Immodest Bookcase

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Project by vipond33 posted 08-27-2011 05:30 PM 3396 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sometimes we build small projects in our shop, pick em up with one hand, done in less than a day. This is not one of them. Rather, this is a little bookcase I made a few weeks ago with an assistant and installed in a very modern house.

The shelves on this unit are 14” deep by 2 1/2” thick and 192” long in one piece. That’s sixteen feet for all you metric fans. Even laid up in a torsion box style they came in at 100 lbs. each, so you can see why we needed the lift for the trial assembly and final fitting. Admittedly there’s not much wood here, just the front edges and backs but these days it’s woodworking none the less.

The backs, which do not show well in these pictures, were a late change to the spray painted finish originally planned. Instead we used parchment, that ancient biblical material, stretched over plywood. They alone added $18,000 to the price. More than the price of my new truck. I’ve never been able to afford my own day work, but this was really beyond the pale.

The shelves pull tight to the uprights using steel keyhole clips and rest on strong stub tenons. No fasteners were allowed to show anywhere so the backs were installed in rebates from behind with about 700 screws after full assembly. Because of that, the unit had to be put together outside of its final resting spot and pushed into place. Let’s see now. 8×100, plus the gables plus the dividers and backs equals about 1200 lbs. Brute force pushing with glossy laminate on the floor did the trick although beer was needed afterwards.

Projects such as this are a refreshing antidote to the small things I normally post here (!!!) Even though just as fussy (think jewelry box on the scale of a tennis court), they still provide daily satisfaction in problem solving and achieving crisp clean work. Finally, after all the complaining I’ve done here, that is my second assistant last pictured. She was demonstrating how her entire grade 3 class could have a nap on it with room to spare.

About 200hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

The clip that holds it all together. KD usually but also semi-permanent too.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

10 comments so far

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 08-27-2011 05:45 PM

Wow that’s definitely something! Nice job.

If I ever have the $ to have a house like that I’ll commission a piece like this from ya! :)

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View KnotCurser's profile


2039 posts in 4074 days

#2 posted 08-27-2011 05:45 PM

Utterly fantastic!

I think the scale is dead on for the area – magnificent.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4042 days

#3 posted 08-27-2011 07:04 PM

Stupendous, spectacular, epic. Why its almost Roman in it’s immodesty, at 4.877 metres in length.

One heck of an achievement. Nice to see that large works can still be afforded and that there are the skills necessary for them.

Now, jewelry box the size of a tennis court…....hmm just let me think.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 4486 days

#4 posted 08-27-2011 07:11 PM

more $$ than most people’s upgraded kitchens these days! dayamn! go you, some people just have so much money burning holes in their pocket still these days, it’s amazing…as well as your work, i can’t imagine working on that scale, bravo

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4888 days

#5 posted 08-27-2011 07:23 PM

Wow Gene. That is a very impressive build.
You got skills. I really like it. And I am speechless.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3889 days

#6 posted 08-27-2011 07:31 PM

very nice style, complements the house well. My goal in life is one day to be able to afford your work!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4591 days

#7 posted 08-27-2011 07:34 PM

It has a kind of wonderful Japanese quality about it.It looks really nicely designed I like the thick shelves and the pproportion overall. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3503 days

#8 posted 08-31-2011 06:09 AM

Thanks for all the very nice comments, a few soft words are good after the trouble that this project was. In spite of that though, woodworking on a grand, or really any special scale for that matter, can be a real trip.
cheers gene

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Jocelyn's profile


8 posts in 3698 days

#9 posted 09-19-2011 03:38 PM

Most spectacular! Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece and the journey in getting there:)

-- Jocelyn

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3872 days

#10 posted 09-19-2011 03:57 PM

That’s a very impressive bookcase. I’m not sure how you got it there all in one piece without damaging something.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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