Bhutanese Inspired Bookcase

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Blog entry by lobbster posted 04-21-2008 07:45 AM 2864 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This design is a takeoff of a night table design I did last year. The influence is the architecture of Bhutan. I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, one of only about three places in the world that share this type of architecture. Bhutanese temples are characterized by their inward sloping walls and graduated windows.
Front View:

I used a combination of the golden ratio and Hambidge Progression to come up with the dimensions. The bookcase is open on both sides and can be placed anywhere in a room. The shelves are fixed and at varying heights from larger to smaller as they go up. The design case is sturdy and still allows for a variety of different sized books.
Front View with Dimensions:

The legs, shelves, and frame of the top will be ebonized walnut. The case will be maple. The curved fronts of each of the shelves will be accented with maple plugs. The windows on each side are progressively smaller as they go down like those of the temples. They also allow for a glimpse into the case from the side.
Side View:

Side View with Dimensions:

The top will be made of a frame of ebonized walnut and panel of maple, mitered corners and a gentle curve along each edge.
Top View with Dimensions:

The design was drawn the old fashioned way (the technique with the most character)...paper and pencil.

-- lobbster, Oregon,

8 comments so far

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 5066 days

#1 posted 04-21-2008 08:37 AM

Very nice. When I saw the title I just had to click, as I’m a fan of woodworking inspirations that come from abroad. Hope this one does well in the competition!

-- Eric at

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5105 days

#2 posted 04-21-2008 12:35 PM

This is a very unique design.

Good luck in the contest.

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

View FloridaNoCypress's profile


16 posts in 4979 days

#3 posted 04-21-2008 02:54 PM

I, too, like unusual designs, particularly those from China, Japan, and other Asian nations. Which is why I also tend to favor some muted curves in designs that are otherwise quite heavy on the “straight” line. Is there really such a thing as a straight line in nature?

My one hang-up about Asian-inspired designs and decor is the seemingly heavy-handed application of dark tones, although I have seen Asian lines in pieces which have quite a bit of light tones. Your piece strikes a good balance between the dark and light woods.

-- FloridaNoCypress

View Terdy's profile


37 posts in 5416 days

#4 posted 04-21-2008 07:37 PM

Would the top look better with the curve on the inside instead of the outside, and are those funny little squares on the side going to have some type of inlay in them? :v)

-- Terry

View pappyjohn's profile


138 posts in 4996 days

#5 posted 04-21-2008 10:55 PM

Very Nice Design, My son says he loves the oriental look, he looks forward to building one similar. So you have a following. Like the touch of the windows on the sides of the case. Love the idea of the Ebonized Walnut, and Maple (do you think it will be the Tiger Maple), I think that Tiger would look Awesome. Best of luck with the Build-off.

-- Your Brother in WoodWorking John, Pittsburgh , PA.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5582 days

#6 posted 04-22-2008 05:23 PM

I wish you luck!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5082 days

#7 posted 04-22-2008 10:40 PM



-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View lobbster's profile


24 posts in 5143 days

#8 posted 04-23-2008 04:20 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments, I have some pretty good competition here.
Pappyjohn-Tiger maple is a great idea although I’ve always tried to come up with designs that will carry the piece rather than the type of wood.
BFF from BF-The inside curve and the inlay are also great ideas…maybe if I included them (and I don’t win this contest) I could get this piece in another magazine! – your BFF from SH

-- lobbster, Oregon,

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