. Let’s see now. 8×100, plus the gables plus the dividers and backs equals about 1200 lbs. Brute force pushing with glossy laminate on the floor did the trick although beer was needed afterwards.

Projects such as this are a refreshing antidote to the small things I normally post here (!!!) Even though just as fussy (think jewelry box on the scale of a tennis court), they still provide daily satisfaction in problem solving and achieving crisp clean work. Finally, after all the complaining I’ve done here, that is my second assistant last pictured. She was demonstrating how her entire grade 3 class could have a nap on it with room to spare.

About 200hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

The clip that holds it all together. KD usually but also semi-permanent too.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

10 comments so far

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 1223 days

#1 posted 1091 days ago

Wow that’s definitely something! Nice job.

If I ever have the $ to have a house like that I’ll commission a piece like this from ya! :)

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View KnotCurser's profile


1812 posts in 1695 days

#2 posted 1091 days ago

Utterly fantastic!

I think the scale is dead on for the area – magnificent.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4355 posts in 1663 days

#3 posted 1091 days ago

Stupendous, spectacular, epic. Why its almost Roman in it’s immodesty, at 4.877 metres in length.

One heck of an achievement. Nice to see that large works can still be afforded and that there are the skills necessary for them.

Now, jewelry box the size of a tennis court…....hmm just let me think.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 2107 days

#4 posted 1091 days ago

more $$ than most people’s upgraded kitchens these days! dayamn! go you, some people just have so much money burning holes in their pocket still these days, it’s amazing…as well as your work, i can’t imagine working on that scale, bravo

View SPalm's profile


4784 posts in 2509 days

#5 posted 1091 days ago

Wow Gene. That is a very impressive build.
You got skills. I really like it. And I am speechless.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Manitario's profile


2300 posts in 1510 days

#6 posted 1091 days ago

very nice style, complements the house well. My goal in life is one day to be able to afford your work!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5347 posts in 2212 days

#7 posted 1091 days ago

It has a kind of wonderful Japanese quality about it.It looks really nicely designed I like the thick shelves and the pproportion overall. Alistair

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

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 1124 days

#8 posted 1088 days ago

Thanks for all the very nice comments, a few soft words are good after the trouble that this project was. In spite of that though, woodworking on a grand, or really any special scale for that matter, can be a real trip.
cheers gene

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Jocelyn's profile


8 posts in 1319 days

#9 posted 1068 days ago

Most spectacular! Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece and the journey in getting there:)

-- Jocelyn

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1493 days

#10 posted 1068 days ago

That’s a very impressive bookcase. I’m not sure how you got it there all in one piece without damaging something.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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