Scott bookcase
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Scott bookcase: the lower box

Over the past couple of days, I have been contemplating exactly how I would glue the sides of the lower bookcase to the long lower shelf and what I am calling the sub-top. I remember Norm Abram gluing multiple pieces of a project together in fairly quick order and I often wondered just how two hands can do all that before the glue starts to set up. While that worked well for Norm, my process is sort of the opposite: slow and easy.

The shelf and sub-top measure 55 3/8” and as I said on my last post, this is the widest piece of furniture I have ever made. The massive bookcase project is just as wide, but it is really two smaller left and right sections joined together. My process is shown below – keep in mind where we left off last time: I had just completed the fabrication of the sides of the lower bookcase.

Firstly, here are the two cross pieces which are exactly the same size.

Squares. I have the good fortune of having a Woodcraft store within a 10 minute drive from my shop. I have seen Norm use what is called “3D Squares”. I went to Woodcraft to see if they offered these and they did, but their squares were rather small – six inches long. So I grabbed some scrap plywood and made some that are much longer and better suited for my big glue-up.

A little at a time. Here, I have glued the cross pieces to the side resting on my workbench, but the side closest to the ceiling is dry fitted. For me, long boards are more accurately glued by doing one side first and then doing the other side. The weight of the cross pieces were enough to cause squeeze out eliminating the need for clamps. I will let this dry over night and glue the other side in the morning.

Attaching the back. I cut the width of the MDF back a little wider than the box and then trim it flush with a router. The one-piece back will stiffen up this wide bookcase.

Time to dress it up. Here is the completed box of the lower bookcase. Next is the fun part: adding the moldings and elements that give it style.

The lower bookcase is just a box right now, not much to look at, but tomorrow I will begin applying the MDF pieces that will form the panels for the sides. Then it will be on to build the face frame for the front of the bookcase. That should take me most of the week. I’m making a lot of progress and I feel that the lower bookcase will be completed within the next two weeks.

To see all the posts on this project, click here.


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This entry was posted in: Scott bookcase


During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.

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