Bookcase (sort of) w/ Sketchup

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Project by vrice posted 06-30-2013 07:32 PM 1319 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a rather unusual book case/stand I built for my daughter, made from walnut. She had a picture of what she wanted from somewhere on the internet. I created a Sketchup model for this thing, maintaining the overall design while setting all the dimensions appropriate for what my daughter was after. This is even more helpful than usual due to all the curved pieces. All these curved pieces where created by starting with a full scale print of the piece from the Sketchup model. Using this I cut out a template. Then used this template to cut out and then route, w/ a flush trim bit, to get end result.
Several aspects of the joinery in this one were a challenge. The front legs consisted of two pieces, a straight piece and a curved piece. This two are joined by a mortise and tenon joint. The X-braces have tenons on the ends which fit into mortises on the back and front legs. I decided to use finger joints to form the top apron.
I normally just apply a natural finish to my projects. In this case my daughter wanted this piece to match her newly acquired bed, which is VERY dark with a hint of red. So, I decided to make use of dye which I have not ever messed with before. I bought 3 shades of Transfast Dye Powder; black, dark walnut and red. After some experimentation I landed on 1 part red, 1 part dark walnut and 2 parts black. This gave me a good match to the existing bed. Lastly i applied about 6 coats of Waterlox original.
This particular design is not really my cup of tea, BUT it was loads of fun to build.
I’ve added the last image to show what can be done with Sketchup and Kerkythea 2008 rendering softrware (freeware). During the design of this project, via Sketchup, I showed my daughter images created from the Sketchup model using the Kerkythea software. The likeness to what was actually built is rather amazing and definitely let’s your client (my daughter in this case) get a great idea of how the project will actually look.

-- Vic Rice

3 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1970 days

#1 posted 07-01-2013 12:31 AM

It may not be your choice of design but it looks great and challenges in a project only increase your skill level.
I am sure your daughter thinks Dad did an excellent job…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View vrice's profile


101 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 07-02-2013 01:05 AM

Thanks Dave. This was a challenge….....for me.

-- Vic Rice

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2321 days

#3 posted 07-02-2013 09:08 PM

That’s beautiful and not your ordinary book shelves, very nice stain and finish. Lucky daughter!

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