Holier than thou, or the meek shall inherit the wood? #2: Days 2 and 3.

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Blog entry by Bill Butler posted 03-24-2008 04:14 AM 1173 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Project Kickoff... Part 2 of Holier than thou, or the meek shall inherit the wood? series no next part

My shoptime allowance is spotty at best, however a couple of solid days in the last few weeks has allowed me the time to finish milling up all of the wood for my bookcase.

Up until recently I hadn’t really had a design in mind for the first prototype of the bookcase to rise from the wood of the old church pew. It is now starting to take shape. It will have 4 shelves, 2 fixed and 2 adjustable. The shelves and the risers are milled to 11/16”. The planned finished dimensions of the bookcase will be 48” tall by 30” wide. The shelves will have 1” reinforcing strips across the front and their finished depth will be 10 3/4”.

My goal is to make the entire bookcase out of the wood available in the reclamation of the pews. I don’t have any reasonable way to make a full sheet back normally found on freestanding bookcases to add strength and prevent racking. However, I did resaw some of the wood into 1/4” thick slabs and will be using them to act as stretchers(?) across the back for the fixed shelves.

I am using blind tapered sliding dovetail joinery on the fixed shelves.

Below is my milled up lumber ready for joinery work and dry fit.
Ready for assembly

A dry fit of the fixed shelves after cutting the sliding dovetails.
Dry Fit

The dovetail from the rear. The shelf will sit in 1/4” from the back and a yet-to-be-milled rabbit will be cut to accept the 1/4” thick support that will extend up 10” from the bottom of the shelf.
Sliding Dovetail

This is the same shelf from the front. It does not have it’s reinforcing strip applied yet. That hole was a screw hole used to attach the seat to the back portion of the pew.

5 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5070 days

#1 posted 03-24-2008 05:35 AM

Looking good so far!

This will be interesting to follow.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View pastor_shane's profile


29 posts in 4905 days

#2 posted 03-24-2008 05:36 AM


It is looking like it is starting to come together nicely! I like the idea of using reclaimed lumber from the pews.
Nice work on the sliding dovetail joint.

-- Shane, Guttenberg, Iowa

View grovemadman's profile


961 posts in 4854 days

#3 posted 03-24-2008 06:03 AM

Looks good so far to me… I hope to see some more as timeand progress permits. Good Idea on the pews, waste not and want not eh’.

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4904 days

#4 posted 03-24-2008 12:33 PM


This project is coming together nicely. I really enjoy seeing a step-wise post like this detail the construction process.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5044 days

#5 posted 03-24-2008 01:24 PM

It’s coming right along.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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