Hand Tools Archive

Quickie Bookshelf, at Bill's Request *PIC*

david weaver
At the risk of ruining my reputation (not that I build anything nice, but that I build anything at all), my wife all of the sudden two weeks ago demanded a bookshelf, and the two options sucked - one was an unfinished house shaped bookshelf made of common pine (knots and all) for $250 with gaps all over the place. Just awful, it wouldn't even look good painted unless someone caulked it like house trim.

The other option is that she thought she'd go to the high end kids store here and get a solid finished bookshelf for $250. It's more likely at that store that they'd have one for $500+ made of pine.

It looks like there are dark gaps around the HBDT at the top, but those are pencil marks where I'd like to take a little material off of the pins. When I haven't done anything for a while, it always seems like things are a bit tight, and tough to get glued up quickly. They are still otherwise rougher than the picture would make them look.

I will put two shelves in the middle of it via dado and make a simple moulding on the top and make a base with a cove and rabbet (no clue what you'd call it), and trim on the front with a bead, similar to this one that I built for my daughter under similar duress. (never noticed the wax in that bed until the camera flashed it).

I could put a nicer moulding on it, but I doubt my son would apprecate it (he's 1)

The total cost to me is going to be $240, including enough stock to make a T&G back and for some shellac and wax.

Rockler sends out flyers here all the time (and they're only about 2 miles away), but when they have deal wood, it's just awful, and this is that. I hope it darkens enough to negate a lot of what you see on it. It's almost white. When they have pallets of low priced wood, they empty the racks of any good 4/4 wood (or it seems that way). and the good wood is only about 30% more. I asked the guy there where the good wood went, and they looked at me like I was talking greek (the good wood was supposedly on sale, too, but nowhere to be found. You don't want to look at the wood price list in that place if there isn't a sale).

I said "it's nice that this stuff is inexpensive, but it's pre-thicknessed and it looks like every piece of culled wood they couldn't do anything with at the mill, either due to staining or width"

When I said that, they looked like they were really unhappy with me!! Two years ago, I got a plano setup. That's such a nice device for this junk wood - you can take the cull pile wood and get the boards to line up perfectly on a glue up.

Posted at bill's request (to talk about stuff being built rather than fighting about whose dovetail method is good), I don't build much furniture or cabinetry and when I do I don't post about it, anyway. And I wouldn't post about something plain like this, but it does meet my minimum standards:

* proper joints at the corners
* no endgrain showing once done
* no plywood

I'd challenge anyone to find a decent solid bookshelf with long term use possibility for $250. I sure couldn't find anything already made.

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