Four Is A HUGE Number

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Project by ChuckV posted 07-31-2016 12:27 AM 1538 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Four Is A HUGE Number
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I am involved in our town’s historical society. We received a monetary gift for the purpose of purchasing bookcases. A survey of our holdings indicated that we would need four large bookcases. We probably could not have purchased four terrible bookcases with the allotted funds, let alone have them custom made.

I was asked to make the bookcases, but if I accepted I was required to charge something for my labor. I drew up some plans and we came to an agreement that everyone was happy with. I am making the bookcases from pine. There is a great local lumber yard that sells lots of S4S pine. I always buy rough lumber for my own use, but this saved me a lot of time and saved my machines from lots of goop.

Here is the pine:

I have never made this many things that are this big, about 48” wide and 78” high. At first, I considered working on them all at once to take advantage of setting things up fewer times, but I quickly realized that I lacked the shop space and patience to work this way. Instead, I am doing them one at a time. I am currently about 3/4 of the way through the third of the four pieces.

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying this. Halfway through the first one, I thought, “Oh no, what have I gotten myself into?” But, it is fun to see how I can improve my methods on each one. I am also keeping track of how much time I spend on each one. I am still making less per hour than I did at my first job in 1977! Well, it is for a good cause, I keep reminding myself.

The front frame is joined with M & T. Here it is being glued to the carcase:

The backs are plywood. We want to provide some air circulation behind the old books, so I attached stops at the back of each shelf. Here are some of those being glued on before the back is attached:

I have a strong desire to make something very delicate, fussy and fiddly after the last bookcase is delivered.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

8 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5063 days

#1 posted 07-31-2016 01:35 AM


That is a COOL nice Pine bookcase!

Looks like they were uniform widths also, saving time… like 1×12?

Did you gang dado the sides for the shelves, etc. with a router?

FaceFrame M & T … did you use Dominoes… or what?

LOOKS really NICE!

I think Pine is a cool wood for this stuff…

A very good purpose… Way ahead of purchasing them, by far!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View ChuckV's profile


3357 posts in 4538 days

#2 posted 07-31-2016 01:43 AM

Thanks Joe,

The boards are nominally 1” x 8”. So, I do have to glue them up to get the proper depth.

I cut the dadoes on my table saw.

I have a mortiser, so the frames go together pretty easily.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View tyvekboy's profile


2106 posts in 4024 days

#3 posted 07-31-2016 02:00 AM

Nice job for a good cause. It will be in service long after you.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View BurlyBob's profile


8493 posts in 3276 days

#4 posted 07-31-2016 04:05 AM

That is a very handsome looking bookcase. Your design and finish has a very colonial appearance. They should be a perfect fit for your historical society materials.

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3814 days

#5 posted 07-31-2016 01:14 PM

Very nicely done. I agree w/u on the goop that comes from pine. I do not like it. Pine will do a number on your cutting tools for sure. You gotta keep em clean from all that pitch and goop

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View greg48's profile


630 posts in 3768 days

#6 posted 07-31-2016 06:00 PM

Nice clean design and I like the idea of a stop cleat at the back of the shelves. As far as your recompense, you knew from the beginning there was no profit to be made but you did it anyway – that’s what we do.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Derfss2003's profile


110 posts in 1728 days

#7 posted 08-01-2016 02:21 PM

nice work.

-- Love the smell of snow in the morning.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3877 days

#8 posted 03-21-2017 09:30 AM

Chuck, you did a wonderful job on these bookcases and it was all for a worthy cause. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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