Bookcase Challenge04 #1: Bookcase entry – Challenge04

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Blog entry by lightweightladylefty posted 04-05-2008 10:13 PM 2318 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bookcase Challenge04 series Part 2: Building the "crown" »

I had already started working on the design for this bookcase when I became aware of this contest. Realizing that my built-in application (designed to conceal ductwork) was quite different from the needs of most people, I slightly redesigned the crown to make it a free-standing bookcase (although, for the sake of safety, I would still attach it to a wall if I were to place this one in my home).

bookcase b&w leftside

The close-up of the crown shows the area for built-in lighting which is simply a 36” fluorescent striplight with a drop-in panel to hide it. This crown is 18” deep by 12” high. The crown molding at the top is standard stock approximately 3¼”. The lower crown molding is also standard stock approximately 2¼”. The front of the crown is decorated with a carved onlay.

Bookcase crown

The two corner pieces at the bottom of the crown are simply 1-3/8” x 2¼” with a series of beaded roundover and cove cuts with the router.

Bookcase detail

The top doors could be plain glass or a single pane of textured glass. (I’m planning to make leaded glass panels to insert into the doors, so for strength I might build the top doors from thicker oak with a rabbeted inset so they protrude the same ¾” as the lower raised panel oak doors.)

Bookcase plain glass

The proportions used on the bookcase were chosen to complement the kitchen island/bookcase which I recently completed (I hope to eventually blog it); to allow for repeating similar glasswork as the dining cabinets in the same room; and to fill the available space below the ductwork.

The bookcase is 38” wide by 12” deep by 72” high. (The 12” depth was chosen so the approximately 10½” interior depth is sufficient for a 3-ring binder but not so deep as to lose smaller books in the back.)

The seam between the crown and bookcase is concealed with ¾” half-round molding. (I’m using this molding on mine to allow for about ¼” gap between crown and bookcase so that I can slide the bookcase under the crown which is attached to ductwork enclosure and wall.)

The face frame is joined with pocket holes, then joined to the sides with splined miters. One shelf in the lower cabinet is adjustable, as are two shelves in the top portion. The doors and side panels are routed using rail/stile and raised panel bits.

This is a view of the finished bookcase which will be stained a medium oak color to match my cabinets.

“SketchUp file”:

-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

8 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 5293 days

#1 posted 04-05-2008 10:20 PM

looks like a good challenge.

-- making sawdust....

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5482 days

#2 posted 04-06-2008 01:57 AM

I like the lighting idea. It’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the overhang.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5895 days

#3 posted 04-06-2008 02:22 AM

Great design

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 5592 days

#4 posted 04-06-2008 05:05 AM

That is so beautiful it should go in a church. It’s an awesome design.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5316 days

#5 posted 04-06-2008 02:07 PM

This is a nice design and I, too, like the lighting detail. The onlay adds some visual interest to the piece as well.

Nice entry.

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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5206 days

#6 posted 04-08-2008 06:47 AM

Thanks so much for all the encouraging remarks. This certainly is one friendly group of woodworkers!

-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View Charles Mullins's profile

Charles Mullins

94 posts in 5206 days

#7 posted 04-09-2008 03:48 PM

That is a very nice design!

(I’ve GOT to get sketchup and learn to use it!)

-- God makes the wood beautiful--I simply rearrange it to make it more useful, hopefully.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5655 days

#8 posted 04-10-2008 06:00 PM


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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