|Project by Woodhacker||posted 04-16-2008 05:27 AM||2165 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
This bookcase was made for the son of a golfing buddy (Richard), as a Christmas present this past year. His son is a recent Kansas University graduate. Richard explained last fall that for each of their 3 children they try to have one Christmas with a present that is extra special to them and somewhat unique, or out of the ordinary. Since he knew of my woodworking, he asked if I would make a bookcase for his son. I was provided with the dimensions and was asked to do something “with dark wood”, that also has something to remind his son of Kansas University. At the risk of alienating any viewers from Tennessee (or Memphis fans), since KU recently won the NCAA Final Four (basketball), maybe this is a good time to make this post (or not)…
This bookcase is made of solid 4/4 stock walnut. When I went to a “local” lumber yard to select the wood, earlier in the day someone had come in a bought a huge portion of their walnut stock on hand. So I went through what remained, and pulled out 190 eight-foot long boards from the stack to inspect/select the best pieces I could find.
The inlay is birdseye maple. The “K U” inlay mimics the newer style “font” that the University of Kansas now uses with the foot of the “K” extending below the “U”. Both letters are cut from the same stock for grain continuity. This inlay is bordered by another 3/8 in. wide inlay in the shape of the state of Kansas as it would appear on a globe…note that the horizontal portions are slightly curved, while the vertical borders are purposefully not precisely parallel. The northeast “river” portion of the Kansas border is scroll saw cut “to scale” from one piece.
Dovetail joinery was used at the corners with the tails showing on the top (and bottom). The shelf is joined using six (per side) through mortise/tenons cut flush with the sides. The tenons have a 1/8 inch shoulder from the top and bottom of the shelf for a little extra stability and to help “register” the shelf square during glue-up. The tenon pattern matches the pins in the dovetails at the corners. There are maple bun feet on the bottom which were hand turned and include round tenons used to join to the bottom.
The vertical shelf supports were joined with “blind” tongue and groove joinery and were slid into place from the back and glued/clamped. The back is 1/8 in. finish grade, book-matched cherry plywood fastened with countersunk brass screws.
All perimeter edges were 45 deg. beveled (1/8 inch wide) using a hand held router to “soften” the edges.
The piece was finish sanded to 220 grit after raising the grain. The finish is a base oil coat followed by four wipe-on coats of satin poly/oil blend. This was then hand rubbed with 0000 steel wool loaded with paste wax. A second coat of wax followed the hand rubbing.
(Note to any Kansas State University fans out there, I plan to soon post a “box” or two that you may be interested in.)
-- Martin, Kansas