Thoughts on bookcase ?

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Forum topic by kdr152004 posted 12-11-2016 11:42 PM 595 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 619 days

12-11-2016 11:42 PM

Hi all,

I built my first bookcase recently from baltic birch plywood for the carcase and shelves (local lumber yard doesn’t have cherry ply) and solid cherry for the faceframe and moulding – but I’m having some builders remorse so to speak.

I feel as though the 2-tone look is not visually appealing , and it’s really bothering me- what are your thoughts ? Initially, I tried staining the birch ply with a cherry gel stain, but it looked more like red lipstick that it did the solid cherry, so I just finished everything in linseed/oil-based poly mix.

Is it not too late too late to match the sides to the faceframe somehow?

Comments appreciated,


16 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1621 posts in 2645 days

#1 posted 12-12-2016 12:25 AM

We live and learn amigo…..put that one in the garage and build you another for in the house.

View jbay's profile


1856 posts in 735 days

#2 posted 12-12-2016 12:33 AM

I like it on the inside but not so much the 2 exterior sides. It’s not awful though. It will grow on you.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View Rich's profile (online now)


1978 posts in 425 days

#3 posted 12-12-2016 01:26 AM

I think you’re being too hard on yourself. It’s beautifully constructed, and the two-tone effect isn’t unattractive. I guarantee people who see it will compliment you on it. Don’t fall into the obsessive-compulsive need to critique it. Just say thanks.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View pontic's profile


501 posts in 445 days

#4 posted 12-12-2016 01:49 AM

I like the contrast. Leave it be. It looks well executed.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3204 days

#5 posted 12-12-2016 02:14 AM

Get some cherry veneer and fix it.

View BurlyBob's profile


5051 posts in 2102 days

#6 posted 12-12-2016 06:05 AM

I too like the visual contrast. I guess if it bugs you to much you could paint it. I hear that modern home decorating is opposed to wood grain, go figure.

View jeffswildwood's profile


2559 posts in 1813 days

#7 posted 12-12-2016 01:12 PM

Actually I like it as is! Well made, the two tone look seems appealing to me and it matches your hardwood floor nicely. Sometimes we are our worst critic.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

79 posts in 541 days

#8 posted 12-12-2016 02:53 PM

Another vote for keep it as -is! There are a million bookcases out there that are all matchy-matchy. Yours is somewhat unique, and as others have stated, beautifully constructed.

I’m in the planning phase for some built-in bookcases. I’m considering a 2-tone effect. On purpose!

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View rwe2156's profile


2714 posts in 1317 days

#9 posted 12-12-2016 02:59 PM

I don’t think it looks too bad.

If its really bothering you one fix would be to add a 1/4” cherry ply to the sides and add a small moulding to hide the edge.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Albert's profile


491 posts in 3426 days

#10 posted 12-12-2016 03:00 PM

Take it apart and use the plywood for future projects, maybe you can salvage the face frame. Rebuild it with something you will be proud of when you see it rather than ‘oh @@#$!

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2273 days

#11 posted 12-12-2016 04:55 PM

Put me in the “it’s fine the way it is” school of thought.

The contrast catches the eye more than a monochrome piece would. So if you want people to notice your work, leave it as it is. If you want people to simply see a bookcase in the room, follow any of the suggestions above.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View KYSean's profile


119 posts in 3433 days

#12 posted 12-12-2016 07:11 PM

Something to be proud of!


View bondogaposis's profile


4478 posts in 2187 days

#13 posted 12-12-2016 07:57 PM

It is a nice cabinet and well built. I’m like you though and not really liking the 2 tone. I would say that you could even out the tone by stripping the finish on the sides and dyeing the birch to a better matter match. However birch will never look like cherry in the end and you still may be unhappy with the results It will also take a daunting amount of effort. I recommend you build another bookcase, this time seek out and find that cherry plywood, you can always use that one for shop shelving or garage storage.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View oldnovice's profile


6428 posts in 3204 days

#14 posted 12-13-2016 03:29 AM

Whether it is good or bad looking is in the eye of the beholder and I think that it is unique and distinctive.
If you decide to build another one, or two, you can set them on either side to hide the sides that bother you.

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

View kdr152004's profile


7 posts in 619 days

#15 posted 12-13-2016 01:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Turns out matching birch ply to cherry is not a trivial task. Better planning next time…


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