Mom's big bookcase

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Project by eruby posted 12-28-2010 09:19 PM 1625 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a bookshelf that I built for my mom. This is also the first project I “designed” from scratch. The shelves needed to be at least 14” apart because mom has a lot of huge books that needed a place to live. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures during construction or even before I delivered it.

I used a sheet and a half of birch plywood for the sides, shelves and toe kick. Made 1” trim from solid birch to cover all exposed plywood edges and provide strength for the shelves. The back is a piece of 1/2” plywood seated into a rabbet and screwed into each shelf. The shelves are all fixed (again to help prevent sagging) into dados. I pre-finished the parts before glue up.

The finish is transtint medium brown. followed by 3 coats of target coating’s waterborne lacquer for the sides and general finishes water-based poly for the shelves back and toe kick.

Things I learned during this project:
No matter how much you sand you DO need to raise the grain when using water-based finishes.
Just because its called a plywood bit doesn’t mean it makes groves the same width as your plywood.
Do a dry run before glue-up and don’t change your mind during the actual glue up.

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

3 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3363 days

#1 posted 12-30-2010 09:57 PM

Eric that is a nice unit.

Very practical gift


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4219 days

#2 posted 12-31-2010 03:53 AM

”...don’t change your mind during the actual glue up.”

So speak the voice of experience!

Nice looking project, getting shelving for those big books and binders can be difficult.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4179 days

#3 posted 01-01-2011 09:31 PM

Nice looking bookcase.

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