Harvey Ellis #700 Bookcase

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Project by jmos posted 06-28-2012 04:05 PM 2904 views 10 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This bookcase was from a PW plan. I had the article in a PW Arts & Crafts book, and bought the plan from Bob Lang’s website Good plan overall; I had a couple of questions that Bob answered very quickly when I emailed him. Did find one problem; there was an error in the dimensions of the door parts, and I ended up milling the door twice. If you use these plan take a real hard look at the door part dimensions.

The bookcase is 57.5” tall, 32.5” wide, and 13” deep, the top is 36” wide and 14” deep.

The bookcase is made from quarter sawn white oak. Top, shelves, bottom, and sides are laminated from narrower stock. There are 4 through tenons at the bottom. The face has a few details to give some dimension; the angled blocks at the top, the long raised strips down each side of the front, and a raised strip at the bottom.

The back is a frame and ship lapped panel. The door has one intermediate stile and two intermediate rails that are half lapped together. All the door and face frame joints are mortise and tenon.

The lower door glass is plain window glass. The upper panes are also window glass, but made out of 4 pieces and joined with the copper foil method. I still need to get some black patina to knock down the shiny solder lines.

The finish came out a bit darker than I intended, but I’m happy with it. Used a dye and a glazing stain, then finished with shellac.

I have to say QSWO was more difficult to work than I expected; lots of use of the cabinet scraper. Most all my planes caused some degree of tear out.

This is far from perfect, but there aren’t any glaring errors. Overall I’m pretty happy with this, and so is the Wife.

-- John

15 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile


4641 posts in 2454 days

#1 posted 06-28-2012 04:35 PM

I love the look! The quarter sawn oak makes this an outstanding piece! What mistakes? I enlarged the images and saw nothing that looked like a mistake!

You know this is the third project in less than an hour ….. do you have some elves in you shop?

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

View jmos's profile


682 posts in 1456 days

#2 posted 06-28-2012 04:55 PM


I finally decided I should post projects, lest someone ask whether I’ve actually ever built anything! This was the last one, I did this from February to June this year.

I’m always my own worst critic. Mistakes, there are some brush marks from the staining, and few runs on the edges of the top. The through mortises could be tighter. I accidentally drilled a hole on the inside of the door when I was fitting the lock (I left that). I mostly planed and scraped, little sanding, and I found a few place where there is still some planer/jointer chatter I missed. Minor stuff that I see, but I’m pretty happy all in all.

My next project is a blanket chest, probably won’t have that done until sometime it the Fall after the kids go bask to school.

-- John

View Woodbridge's profile


3291 posts in 1504 days

#3 posted 06-28-2012 06:46 PM

That is a great looking bookcase. Nice details, I like the look of the ship lapped back in the photo with the door open, and the 4 panel top glass. overall a great look.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6793 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 06-28-2012 07:17 PM

Beautiful job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dusty56's profile


11781 posts in 2774 days

#5 posted 06-28-2012 07:37 PM

”knock down the shiny solder lines.
That was going to be my only question about the piece.
Wonderfully done project : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2013 posts in 1274 days

#6 posted 06-28-2012 09:20 PM

Nicely done sir. Classic look. It’s refreshing (or disturbing) to see that my betters are still struggling with perfection. I suppose that the moment you are happy with everything you do as an artist is also the moment you stop improving.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View jmos's profile


682 posts in 1456 days

#7 posted 06-28-2012 10:18 PM

Thank you for the kind comments.

-- John

View pintodeluxe's profile


4185 posts in 1899 days

#8 posted 06-29-2012 12:15 AM

Beautiful case! True to form in the A & C style.
Well done indeed.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2759 days

#9 posted 06-29-2012 12:22 AM

Beautiful bookcase.

View workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2153 days

#10 posted 06-29-2012 01:16 PM

Very nice, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View mloy365's profile


442 posts in 2216 days

#11 posted 06-29-2012 02:30 PM

Nice, very nice!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View tbone's profile


267 posts in 2770 days

#12 posted 06-29-2012 02:40 PM

It’s easy to darken that leaded glass solder. If there’s a glass craft store nearby, just buy a small bottle of ‘patina’. wipe it on and wipe it off—instant aging.

That’s a great looking piece of furniture.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2830 days

#13 posted 06-30-2012 12:49 PM

Great job, John. Nice attention to details. I think the color looks good, for an A&C piece, although a lot of folks like these pieces lightened up. Ditto what Tbone said. Also, I’ve found errors in a few of Lang’s drawings. If you ever decide to build his bow arm Morris chair, don’t use his measurements, unless you’re making the chair for a small person or child. Thanks for the post.

View jmos's profile


682 posts in 1456 days

#14 posted 06-30-2012 12:53 PM

Thanks Guys.

I did stained glass as a hobby for years. Had to break out all my old tools that I haven’t looked at in 10 years. Pretty much everything was there, and in working order; I had copper patina, but no black. Just need time to get to the stained glass supply store.

-- John

View hickeymad's profile


158 posts in 2096 days

#15 posted 12-04-2013 03:54 PM

What? Bob Lang’s plans had an error? How unusual…
Nice job though. Too bad you had to turn some nice oak into firewood in order to make it. I think Bob is in cahoots with the lumber industry to sell us more lumber.

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