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Poplar Bookcases (conventional lumber)

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Project by SalvageCraft posted 02-28-2012 06:46 AM 2162 views 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently made a set of 2 matching bookcases for my stepmother’s new house. She wanted the design plain and simple, but with an arched top rail. I learned about this preference after I had assembled the sides. I thought over several ways of joining the rail without using any fasteners or resorting to simply butt jointing the rail to the shelf face, top, or sides.
I decided to mortise the ends of the rail into the sides of the cabinet. I wasn’t sure at first how this would look, but I really like how it showcases the joinery in the finished piece!

Here’s the tricky bit:
Since the mortises for the rail ends are so close to the end grain, some type of support was needed to keep the short fibers from splitting off with the waste wood. I have a c-clamp with flat steel stock welded on to each pad, and this works perfectly for holding those short bits in place while chopping out the mortise. If you don’t have a clamp like this, you can use some flat stock in the same way on a normal clamp or handscrew. Just be sure to spread the clamping pressure out over a large enough area that you don’t indent the surface of the wood!

I finished these with Minwax PolyOne urethane and stain in one with my new fangled HVLP sprayer. This was my first time using HVLP, and WOW am I impressed! I’ll never brush on poly again!

P.S. – The finish was still wet in that first pic. I’ll try to get a photo of the set once she’s got them set up in her new house.

Thanks for looking :)

-- Jesse --





22 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

13293 posts in 2023 days


#1 posted 02-28-2012 10:32 AM

Good work Jesse! Nice design and it looks very professionally done.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 995 days


#2 posted 02-28-2012 11:45 AM

Nice bookcases, I’ll take 2, ha, ha :-)

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9424 posts in 1049 days


#3 posted 02-28-2012 12:00 PM

Nice bookcases Jesse. Glad to see you’re back in the shop after your nubby stump scare :-)

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Don W's profile

Don W

15240 posts in 1257 days


#4 posted 02-28-2012 12:32 PM

very nice.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Roger's profile

Roger

14859 posts in 1493 days


#5 posted 02-28-2012 01:07 PM

real nice book case

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View millzit's profile

millzit

111 posts in 991 days


#6 posted 02-28-2012 01:28 PM

i like!

-- .......now cut that out!

View WoodSimplyMade's profile

WoodSimplyMade

188 posts in 2009 days


#7 posted 02-28-2012 01:29 PM

Great work Jesse. What kind of wood panel did you use for the back?

-- Mike, Florida, http://www.woodsimplymade.com

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1215 days


#8 posted 02-28-2012 01:50 PM

Thanks guys! The pack panel is actually maple veneered lauan plywood.

Also, @Millzit started an interesting thread on the definition of conventional lumber over here. I guess I’ve used a somewhat ambiguous term to describe that this was not made from reclaimed wood like most of my other work. Back to the dictionary!

-- Jesse --

View chopnhack's profile

chopnhack

368 posts in 1083 days


#9 posted 02-28-2012 02:02 PM

That case came out great! What color was the polyone? The color balance on the poplar is really even.

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1215 days


#10 posted 02-28-2012 02:06 PM

@chopnhack – I think it was a satin amber. I thinned it with about 10% mineral spirits before spraying, but I think I could have gotten away without thinning. The color balance is due mostly to the fact that I spent about an hour and a half picking out the most uniformly colored boards in the shop when I bought the lumber! Usually I go with striking grain patterns and contrasting colors, but that wouldn’t have fit with my step-mom’s decor.

You can definitely still see a bit of color variation though!

-- Jesse --

View ChrisK's profile (online now)

ChrisK

1202 posts in 1771 days


#11 posted 02-28-2012 02:09 PM

Very nice work.

-- Chris K

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1215 days


#12 posted 02-28-2012 02:39 PM

Thanks Chris!

-- Jesse --

View workerinwood's profile

workerinwood

2708 posts in 1756 days


#13 posted 02-28-2012 03:01 PM

Well done, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Dave's profile

Dave

11184 posts in 1529 days


#14 posted 02-28-2012 03:30 PM

Alright Jesse. Nice case and thanks for the clamp tip. You the man.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Clayton Whisman's profile

Clayton Whisman

76 posts in 972 days


#15 posted 02-28-2012 04:23 PM

Great Job, very nice work!

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