Roycroft Bookshelf Reproductions

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Project by JackMoony posted 09-04-2012 06:17 PM 4191 views 14 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My parents have been looking for a new table for their family room for months, AND I had been looking for a new project to do! So I thought I’d surprise them with one of these Roycroft Bookshelfs. I found plans in sketchup on the internets and began about 2 weeks ago.

I really do love sketchup. Does anyone else do this? I find myself looking through my model and planning my next day’s tasks. I’ve even been able to avoid mistakes that I probably would have made on real wood had i not made the “practice” cuts, or “virtual” machine setups via the program. .

I was only going to make one, but decided to make 2 as an experiment. I wanted to see how much longer it would take to make that 2nd piece. As far as the cuts, I think it took only a fraction of the time. I made 3 jigs, and the setups for the mortises and tenons took up most of the time, so the second cuts were practically FREE. Sanding and finishing was a different story, as there aren’t really any short cuts…but I think it did take less time as it was an assembly line while sanding and finishing the parts.
But what it did do was get me organized. I’m sure most of you guys already know the benefits of this, but I labeled parts early and often so I knew which part went where and which direction it was oriented. No wasted time re-identifying parts…

So here they are… I think they came out great. The last picture is with my mom.

Made from quarter sawn white oak.
And finished with…

- ammonia fuming (for 24 hours)
- 3 coats of shellac (garnett from dewaxed flakes)
- dark brown paste wax
- 1 coat of shellac
- 3 coats of minwax, wipe on poly. ( for tops and shelf tops)
- clear wax

-- Chris Wilder, Santa Cruz CA

15 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3190 days

#1 posted 09-04-2012 07:05 PM

Wow, those are some beautiful shelves. I love all things Roycroft and just may have to add that one to the list of future projects. Thanks for posting!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3926 days

#2 posted 09-04-2012 07:39 PM

I’m not a finishing expert and am wondering if I read this correctly.
You have a coat of wax sandwiched between shellac coats ? How does that work ?
Thanks : )

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


5817 posts in 3052 days

#3 posted 09-04-2012 08:11 PM

Wow, nice job! I really like the keyed tenons – what a great detail.
You did a great job on these shelves.

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

View tbone's profile


276 posts in 3923 days

#4 posted 09-04-2012 10:34 PM

Beyond nice!

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

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2531 days

#5 posted 09-04-2012 11:04 PM

Very, very nice—really like what you accomplished.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 09-04-2012 11:15 PM

excellent tables!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2463 days

#7 posted 09-04-2012 11:58 PM

Oh, I like these. Those through tenons with the wedges make me smile. Looks like your mom is smiling too!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile


80 posts in 2344 days

#8 posted 09-05-2012 02:16 AM


-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3815 days

#9 posted 09-05-2012 02:27 AM

Well done It looks pretty close to an original ( I own one) Besides the stain the only difference I can see is your top is thicker than the my original .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3829 days

#10 posted 09-05-2012 06:45 AM

I like the design. Great work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2378 days

#11 posted 09-05-2012 01:53 PM

I design just about everything I make in SketchUp, so I know exactly where you’re coming from. Many a mistake has been caught prior to construction because of that. Though I find that sometimes I try to shortcut what I’ve done in the model and that ends up not working out how I’d like, but that’s just a product of my impatience or laziness.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3794 days

#12 posted 09-05-2012 02:00 PM

Excellent work, looks great

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View JackMoony's profile


35 posts in 2386 days

#13 posted 09-05-2012 02:04 PM

Hi All! Thanks to all of you who left comments. I really enjoy BUILDING the items, but you make sharing the results fun too. Thanks.

-- Chris Wilder, Santa Cruz CA

View JackMoony's profile


35 posts in 2386 days

#14 posted 09-05-2012 02:11 PM

Dusty—Yes, that was my finishing schedule. Not sure if it was completely necessary, but I put the layer of shellac down to sit between the wax and the poly layer.

-- Chris Wilder, Santa Cruz CA

View Doghouse77's profile


9 posts in 2741 days

#15 posted 09-05-2012 07:42 PM

The only thing that I could think of that would be better than a smiling mom, is a smiling wife and a smiling mom! Superb work.

-- The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue."- author unknown.

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