Stickley 717 1/2 Bookcase

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Project by Pat Cavanaugh posted 09-22-2020 03:39 PM 898 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After years of making things for others and building only shop furniture for myself I realized it was time to change that. So I present my interpretation of a Stickley 717½ bookcase. I used the plans from Robert Lang’s Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture. The plans were for a 719 but I only had 48” of room so I simply adjusted the plans by the 12” difference.

This is made from 100% solid white ash. The sides, backsplash, and toe kick are 1” thick, the fixed top and bottom shelves along with the center divider are 7/8” thick and the adjustable shelves are 3/4” thick. The back consists of 11 ship lapped pieces each 3/8” thick with a 3/32” gap to allow for expansion. The center divider is connected to the top and bottom shelves with a 12” long sliding dovetail. The only mechanical fasteners are the screws (2 ea centered) used to hold the the back panel pieces in place.

It is stained with a 50/50 mixture of Minwax Dark Walnut and Minwax Gunstock and is finished with 2 coats of Maker Brand Simple Finish.

I built this to replace one of those particle board masterpieces from Walmart that finally was defeated by the books and magazines it held. The new one only holds woodworking tomes and magazines.

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

7 comments so far

View WoodHobbit's profile


8 posts in 368 days

#1 posted 09-22-2020 04:33 PM

Very nice piece! The stain really makes the Ash pop. I’m having trouble placing the dovetail on the piece…..was that a pre-assembly photo? Is the dovetail connecting a divider to the top or something? Very well done!

-- Michael

View Pat Cavanaugh's profile

Pat Cavanaugh

175 posts in 4579 days

#2 posted 09-22-2020 04:40 PM

@WoodHobbit Thank you. Yes, the sliding dovetail connects the center divider to the top and bottom. The picture is before the back was attcahed.

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

View splintergroup's profile


5710 posts in 2431 days

#3 posted 09-22-2020 09:59 PM

Nice work Pat!

Some serious board footage in that, looks like it will hold anything and last forever.

View swirt's profile


6500 posts in 4180 days

#4 posted 09-23-2020 02:04 AM

Nice. Great joinery and a good look.

-- Galootish log blog,

View grovemadman's profile


963 posts in 4980 days

#5 posted 09-23-2020 02:38 AM

Nice work and wood selection!

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View TucsonTim's profile


87 posts in 1251 days

#6 posted 09-23-2020 12:36 PM

Very nice. I know what you mean about making stuff for others. Great work on this bookcase. Glad you were able to make something for yourself. Congrats on the Top 3…

-- Tim in Tucson

View Bstrom's profile


360 posts in 382 days

#7 posted 09-24-2020 11:57 AM

Massively beautiful – kudos for the Stickley based design. Should last a few hundred years, eh?

-- Bstrom

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