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Project Information

This is a pair of black lacquer bookcase that I custom built for a customer. I built it mostly from maple with very little popular. The shelves were MDF with a maple cap. One thing the customer requested was fluting. I experimented with different amouts of flutes, but felt like 5 would be the best. The was three flutes in the center with two on the edges. I aligned the beginning and end of the flutes with the top and bottom face frame rails. Since I put flutes on the edge I had a problem with attaching the mid-rail on the face frame. I solved this problem by re-sawed the mid-rail of my face frame to about 1/2" so that it was set back behind the flute. I did the same with the adjustable shelves, which I trimed out with 1 ½" maple to give it more strength. By the way a cool little free online calculator that will measures the sag of shelves can be found at http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm.

It was finished using a medium sheen black lacquer, which was another problem that I had. I wanted a medium sheen but I could not find anyone that had it in stock. I ended up mixing a high-gloss with a flat. I really couldn't predict what I would get, but it turned out with a perfect medium sheen that I was after. One thing that I considered was to spray it with any sheen and then clear coat it with a medium rubbed effect clear lacquer. I wonder if the sheen would have ended up with the sheen of the last coat. Has anyone done that and would it accomplish what I was trying to do (change the sheen). Please give me some feedback.

I have more picture of what I worked on this week along with a live video feed of our shop (during work hours) at http://www.wwbeds.com/current-projects

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Comments

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Chris, this is a real handsome pair. I like the flutes which are not quite as easy as one would think. Just the slightes miss-spaced flute shows up. The finish is lovely.
 

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Really high-quality pieces. Don is right about the flutes and the finish.
 

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Chris, Classic lines, they'll remain is fashion forever!
 

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I do have a slight mis-spacing. I cut the flutes by cutting the center flute and the moving the fince to cut the next two on either side. If you think about it, if you are off 1/32 of an inch with the center, that will make the two sides off 1/16 from each other. It is compounded and you can see that every easy by just looking. I kind of fixed it by sanding a little to help them match.
 

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Chris -

These are very nice. I like the flawless finish! The flutes look great.
 

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they look fantastic. You did a great job. My sister wants me to build her a bookshelf for her house.
 

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These are really nice. You did fantastic detail but tastefully. I find most bookcases busy with detail and I overcompensate with mine by understating them. These are really quite nice!
 

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These are beautiful bookcases!

I like the idea of using MDF for the shelves. That would save some $$$ and MDF is very flat and would take the finish nicely. I have never used it for shelves though, since I didn't think it would have enough lateral strength to carry the books without sagging. I'll have to check out the "sagulator" - thanks for the tip!
 

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I've never had any problems with using MDF especially when hardwood is applied to the front. In the quote I originally figured putting a back support on the shelf like I did on the front, but that would have been an overkill. The eye can see a deflection of 1/32 per foot. I have about a 2.5' span on shelf. That would give me a little under .08 total allowable deflection. By putting in the size of the shelf and the weight (I figure 20lbs/foot) in the Sagulator I get a total sag of .07". So I am good even without adding the hardwood trim of hardwood. One draw back to MDF is if dropped on the corner, it doesn't hold up as good as other materials, but not a big risk on shelves that are not handled much.
 

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Very nice looking bookcases. Excellent woodworking job. jockmike
 

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Great BookcasesChris. I like the flutes and the color. The picture seems to have a greenish tint. Is that a reflection off the wall?
 

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It is very hard to take a picture of black. You get a reflection off it real easy and can't see any detail. I had to take it with the flash off and I alway turns out green. I usually fix it in Photoshop, but didn't have time. Any know any secrets on taking pictures of black objects.
 

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stunning/ very elegant looking!
 

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These came out super!
 

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Chris, In regard to the maple cap you applied to the front of the shelves; how thick was it, and how did you attach it? Was it with biscuits / dowels or what?
 

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The maple cap was around 3/8" thick. I had to take it down from 3/4" because of the fluting. The shelf would have came out flush with the face frame past the edge of the flute. Sometimes I rabbit out 3/8" x 3/4" on the hardwood to make the trim look smaller and make it a better joint, but since the cap was only 3/8. I just glued and nailed it.
 

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Thanks for the comments. I'm new to this site and everyone is very nice.
 

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Great job Chris. They make a nice set of matching book cases.
 
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