Popular Woodworking Bookcase Design Contest Entry

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Blog entry by leonmcd posted 04-20-2008 06:36 AM 1732 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m very new to Sketchup and I’ve had more trouble than most learning how to do anything useful with it. Just in the last two days I made major progress. I’ll probably do a separate forum or blog post to discuss my trials and tribulations with SketchUp.

For the project, I wanted something light and airy. I think this bookcase has the lightness I wanted yet sturdy. The weight of the bookcase rests on a base so that there is no weight on the curved ends of the side rails. Since there is no strain on the curved parts, I’ll probably leave the grain running vertically for the entire side loops.

The back edge of the shelf is designed to provide a stop for the books, hold the optional bookends and add resistance to racking. The under shelf supports provide additional strength. There are 10 of these supports but I think they could be roughed out with a bandsaw then routed with a template to finished size. The rest of the shelf/side support joints are simple matching dados. These interlock to provide additional stiffness. These could be doweled if necessary for additional strength and provide another decorative touch. Biscuits hold the two side loop sets together. The back edge of the shelf components are also joined with biscuits.
The drawing does not show it, but I’m considering using a 1/8” round over bit on the outside edges of the side rails to soften the look. Also considering softening the front edges of the shelves.

The piece on the top shelf is a movable bookend. There could be several of these. These are not connected to the shelf in any way so they are completely removable. The end of the bookend fits in the grove in the back of the shelf. If the top tries to tip over, the bottom extension will bind in the grove and support the book.

The Sketchup File includes a detailed drawing of the back edge of the shelf and how it joins with the side rail. Also includes details of the curved shelf supports.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

3 comments so far

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4732 days

#1 posted 04-20-2008 07:03 AM

Nice design. I´m admiring your ability to learn sketchup.

-- Jiri

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4742 days

#2 posted 04-20-2008 12:43 PM

Hi Leon,

This is an interesting design for the contest. I both congratulate you and empathize with you on the Sketchup learning curve. I guess the only real way to learn it is to simply dive in and begin using it.

Good luck on your entry.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 4795 days

#3 posted 04-20-2008 01:33 PM


Nice design!

BUT: Make sure you use the tag challenge04 – otherwise, the entry won’t count !!!!!! You will this detail in Martin’s announcement.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

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