Scott bookcase
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Scott bookcase: work begins on the top section

Building the top section of the bookcase is in many ways just like building the bottom section. Both start out as a basic box and that is the subject of this post.

After cutting the left and right sides to final length and width, I cut dados in the sides for the upper and lower cross members. And just as with the lower section, I then use a template to locate and space my plunge router to help cut the holes for the shelf pins.

Cutting holes with the router. My Dewalt plunge router and a home made template make quick work of cutting all these holes for shelf pins.

Sides completed. The left and right side of the upper bookcase are completed.

The glue-up begins. With the cross pieces cut to size, the glue-up begins. In the photo above, only the joint in the lower right of the picture has been glued. I will glue the joint at the opposite end later. Then I will glue the other side to the whole thing. My new pipe clamps and workbench are handy for this task.

The completed box. The top section is glued together and everything is square. You can begin to get an idea of the large size of this bookcase. Pay no attention to the junk hanging up behind the bookcase. I am trying to get my wife to agree to part with some of this and I have learned a little at a time is best.

With the skeleton of the upper section completed, the next step is to cut the back to size and attach it. Then the really fun part of the top begins – adding the simulated panels to the sides. I’ll work on that tomorrow.

After a good night sleep, I was hard at this morning in the shop. I finished cutting the MDF pieces that form the panels for the sides of the bookcase top and attached them. I had to make a run the Lowes to pick up some more material and today, I started cutting and fitting the pieces needed for the face frame.

MDF and dust. The simulated panels on the sides are made from MDF. This material is really something. I say this because the dust from MDF is unique among woodworking stock. It is more like powder than dust and I most likely will be getting out my leaf blower again to rid my shop of this stuff.

Stop molding. That is what this molding is called. Once the sanding is completed, I can move on to the application of this molding, especially since the bookcase top is already laying on it’s side. Might as well go ahead and do this now. By the way, stop molding is mainly used to finish off interior window trim, but I think it looks nice on the bookcase simulated panels.

Currently. This photo shows the panel components in place, and fitting the face frame in process (note that the face frame top is missing). I’ll get the face frame completed in the next few days.

Shopping for stock

As I said, Saturday, I visited Lowes to buy some more stock: eight foot lengths of 1×6 poplar along with some four foot lengths of 1×12 poplar for the shelves. I also picked up various molding that I will need. It is interesting how long this process takes. For some reason, I thought this would be a somewhat quick trip, but after sorting through boards to find the right ones that are straight and free of problematic defects, this process took a while. Straight and flat are very important characteristics for the shelves (there will be three for the top) and Lowes has four foot lengths of poplar that are just about the perfect length. So, that’s good. However, I should have known this would not be a “in and out” visit.

A reminder. Here is what the finished bookcase will look like. One change from this drawing is the bottom shelf of the top has been raised to allow for the face frame to be visable.

Up next: After I complete the face frame, I will cut the shelves to size and then begin all the moldings: stop moldings to complete the simulated side panels, the waist moldings and the crown molding. After that, I will need to do some touch up, make some straps to secure the top and bottom sections together and final sanding. The end is in sight!

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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