Bookshelves for Local Church

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Project by IowaWoodcrafter posted 01-18-2010 07:00 PM 1694 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was commissioned to build several bookshelves for a local church. The bookshelves had to match units that the church had purchased several years ago from a local “big box” company.

The first image shows two bookshevles, 48” wide by 72” tall. The second picture shows two units that are a little narrower and shorter that the first two units, I can’t remember exact measurements. I had installed these units one week prior to the others, that’s why they already have books on them. The third picture shows a new unit, (the narrow one on the right end) next to existing units. The last picture was the existing units that I had to match.

The sides, tops and bottoms are made with cabinet grade red oak plywood. This plywood has thicker outer veneer. The plywood has a core of hardwood and then outer layers of mdf on which the veneer is placed.

The shelves are also made with the same plywood and have edge bands of real wood. I used these edge banding router bits from MLCS.

The face frames are also made from real wood. They were assembled using pocket hole screws. I routed a groove in the tops, bottoms and sides of the units and the face frames. I then used biscuits in the grooves to align and glue the face frames to the units. This is a technique I learned from watching the episodes on building cabinets on The New Yankee Workshop.

This project took me a lot longer than I thought but it was my own fault. I had originally planned on gluing the edge banding directly to the shelves. Using the router bits took a little longer but I feel they are much better. I had also planned on attaching the face frames using pocket hole screws. I think Norm’s technique was much better because I didn’t have to drill holes in the sides of the panels.

The other thing that added time was the severe cold this winter. There were many days I couldn’t work because I just couldn’t get the garage warm enough. One of these days I’ll be able to build a real workshop, I hope.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

3 comments so far

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 3908 days

#1 posted 01-18-2010 10:24 PM

Fantastic job Owen. Looks like they match really well. What kind of finish did you end up using to get them to match?

I recently finished an oak book case and used the biscuits on the face frame too after deciding against the pocket screws. Makes it look a lot cleaner even though you could plug the screw holes. I also ended up using the biscuits for attaching the solid edge banding to the shelves. Didn’t realize a router bit was available for that.

And I know what you mean about trying to get the garage warm enough. I’ve had days where I work until I can’t feel my fingers then go inside for a while to warm up then repeat the process again.

-- [email protected]

View TomFran's profile


2961 posts in 4448 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 02:48 AM

Great job! I’ll bet the customer was pleased with the finished product.

Thanks for including your construction details.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View laketrout36's profile


200 posts in 2481 days

#3 posted 12-20-2013 12:48 PM

Nice project. I just ordered a set of those edge banding router bits from MLCS. Can’t wait to get them.

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