Built-In Bookcases and Mantel Surround

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Blog series by Jonathan updated 06-16-2010 08:49 PM 5 parts 9481 reads 14 comments total

Part 1: Project Overview.

05-18-2010 06:44 PM by Jonathan | 0 comments »

About a week ago, I finally began the built-in bookcase and mantel surround project for our living room that I’ve been talking about in a lot of other posts. I need to post less and work more, I think ;) I originally started a blog on it here: but have since decided to start over. You can check out that initial blog for a couple of pictures of the space the project will be going into, as well as my thoughts on everything from several months ag...

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Part 2: Getting Things Underway... Bookcase Mock-Ups

05-18-2010 07:35 PM by Jonathan | 3 comments »

Day-1 Mock-Ups: Down in the basement. A pile of wood at my side. Checklist:wood…checktablesaw…checkleather gloves…checkeye protection…checkiPod…checkconvictions…check Take a deep breath. OK, that feels better… (besides, the air is still clean!) Turn on tablesaw. Done. Crosscut 4-pieces of plywood to 44” long for the sides of the bookcases, and the other 4-pieces to 37-3/4” long for the shelves.Ripcut plywood to 10.5”...

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Part 3: MDF prices are soaring! (Or maybe it's the riftsawn white oak veneer on top of that MDF?)

05-19-2010 09:01 PM by Jonathan | 4 comments »

I went to the lumber supply store last week and purchased 1-sheet of 3/4” riftsawn white oak MDF core plywood and 1-sheet of 1/4” riftsawn white oak MDF core plywood for the bookcase carcasses and backing material. Holy cow, that put a dent in the plastic! Good thing that card has a high deflection rate. The 3/4” sheet was $124, plus tax and the 1/4” sheet was $70-something, plus tax. The grand total for a couple of sheets of MDF was $212.37! Wow, MDF has g...

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Part 4: Possibly adding a drawer, or discreet compartment?

06-12-2010 04:54 PM by Jonathan | 5 comments »

Before I address the title of this blog entry, I must back up a bit here. I have not been working on the bookcases and mantel for several weeks because near the end of May, my grandfather became very ill and passed away on June 1st. Our family left town at the end of last weekend after the service was held. In the midst of all this turmoil, several sections of our back fence blew over during some 50-60mph winds. We were going to replace this fence either later this fall, or possibly next spri...

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Part 5: Joinery Woes, With a Potential Solution.

06-16-2010 08:49 PM by Jonathan | 2 comments »

Once I really began designing the bookcases in my head, along with learning more about joinery methods and the necessity of allowing for seasonal wood movement, I had to sit down and try to refigure everything out. It wasn’t as simple as making a square frame out of plywood and then throwing a couple of 1-inch thick pieces of riftsawn white oak hardwood on top. I suppose you could do it, but then it would just have to be fixed or redone at some point. This first picture is a drawi...

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