Modern Cherry Bookcases

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Project by VikingWay posted 08-31-2020 07:35 PM 649 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This set of Cherry bookcases started as a more simple design but changed as I got more interested in the project. I created these because of the art books i collect are always oversized so i needed a place to house 13” – 17” books. The bottom shelf and the space behind the doors allow for these larger sized books.The doors on each end hide the Greene and Greene pillowed finger joint drawers and ebony highlights. The Prarie style stained glass was a fun addition as I got to learn how to sand blast glass. I backlit the stained glass with leds.

Originally the book cases were not going to have doors, but decided i wanted to learn how to sand blast glass so added them after design. The engineering of the drawers caused me an issue when i installed the overlay hinges for the door as i didn’t anticipate the overhang of the hinge to the top drawer initially. I had to go back and carve out the hinge into the upright so the tight fit drawers would clear the hinge. My poor insight. I could have changed out the hinges but had already drilled out the inset for the hinge in the door. Live and learn, I guess.

There are a number of different joints in this project. The large flat pieces are put together as butt joints with #20 biscuits. I dont own a jointer and made all the rips with a 15 year old contractors saw. Using a Freud thin kerf blade. There are several dado joints on the center uprights at the top and bottom and then the interesting dados were angled at the ends that are angled. The front casement is also using butt and biscuit. The exception are the casement to the shelves which are glued and screwed with an angle tapor from the back and bottom of the shelf. Last type of joint are the through box joints across the top edges. Made with a template jig.

Finally I started with an orange base stain, followed by burnt umber and then finally a dark red mahogany. In between sealed with a zinser seal coat. Finally 4 layers of top coat. Only had one issue of orange peel and fixed it as I learned how to use my new sprayer. I learned a lot from the project and it was fun to see the results.

-- Keith from NC

7 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3220 posts in 3275 days

#1 posted 08-31-2020 10:32 PM

Very nice looking bookcase. I really like the stained glass panels, they add a nice touch of class. Great work.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View swirt's profile


6201 posts in 4057 days

#2 posted 09-01-2020 01:25 AM

Nice design and looks great. I like the stained glass. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Peteybadboy's profile


3388 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 09-01-2020 09:57 AM

Well done!

-- Petey

View BigMig's profile


624 posts in 3698 days

#4 posted 09-01-2020 03:10 PM

Great work – style, finish, etc. Did you need to do any preparation to control un-even-ness (sometimes called blotching) of the finish?

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View VikingWay's profile


11 posts in 362 days

#5 posted 09-01-2020 03:48 PM

I did not have wood splotches. After sanding to 220grit. I start my first finish coat with a 50% seal coat (zinser) to 50% denatured alcohol. That usually takes care of the splotches. I then typically lay down my base tint. That also uses a mix of the seal coat and i add in Trans tint (this case orange) which is then my base. Next i put down a general finishes glaze. Once i had that evened out to my desire i put down the next seal coat. Continued with the same routine until i got to the top coat.

-- Keith from NC

View EarlS's profile


4454 posts in 3433 days

#6 posted 09-01-2020 05:45 PM

Nice work. The Prairie style stained glass really makes a bookcase into a show piece. I like the G&G drawers inside the cabinet as well. Nice surprise when you open the door.

Is there a back panel for the glass or are the LED’s strong enough that you can’t see the drawers behind the glass?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View VikingWay's profile


11 posts in 362 days

#7 posted 09-01-2020 05:54 PM

The LED’s are actually only on the angled right/left and above the front casing of the book case. They do extend completely down the inside of the front casement though. They seem sufficiently bright to provide the intended effect from the outside when lighted and give enough light inside the case to see to the back of the cabinet when empty. Just added a new picture that might show this better.

-- Keith from NC

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