Big Bookcase + Cabinet In Birch - Finally

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Project by Lumberpunk posted 04-10-2015 02:47 PM 2418 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was conceived almost a year ago by my Mother in law and her partner. During the time I was working on it I have had knee surgery, a boss who ran away with all the money (not this project) and land partners who went crazy and had to be bought out of my property. Needless to say it took a lot longer than anticipated but it is finally delivered and installed (in itself an epic tale involving faulty trailer lights, police escorts and way too much money) and the MIL is happy and I get paid today! (Lee Valley here I come).

The frame, doors and shelves are Eastern Birch, the cabinet is birch ply trimmed with solid birch strips. The pulls, accents and plugs are from a piece of black walnut I salvaged from a friends firewood pile.

96 Mortise and Tenon Joints, many dados and rabbets, bookmatched doors (1 slider and two blum overlay), sliding dovetailed custom pulls, steambent birch hardwood trim, black walnut plugs in visible screw holes and other delightful features. I think I used almost every tool in my shop.

The whole thing measures approx 48” x 51” x 92”

Sanded to 220, Two coats of Arm-R-Seal Semi Gloss and one Coat of satin, sanded 400 between coats.

I am looking forward to thinking about something else… I think it might take a while.

Thanks for looking

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

14 comments so far

View Fhawe's profile


58 posts in 2492 days

#1 posted 04-10-2015 02:52 PM

That is beautiful. Well done

-- cnarf, Ireland

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2325 days

#2 posted 04-10-2015 06:47 PM

Looks great, love the handles and joinery.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View TimberMagic's profile


114 posts in 1634 days

#3 posted 04-10-2015 06:53 PM

Really nice. My first woodworking project, MANY years ago (junior high wood shop class) was a table in birch. I loved the grain and subtle color differences. Maybe its time to do another birch project.

-- Lee

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3321 days

#4 posted 04-10-2015 06:55 PM

This is a great design and a wonderful bookcase.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Lumberpunk's profile


334 posts in 2791 days

#5 posted 04-10-2015 07:32 PM

Thanks all!

@TimberMagic… ha! don’t be fooled by the beautiful grain and deep rich color… this was some of the most unruly wood to keep straight… it seemed like every cut released tension in a different area so I was constantly going back to the jointer to even things out again. Cup, twist, bow, warp, bend, break you name it. Also super hard on tool edges. All that said it hand planes beautifully and the pics can’t do the finished wood justice… Love the birch… but it also makes me crazy…kind of like my kids but it doesn’t talk back.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1304 posts in 2168 days

#6 posted 04-10-2015 08:24 PM

Great stuff. Drastic lines and a design with personality. 1. impression is Empire state building style..

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Ken90712's profile


17701 posts in 3643 days

#7 posted 04-10-2015 10:24 PM

Very nice, well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 2625 days

#8 posted 04-11-2015 12:58 PM

Don’t get me wrong, I think the work is very impressive and you certainly worked hard on every detail, but in looking at all the other wood in the room, I am curious as to why you went with a lighter wood?

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View hotncold's profile


787 posts in 1999 days

#9 posted 04-11-2015 01:01 PM

The dovetails on the door pulls are really nice!
Haven’t seen that application before.

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Lumberpunk's profile


334 posts in 2791 days

#10 posted 04-11-2015 01:50 PM

@danoaz – client was very specific about wanting lighter wood, she chose the birch for the grain. It also matches a couple of other pieces in the room that you can’t see in the pics.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2798 days

#11 posted 04-11-2015 02:05 PM

looks great

View bonobo's profile


297 posts in 2511 days

#12 posted 04-12-2015 02:42 PM

Really great. I’d like to see a photo with it full of books.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View littleladywoodshop's profile


49 posts in 1766 days

#13 posted 04-15-2015 12:12 PM

This is beautiful and hearing about your tribulations in the process of building I can only say persistence prevails.

-- Fail to plan and you are planning to fail. Ben Franklin

View thegringoww's profile


29 posts in 1621 days

#14 posted 04-17-2015 02:24 PM

I like how thew piece flows. It has a warm and inviting feel to it!

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