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4 x Jacaranda Bookcases

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Project by icemanhank posted 10-25-2020 11:39 PM 862 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In mid August a lady named Deb approached our club via our Facebook page wishing to have some bookcases made. See below letter.

A few years back I had a jacaranda felled and then had it milled and planed. It is well seasoned and I would love to have corner bookcases made from it for my hall but have been unable to find any craftsperson to do the job. I am hoping there is enough wood left over to make a bed head and end and had the guy who milled it to cut a post that could be made in to bed legs. Is there anyone you know of that has the skills and motivation to work with me on this?

I suggested that she might be interested in joining the club and having a go at it herself under the guidance of some of the many members.
Unfortunately Deb is very unwell with cancer and although the thought was appealing to her she did not think it was an option and wanted to know if someone was interested in helping her out.

I said I would visit her at home and have a look at the timber in order to make sure there was enough for what she wanted and that it was of a standard that could be worked with.
Deb was sharing her bedroom with the whole tree that had been milled around 10 years prior! She had it stacked correctly with spacers so it had seasoned properly and it took up a LOT of space.

I agreed to do the work for her if she made a donation to the club; I left the amount up to her, as I wasn’t concerned with the money. I could also see she was extremely unwell.
On the next Saturday Heather and I went to Deb’s house to get all of the timber to take to the club, it needed two cars.

The job was to build 4 x bookcases 200mm deep and 2 meters tall. Widths were; 2×430mm wide, 1×400 wide and 1×360 wide. These were to fit into each side of a section of her hallway.

There were a few issues for me; one was it was all live edge timber so getting a straight face to work with needed to be done, and without wasting too much of the timber as there were only just enough lengths to get the eight 2 meter long x 200mm deep lengths from.
Another issue was the timber had not been thicknessed to the same width, it was close but…..…..

I worked through the timber sizing as best I could, cutting a lot at the club then taking it home to router the rebates for the shelves for the first two units, this used most of the 200mm wide pieces from the stock.

From there on I needed to start to join pieces lengthwise to get the width I needed for the remaining two units. I did this by gluing and hand planning the remaining material (as it was not the same thickness and I didn’t have enough thickness to play with to put it through the planning machine).

I left some live edge on both the remaining two units as it looked good to me, and Deb liked it. I also needed to do this in order to get the most out of the remaining stock. I also made one of the shelves in each case movable.

During this time poor Deb has been in hospital twice and contacted me very concerned that I hadn’t given her the clubs account details as she wanted to make sure she had made the donation in case things got worse for her. She really is a lovely spirit and such a community minded person. She even had a vege garden on the nature strip of her house which anyone in the community could take whatever food they wanted.

Needless to say she was very exited to have her bookcases arrive and is looking forward to sorting out her many, many, books into them.

People ask me what happens to them after Deb passes and the answer is; I don’t really care as long as she gets some enjoyment from them in the short time she has left. Message here is; if you want to get something done – DON’T WAIT.

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia





10 comments so far

View drsurfrat's profile

drsurfrat

210 posts in 100 days


#1 posted 10-26-2020 01:55 AM

Wow, everyone in your story just took a step higher on the nobility scale.

And an amazing job squeezing out 4 bookcases with exactly not-quite-enough wood.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25479 posts in 4019 days


#2 posted 10-26-2020 02:05 AM

Very nice shelves and super nice of you to take it on. I’ll be she is so happy because it came from her tree!

Do you have enough left to build her a small stool so she can reach the top of those shelves?. That would be a nice surprise for her!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View swirt's profile

swirt

5645 posts in 3885 days


#3 posted 10-26-2020 02:47 AM

Great story and great work. Well done in the shop and out.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View icemanhank's profile

icemanhank

528 posts in 3070 days


#4 posted 10-26-2020 03:44 AM

Nice idea Jim thx


Very nice shelves and super nice of you to take it on. I ll be she is so happy because it came from her tree!

Do you have enough left to build her a small stool so she can reach the top of those shelves?. That would be a nice surprise for her!!

Cheers, Jim

- Jim Jakosh


-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View Chiaroscuro's profile

Chiaroscuro

140 posts in 1689 days


#5 posted 10-26-2020 04:32 AM

I love that someone cut down a tree and had it milled despite not being a woodworker. She must be a very special soul. You did a beautiful job on the cases, I’m sure she will get immense pleasure from them. I’m a little jealous that you were able to get enough likeminded folk together for a club.

-- Todd

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

16393 posts in 3781 days


#6 posted 10-26-2020 05:53 AM

Yku realy took the best from those boards! Nice shelves!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View crowie's profile

crowie

4060 posts in 2864 days


#7 posted 10-26-2020 08:12 AM

Nicely done David,
The timber looks pretty!
How was it to work?
Cheers

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View icemanhank's profile

icemanhank

528 posts in 3070 days


#8 posted 10-26-2020 08:25 AM

It was very nice Crowie, like working with Silky Oak a bit.


Nicely done David,
The timber looks pretty!
How was it to work?
Cheers

- crowie


-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

1386 posts in 515 days


#9 posted 10-26-2020 04:51 PM

I like the shelves as much as the story behind them. I hope they give her strength and peace in her difficult time. You should feel good about taking this project on and may it bless you tenfold down the road.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

251 posts in 3418 days


#10 posted 10-26-2020 05:53 PM

Thanks for sharing this story. It’s great that you applied your skills to such a worthy project.

-- Ron Stewart

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