Pine Bookcase

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Project by Todd Thomas posted 12-21-2008 03:50 PM 4228 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the 2nd time I was hired to build anything in the woodworking area…..The client brings me a picture of this bookcase and asked if I could build her one only bigger…She ended up going with pine to save some money.
I don’t have a shop, so I built it in her driveway and garage….I loved building this for her and I got paid to boot…didn’t seem fair…...I need to really work on the finishing/staining skills :-( not what I would like….

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

16 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

557 posts in 4766 days

#1 posted 12-21-2008 04:26 PM

My first paying project (woodworking) was a pine bunk bed. It turned out blotchy, so I took it apart and ran it through the planer, bought some pre-stain and redid it. Turned out much better and taught me a lesson.

Looks like a very good b”build”.

-- jstegall

View Gary's profile


1512 posts in 5574 days

#2 posted 12-21-2008 04:59 PM

Nice work. I interpret your post to suggest you’re asking for tips staining pine, so here goes.
I used to work with pine much more than I do these days but still use pine for certain projects.
First off, there are many varieties and grades of pine. From the generic `White woods’ sold by BORGs such as HD and Lowe’s—which could be anything—and are real soft to the real nice pines such as Heart pine, southern yellow pine (often longleaf or loblolly pine), Caribbean pine, and numerous others.
The white woods are almost always best painted.
Any pine that’s going to be stained is best washcoated first with a sealcoat of dewaxed Shellac.
It’s actually very easy to do that [However—note the BIG Caveat here] IF you mix your own shellac.
And, as it turns out, that’s also very easy to do. Order DeWaxed Shellac Flakes from, and to those flakes add the appropriate amount of Denatured Alcohol. There will be a formula to achieve a 1.5# cut and that’s what you’re after. Make a pad for applying the shellac and wipe it on. You don’t need a fine finish at this point. Just a nice, rather smooth seal coat to prevent splotching when you apply the stain.
Hope that’s useful to you.

-- Gary, Florida

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 5054 days

#3 posted 12-21-2008 05:01 PM

Very nice design for a bookcase with plenty of storage space.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 4737 days

#4 posted 12-21-2008 06:31 PM

Ditto on what Gary said. Another treatment for pine that works well is milk paints, which you can topcoat with any poly. Really opens up a whole new color scheme, and are easy to use. I would still washcoat with the dewaxed shellac first. Nice bookcase by the way!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View jim1953's profile


2744 posts in 5091 days

#5 posted 12-21-2008 06:47 PM

Very nice job looks Great

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4817 days

#6 posted 12-21-2008 07:39 PM

Just out of curiosity, why did you inset carcasses holding the boards in the back rather than just setting the boards into uprights and shelves?

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4698 days

#7 posted 12-21-2008 11:52 PM

Thanks for your helpful information….very helpful as I’m am new to woodworking, having a hard time not “building with 16 penny nails” as I do in the remodeling part of my life…....Gary/PetVet, you are right I’m looking for helpful information like you shared to make me a woodworker not a builder….thanks for the information I will put it to good use..Derek..I took the picture she gave me from the Crate & Barrel Magazine and copied the design as they had it, only made it bigger to fit the space she wanted to fill…..didn’t think about it just copied what they had but added the smaller shelves for her CD’s
Thanks for your help

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View jimi's profile


81 posts in 4778 days

#8 posted 12-22-2008 11:47 PM

Gel stain and pine work real well together. Try it on a piece of scrap and I don’t think you will be disapointed.

-- Jim, SE PA

View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 4663 days

#9 posted 01-22-2009 04:56 PM

Good job on the bookcase, I really like the proportions. The smaller CD shelves that you added do a great job of breaking up the piece and making it more interesting.

-- Blair

View Jens's profile


16 posts in 4654 days

#10 posted 01-29-2009 06:29 AM

Waterborn dyes can turn out nice too, even color. Can buy these at woodcraft. I like the dark mission brown, and medium brown, but they have all different colors. The difference in light and dark grain gets muddied, instead of stark contrast. Nice work, all the same.

-- Search out the Kavanah in occupation, acheive peace in life.

View Scott Parsons's profile

Scott Parsons

38 posts in 4650 days

#11 posted 02-02-2009 05:29 AM

I could give a view pointers to staining if you like, actually any type of spray finish too which it looks like you may be heading towards. Just shoot me a message. I do very similar work all year long and have gained some insight on efficient finishing techniques.

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4558 days

#12 posted 05-07-2009 02:06 AM

This is a great looking bookcase. Thanks for sharing all of your projects. All of them are very nice!

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4698 days

#13 posted 10-31-2009 12:32 PM

notottman it turned out nice, not great but the client thought it was “wonderful” I’ve got a couple more items mantels and some built in units I’ll have to get up…..I’ve been very busy working and building a house for the wife and I see the blog at the homerefurbers site

will try to post something new soon….......

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4116 days

#14 posted 08-15-2010 02:41 PM

Nice work, Todd.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View grosa's profile


1041 posts in 4078 days

#15 posted 09-04-2010 06:18 PM

Step by step It all comes together. Grate job.

-- Have a great day.

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