Castle Bookcase

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Blog series by RaggedKerf updated 08-16-2013 11:01 PM 16 parts 14075 reads 0 comments total

Part 1: Design

08-16-2013 10:21 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

In the spirit of keeping up to date, I’ve decided to post the blog entires for my recent castle bookcase project. My daughter, Kylie is two now and long overdue for a bookcase to house not only her growing collection of books but also the books my son no longer reads (he is four now and is starting to learn to read books that have chapters). The pile on the floor is just not cutting it any more. When she was an infant the five or six books we read to her were easy to store on top o...

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Part 2: First Cuts

08-16-2013 10:25 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Today, I transferred all my measurements from the plans to the 1/2” ACX plywood (4’x4’ sheets) I bought last week. Whipped out the Versacut and sliced and diced till i had the sides, top, bottom shelf, main shelf inner support and toy front cut out. I also decided to lose the lop shelf and shrink the height from 42” to 36” to better fit the space i have to work with in Kylie’s room. Also decided to cut down the large book space (20” is way too b...

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Part 3: Carcase Assembly

08-16-2013 10:28 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Spent an hour in the shop today assembling the carcase. It was very quick. First I marked on the side where the bottom shelf and top shelf would be, drew layout lines and coated with glue. Then I put the shelf in place, tightened the Kreg screws and bam, shelves installed. I flipped the side with two shelves attached and repeated the process for the other side and voila, sides and shelves done! Love the pocket screws…perfect method for plywood. Then I repeated the steps fo...

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Part 4: Carcase Assembly Part II

08-16-2013 10:32 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Today I installed a block (2 2×4 cut-offs glued and screwed together) to support the bottom shelf, directly under the support brace for the main shelf. Here it is before installation: It was a perfect fit and will carry any weight from the top shelf down through the bottom shelf nicely, I think. To install it, I drew lines where the vertical support will go, then countersunk screws in that space to hold the block. A layer of glue and the vertical support was installed with p...

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Part 5: Trim

08-16-2013 10:34 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Today was a short day in the shop. I had to split my time between the bookcase and weeding, trimming some bushes and planted a rosebush. The sun finally broke through the clouds and the rain we’ve been socked with for the past week so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some yardwork done during naptime. That said, I did accomplish something today: I fired up the new router table for the first trial run and it was an unqualified success! Despite its humble appearance ...

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Part 6: Trim Part II

08-16-2013 10:36 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

I used what time I had today to make the final cuts on the base moulding and attach both sides and front with glue and nails. Used up quite a bit of time just clearing space in the garage and setting up an assembly table with sawhorses and of course cleaning up and putting things away so my wife could park her car later. That’s when it dawned on me: this is the largest project I’ve attempted since the workbench! Anyway, after fiddling with the moulding, I decided on pl...

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Part 7: Decorations

08-16-2013 10:39 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

After discussing it with my wife, we decided it would be better to have another shelf on the bookcase and shorten the toy storage area. Easy enough. I ripped out a new shelf, trimmed to size a d drilled pocket holes. Some glue and screws and a other shelf is born. Hint: it’s the narrow one directly above the large opening, bottom left of the picture below. Then I cut out the toy storage front piece with the jigsaw: When it was free, I used the tracing paper outline of a flowe...

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Part 8: First Tower

08-16-2013 10:40 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

I spent the time I had today out in the muggy shop sweatin’ and sandin’. I took the little palm sander to all the front edges of the plywood shelves and rounded everything over. Lesson learned: next time sand everything BEFORE you assemble…. I had decided over the weekend to forfoe adding trim to the front of each shelf because this thing will be primed and painted anyway…you won’t be able to tell what type of wood was used to begin with. Once all the crack...

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Part 9: We Got Turrets!

08-16-2013 10:42 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

This is a short post but has a picture that shows more than I can write. I cut the sonotube up in two 12” long segments (the sonotube, used for pouring concrete pillars, is 8” in diameter and made of a heavy duty wax lined cardboard—-in short the Japanese saw cut through it like butter!). On those two sections (the kids got the 4’ of scrap to play with lol) I cut out a semi-circle, leaving half the tube open for 7”. That left a 5” tall tube trailed by 7...

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Part 10: Modifying the Turrets

08-16-2013 10:43 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

I took the opportunity today to cut doorways in the sides of the turrets per Sara’s suggestion. With the razor saw and a box cutter it was not difficult. I sketched out two Medieval looking arch doorways and cut them out. Once the turrets were finalized, I grabbed the scrap 1/8” hardboard (leftover from the back I cut out a while back) and used the scrollsaw to cut out two semi-circles to make “ceilings” for the little turret rooms. Here’s the glue-up in pr...

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Part 11: Gluing the Turrets

08-16-2013 10:45 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Today I finished the lower part of the turrets. The bottom pieces were glued up this morning. Then when they were dry (enough) I attached them to the turrets: Then I did a test fit a few hours later and here is what it looks like: Looking good, so I moved on to glue up the corbels and main turret platform like so: As everything dried I cut out two 9” diameter circles from the 1/2” plywood for the tops of the two turrets. More fun with the scrollsaw! ...

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Part 12: Crenelations and Glue Up

08-16-2013 10:50 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

A lot of progress today. I decided to skip using the round turret tops because it was proving to be too difficult to get the hardboard and then thin plywood to make the curve. Everything either snapped or would simply disintegrate when soaked with water. Here’s how the center turret looked when cut out of the Sonotube: Not bad, but the tips were frayed and not very strong. Kylie would be sure to destroy them pretty quickly. So how to make them stronger? Well, after thin...

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Part 13: Drawbridge and Blog Anniversary

08-16-2013 10:52 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Well, time sure does fly. I was 1 year ago today that I started this blog with dreams of building my own workbench in my head. Here’s the first post, just for laughs. Today, after I spent 30 minutes adding wood epoxy to all the cracks and gaps (more than I’d like but fewer and smaller than would have been the case last year!), I set to work on the drawbridge In concept, it’s simply a piece of wood (I used 3/4” pine) cut to fit the shape the opening. I rounded ...

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Part 14: Prepping for Paint

08-16-2013 10:57 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

I wrapped up the final bits necessary before painting in the past few days. Here’s the rundown on what I’ve been up to… First, I sanded everything. This took a whole day’s session…there’s a lot of surface area on this beastie. When satisfied the kids won’t get any splinters and everything was nice and smooth, I worked on the draw bridge. I used the router table to rout vertical grooves to simulate planks. Like so: Oops, the picture is...

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Part 15: Paint, Paint, and More Paint

08-16-2013 10:59 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

The color scheme on the castle is fairly simple, but it coordinates with Kylie’s bedding on her new big girl bed. Two shades of purple, one light, one dark. My master plan is to use flat paint, then cover the entire project in a few coats of clear shellac and sand and buff to get the perfect glossy-but-not-slippery surface. For the main castle and turrets, I got a quart of the light purple at the BORG. For the highlights, crenelations, roof, inner portals, etc, I got a sample cu...

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Part 16: Grand Finale

08-16-2013 11:01 PM by RaggedKerf | 0 comments »

Thus begins the home stretch. Yesterday, I glued up the letters, decorated some little stars and fimished prep on the mirror and frame. I also wrapped up touch paint and trimmed the excess paint off the base trim where it sat on a plastic tarp during painting. In all, I spent about three hours doing fine detail work. Today was he final day. I started applying shellac at 9am and by 1 pm I had two solid coats on the entire bookcase (using a paint brush). I have to say, after usi...

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