Media Cabinet / Bookcase

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Project by Luis M posted 06-03-2016 01:22 PM 1335 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I completed this piece at the end of May 2016. This was a request from my wife for our master bedroom. She wanted a place to store all her books.

I used poplar for the top, body/case and doors. The bottom door panels are quartersawn sycamore.

With the exception of the bottom door panels, everything was painted with a thinned down coat of black milk paint. Then everything was finished with 3 coats of wiping varnish and 1 coat of paste wax.

The overall dimensions are 40” Wide X 50” Tall X 18” Deep. The top has a 1” overhang all around. The legs were cut out of a 16/4 piece of poplar to get quatersawn grain (not that it matter because i painted everything black). The inside shelves are held up by wooden standards and are 1 1/8” thick with a heavy under bevel. The thick shelves will ensure they don’t sag over time and the under bevel makes them look thin and slender. The back is shipped lapped. On the top compartment, where the electronics will be housed, the shipped lap boards are offset to allow the power cables trough without having to drill. It also provides a nice place to installed a power strip. The door middle stiles are rabbeted so that there no gaps when they are closed. The top and bottom left doors are held in place with bullet catches and the right doors are held in place with magnets to the left doors.

Case construction:
The sides are 1” thick x 12” wide and simply edged glued to the 3” square legs. The bottom and middle rails that hold the sides together use double tenons and the top rail is dovetailed in.

Door construction:
The doors are held drawbored mortise and tenons. The width of the door rails graduates in size from bottom to top.

After thoughts:
This piece is not perfect, I ran into several issues and made mistakes during the build. Here’s the short list:
1. I cut the door panels too narrow.
2. I cut the door panel groves too wide.
3. I had chipout on the backside of the drawbored pegs.
4. I drilled offset holes for the door knobs.
5. I had two broken hinge screws.
6. And many more i don’t remember.

However, I managed to recover from all of them and did not let “paralysis by analysis” stop me from getting it done. So, I encourage everyone to just get in your shop and don’t let the “fear of mistakes” stop you from building.

-- Luis

6 comments so far

View majuvla's profile (online now)


13986 posts in 3163 days

#1 posted 06-03-2016 01:48 PM

Nice, classic design piece,nice contrasting colours.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View BB1's profile


1335 posts in 1143 days

#2 posted 06-03-2016 03:51 PM

Like the design. Really like your sharing the mistakes that came up along the way. As a new woodworker I have lots of those…and fixing them are now referred to as my moments of craftsmanship. Again – nice job!

View gsimon's profile


1310 posts in 2408 days

#3 posted 06-04-2016 12:02 AM

looks great!
I like the contrast with natural wood and paint finish. I’m making a table like that now
Thanks for sharing ups and downs – i like the paralysis by analysis quote
I know it all too well ha ha

-- Greg Simon

View Mean_Dean's profile


6937 posts in 3442 days

#4 posted 06-04-2016 01:11 AM

Great looking book cabinet! I like the A&C look of it, and the contrasting species/colors! I’m sure your wife will love having it!

Like the design. Really like your sharing the mistakes that came up along the way. As a new woodworker I have lots of those…and fixing them are now referred to as my moments of craftsmanship. Again – nice job!

- BB1

BB1 (Or is that USS Indiana BB1? As a Naval historian, I had to ask….!) As for Moments of Craftsmanship, we just call them design features…...!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Luis M's profile

Luis M

78 posts in 2926 days

#5 posted 08-17-2016 07:12 PM

Thank you for your nice comments.

-- Luis

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1261 posts in 2009 days

#6 posted 08-01-2017 04:18 PM

Like the color contrast between the paint and the sycamore. Great work!

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

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