CC's Book Case #7: TaDUM!

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Blog entry by SquintyPolock posted 08-04-2014 04:29 PM 1764 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Face Frame Part 7 of CC's Book Case series no next part

Well, 14 months later, CC’s 8th grade graduation present is complete (She graduated last June, ugh).

At work, I like to say that “Excuses + No Results = No Results”. So, I will spare you my excuses, as they are plentiful. But, I finally got her done. CC asked the case remain unfinished, as she plans to paint & decorate it herself.

I figure I spent a total of about 30 man-hours and about $150 in materials on the project.

My wife love’s this bookcase so much and has been joking that we should keep it for ourselves.
I guess I have another one on the horizon. But, in the mean time, I wrapped the case up in blankets, to keep my wife from coveting her niece’s present, until I deliver it, next week.

One question for the experienced Jocks out there. Look at this crack in the top. (CC is getting the book case just like this – who sees the top anyway.)

Expansion? Contraction? Dry Chicago winters and humid summers. How to resolve? How to keep this from happening in the future?

After a long hard look at the finished project, I realize I am long way from my best work and I know that each project will be a litter better than the last. Practice makes perfect and I do enjoy the practice.

Thanks for having a look!


-- It's all in a day's work...

4 comments so far

View Louie's profile


34 posts in 2552 days

#1 posted 08-04-2014 06:24 PM

Very nice job, I hope your niece loves it.

-- What I lack in skill, I make up for in putty.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 4110 days

#2 posted 08-04-2014 06:42 PM

My guess is that you screwed down the solid top to plywood sides and the top split when it dried out. Plywood won’t expand/contract with changes in humidity. Solid stock, like your top, will expand/contract perpendicular to the grain with changes in humidity.

In this situation the usual technique is to attach the top rigidly at the front and to use some attachment method at the back that will allow the top to slide. One idea is to have a cleat glued along the top edge of the plywood sides. Near the back form a 1/4” slot running front-to-back. Run a pan head screw from the bottom of the cleat through the slot into the bottom of the top. Ideally the screw should be centered in the slot. This way the screw will prevent the top from lifting away from the cleat, but will slide front-to-back should the top expand or contract.

-- Greg D.

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 3582 days

#3 posted 08-05-2014 03:44 PM

Nice looking project here Squinty,the wood appears to be Ash, or maybe oak, did I see paint mentioned here UGH
Stain or natural sounds better to me. As far as the crack in the top, just appears to be a bad board in the glue up, some trees when they are felled, will fracture at the growth rings, and show their ugly heads after a project is finished, this happens a lot with Ash Even tho it is in the top and nobody see it, you as the woodworker knows it’s there, same for the screws, if it was mine, I would have counter sunk and plugged the holes.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View SquintyPolock's profile


102 posts in 2871 days

#4 posted 08-08-2014 02:18 PM

Thanks for the tips guys. It’s Oak and I agree that stain or natural is the way to go. But…

She is going to paint it all kinds of colors – I disagree, but it’s her bookcase. Since she’s gona paint it, I’m not too worried about the top.

-- It's all in a day's work...

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