Popular Woodworking 2009-12 № 180, страница 31




Popular Woodworking 2009-12 № 180, страница 31

Bibliophile's

Bookcase

BY MEGAN FITZPATRICK

With simple lines and straightforward joinery, this project yields ample shelf space (and drawers to boot).

T

his large case-on-case shelving unit is adapted from similar pieces I've seen in private libraries and in stately homes. I also dug up a few pictures from the Sotheby's and Christie's auction sites, where the form is referred to as a "bibliotheque" (also the French word for library).

Those examples, however, all feature intricate mouldings and fancy corbels and are more adorned than would look right in my less-than-stately 1895 home. I do, however, have 10' ceilings and an embarrassment of books, so while I didn't want fancy, I did want big. So I reconceived the form in a Shaker-on-steroids style - the piece is just shy of 50" wide x 90" high. It will fit in a room with standard ceiling heights, but in case I ever needed to use the top and bottom separately, I installed a solid top for the bottom case so it can stand alone (and with the addition of a cushion, it would make a handsome hall bench).

The size did have me fretting about stock costs, so I culled the "shorts" bin at our local lumber store for lower-priced cherry, and found a nicely figured wide piece for the drawer fronts, as well as sufficient stock for the lower case and all the shelves. The shelves are made of some rather homely boards,

but because I added a lip to the front for strength and appearance, you can't actually tell - unless you remove the books and take a close look. I did have to go to the regular-price rack for the upper-case face frame and sides, but I saved money by using poplar for the backboards, which I painted to match the trim in the living room.

Bottom's Up First

First, I cut my parts to rough sizes then surfaced and thicknessed all the stock but the drawer fronts, and glued up panels for the sides, lower case top and upper case top, and all the shelves. I never cut my pieces to final size until I need them - and then I mark cuts using the project as a guide, not the cutlist. No matter how meticulous I am with the measuring, things are never perfect. But, once my pieces are cut to size, I plane and finish-sand as much as possible before assembly because it's hard to maneuver around a piece the size of a New York apartment.

Because I didn't have a 7"-wide piece for the lower rail, or two 49"-long pieces with matching grain that I could glue up, I had to scab on a 4" x14" piece at each rail end for the curved feet (the downside of parsimony).

I then traced my pattern onto each foot,

cut it at the band saw and smoothed the cuts on a spindle sander - but had to resort to hand-sanding where the curve met the Hat.

After setting up the mortiser with a V4" bit, I made a 1V2"-wide mortise for the 2"-wide center stile dead in the middle of the lower rail, then moved to the table saw to cut 1V4"-long tenons on each end using a dado stack.

Holding the workpiece took a little thought, because the two feet created a not-solid surface on the bottom edge (a good argument for spending a little extra to make the lower rail and feet out of one board - or at least a solid panel glue-up, and cutting the tenons before cutting out the feet). But no worries - a 3"-long offcut clamped to the sliding table did the trick. I cut each tenon face in two passes, first removing 3A" or so at the end before pushing the end against the fence to remove the remainder of the waste on each shoulder.

The resulting tenon was 6V2" wide - on the cusp of too wide to offer sufficient mortise-wall strength - so I split it by sawing out a 1"-wide piece with a coping saw, then chiseled the shoulder flat while removing the remaining waste. I cut 11A" tenons on the upper rail and center stile at the table saw,

46 ■ Popular Woodworking December 2009

LEAD PHOTO BY AL PARRISH; STEP PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR; ILLUSTRATIONS BY ROBERT W. LANG



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