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Project by captkerk posted 08-26-2009 06:08 PM 2410 views 7 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The bookcase is taken out of an issue of American Woodworker. The article showed how to make jigs for the tapered sliding dovetails which were still fairly difficult to get right. I definitely learned a few things about jig setup and sizing of the joints to accommodate glue! I had to adjust the dimensions slightly to fit where I wanted it to in the house and to work with the size lumber I had on hand. That lumber is spalted maple I got from my in laws who have some property and keep me supplied with free rough sawn lumber. I stained it with Minwax English Chestnut to mute the color variations a little and then finished it with wipe on poly.

13 comments so far

View lew's profile


12807 posts in 4174 days

#1 posted 08-26-2009 06:39 PM


I really like the sliding dovetails.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Derrek LeRouax's profile

Derrek LeRouax

129 posts in 3713 days

#2 posted 08-26-2009 07:14 PM

Nice job. Looks like your dimensioning came out perfect.

I see you have a shop assistant about the same age as mine (~2.5). Hope is having as much fun as mine is…

-- Derrek L.

View captkerk's profile


170 posts in 3660 days

#3 posted 08-26-2009 08:00 PM

My assistant is one of four. I have all the help I can stand! He’s almost 2 and he has three sisters; 5, 3, and newborn. At least I don’t have to worry about the new one…yet.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 08-27-2009 01:53 AM

Nice looking bookcase.

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 3851 days

#5 posted 08-27-2009 03:52 AM

I love this simple elegant look. Congrats!

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View a1Jim's profile


117655 posts in 3996 days

#6 posted 08-27-2009 03:54 AM

Nice job great wood

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 3833 days

#7 posted 08-27-2009 04:32 AM

Nice looking shelf.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View norm1975's profile


1 post in 3608 days

#8 posted 09-13-2009 10:48 AM

Looks great! How did you attach the top?

View captkerk's profile


170 posts in 3660 days

#9 posted 09-14-2009 05:27 PM

The top is attached with the same tapered sliding dovetails as the shelves only they are stopped sockets and the taper goes the other way. The shelves all have the wide end of the dovetails at the front so they slide into the sides from the front but since the sockets are on the top, the wide end is at the back so the top slides on from the front, too.

View Thomas's profile


11 posts in 3537 days

#10 posted 11-12-2009 05:20 PM

Sharp! Very nice design!

View Dusty56's profile


11847 posts in 4107 days

#11 posted 01-09-2011 05:38 PM

It looks great before and after the staining process.
We call that Ambrosia Maple because the staining and holes are caused from the Ambrosia Beetle grubs chewing their way through the tree.
Spalted Maple comes from a fungus and usually leaves fine “pencil lines” throughout the wood.
I can’t see any of those lines in your pictures ,but I’m not saying that there aren’t any. : )
Either way , it is a nice looking bookcase and the dovetails add a nice detail to it : )
Spalted Maple link :,%20spalted.htm
Ambrosia Maple link:,%20ambrosia.htm

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View captkerk's profile


170 posts in 3660 days

#12 posted 01-09-2011 09:17 PM

Dusty, thanks for commenting. I didn’t know what to call the maple I have because I didn’t know there was a name for it! Some of the boards do have some spalting, but it seems that I should have called it Ambrosia Maple. Thanks for the links, too!

View Dusty56's profile


11847 posts in 4107 days

#13 posted 01-11-2011 01:21 AM

You’re welcome and I’ve also seen Spalted , Ambrosia , Tiger Maple all in one board at a very pricey sum : )
Some folks refer to Tiger and Curly Maple as the same thing…all depends where you’re from I guess : )
Looking forward to your next project …Keep up the good work !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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