Oak Bookcase

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Project by jmp posted 633 days ago 1685 views 19 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have just completed this bookcase for my daughter, Olivia. I must thank Ken Dixon, who posted his cherry bookcase nearly 2 years ago. I had just taken up woodworking at that time and this bookcase was an inspiration for me and Ken very kindly provided me with details of the curves and dimensions. I think I am right in saying that the design was based on a chest of drawers that was a Wood Whisperer’s Guild Build, so credit must go to Marc Spagnuolo as well. Soon after I took up woodworking I really got the bug and started on a number of projects all at once so the bookcase has taken nearly 2 years to finish. The build is not that complicated, though, a mortice and tenon based frame with slot in side and back panels. The curves are rough cut on the bandsaw and then finished with a template and guided router. I am really into curves now and they usually feature in my recent work.
Living in the UK, rather than cherry, I chose oak, which we have plenty of. I was lucky to come across a beautiful piece of quarter sawn wood that was big enough to allow me to cut all the curved posts. The top and shelves are from pippy oak and I particularly like the figuring on the top. The side panels are from extra heat treated or stasis oak which I came across in a local timber yard. I had not heard of this before and I am told it is the longer kiln drying that produces the dark colour. The back is made from a variety of oak lippings which are then tongue and grooved. The only parts that are not oak are the patterns which are from walnut dowels and squares.
For the finish I used Tung oil to bring out the grain and for topcoat GF ARM seal varnish, gloss for the top, semi gloss for the rest. Finally it all got a thorough waxing with Black Bison dark oak paste wax.
I became really attached to this bookcase but I am glad to say that my daughter is thrilled with her early Christmas present!


15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


112018 posts in 2211 days

#1 posted 633 days ago

This is a fantastic piece Jonathan

-- Custom furniture

View CatholicWoodworker's profile


20 posts in 638 days

#2 posted 633 days ago

Great piece! The quartersawn grain is beautiful. Are you getting her some new books for Christmas?

-- "What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway." -Mother Teresa

View ChrisK's profile


1113 posts in 1715 days

#3 posted 633 days ago

Great looking piece, very nice workmanship.

-- Chris K

View david38's profile


1065 posts in 977 days

#4 posted 633 days ago

looks great

View helluvawreck's profile


15623 posts in 1501 days

#5 posted 633 days ago

Very nice and stylish. Good work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 810 days

#6 posted 633 days ago

Amazing work.

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13829 posts in 972 days

#7 posted 633 days ago

Like the look of it. Makes you feel like it would work in any house.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 1617 days

#8 posted 633 days ago

thats a great looking book case!

View LeslieC's profile


147 posts in 732 days

#9 posted 633 days ago

This is absolutely beautiful. I love the style and craftsmanship. It seems to have a bit of Arts & Crafts influence. Anyway, I love it.

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

View staryder's profile


149 posts in 673 days

#10 posted 633 days ago

Beautiful Project Jonathan definately an inspiring piece….

-- Rick.... Fort Worth, Texas

View HorizontalMike's profile


6926 posts in 1548 days

#11 posted 632 days ago

Wow! As Leslie points out the A&C influence, I love it! A “favorites” it is!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2378 days

#12 posted 632 days ago

Very nice job, Jonathan. The different methods of sawing and the variety of woods really make this piece unique. Nice job on the design and finish. Thanks for posting.

View Alongiron's profile


402 posts in 1327 days

#13 posted 632 days ago

One of my favorites! Great job! I am sure your daughter will enjoy that her entire life. A Family Heirloom

-- Measure twice and cut once.....

View Lenny's profile (online now)


1252 posts in 2161 days

#14 posted 632 days ago

As a Dad with two of his own, I have a soft spot for gifts given to daughters. While you rightfully give credit where it is due, you should definitely take some yourself. For someone who has only been woodworking for two years you demonstrate fine craftsmanship. Also, your decision of where to use your stock, e.g., the dark oak for the side panels, was right on target. Nice job all around and a wonderful gift to your daughter.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Ken Dixon's profile

Ken Dixon

65 posts in 1857 days

#15 posted 632 days ago

Looks great Jonathan!!

-- Ken, Kanata Ont. Canada

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