Walnut Bookcase

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Project by Joel Shappell posted 04-05-2015 12:17 AM 2155 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My Sister had a beautiful Chestnut bookcase made in the mid to late 1800’s. She wouldn’t give it to me no matter how nicely I asked, so I made a ‘close’ replica. Construction is solid 7/8 walnut, with ebony strips on the front of each adjustable shelf and ebony/walnut handles. It took me all winter to make it in my basement. I had to think a bit ahead to be able to take the entire thing apart so I could get it out of my basement as it’s quite large and heavy. The handles also have brass pins and the quarter round to keep the glass in has small brass nails. Something about walnut and brass really appeal to me. The entire project is stained using General Finish, Georgian Cherry. I thought at first it might turn out a bit too red, but grew to like the color. Additionally, I’ve got a string of lights in the bookcase which really adds a nice effect. The string of LED lights are cheap and can give off multiple colors. I have mine to slowly fade between all the colors adding a lot to this piece. Also makes it so I can see what I’m getting to as I retrieve or put a book away.

One new thing for me is the scrolling on the top. I’ve not carved before, but got the hang of it after lots of practice. Would do a few things differently if I were to ever make another, but overall, very happy with it.

6 comments so far

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Joel Shappell

85 posts in 2553 days

#1 posted 04-05-2015 12:19 AM

Here is the original piece. All chestnut, made in the 1800’s. Obviously I’ve not carved the angel faces/wings yet. And still working on the feet. I figure that will be a separate project down the road once and if I become more proficient at carving.

View jdmaher's profile


459 posts in 3055 days

#2 posted 04-05-2015 01:50 PM

BOTH pieces are just beautiful!

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View gsimon's profile


1313 posts in 2589 days

#3 posted 04-05-2015 03:46 PM

If it was mine you wouldn’t get it either! ha ha
great build though – very challenging

-- Greg Simon

View Grumpymike's profile


2417 posts in 2791 days

#4 posted 04-05-2015 06:26 PM

Oh my, what a beautiful piece …
Your sister did you a favor by not giving you her Chestnut piece, as now you have had the pleasure and experience of making your own.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Joel Shappell's profile

Joel Shappell

85 posts in 2553 days

#5 posted 04-06-2015 02:31 AM

Grumpy, not sure I can admit that to her. ;)

View Tomy Hovington's profile

Tomy Hovington

163 posts in 1663 days

#6 posted 04-07-2015 04:26 AM

Very nice piece indeed!

-- Tomy Hovington

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