Re-run Scott Bookcase
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Re-Run Scott Bookcase: Work Begins on the Top Section

I am making some slow progress on my latest project, the new tool cabinet and wall surround. I hope to have a post about the framing which is underway by Sunday evening. In the meantime, here is the re-run of the next step in a project I built in early 2010; a large bookcase for a co-worker.

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 homemade template make quick work of cutting all these holes for shelf pins.

Cutting holes with the router – my Dewalt plunge router and a homemade 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.

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

The glue-up begins.

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 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.

The simulated MDF panels.

The simulated MDF panels.

At this point, I want to make note of the dust created when cutting MDF. I think it is unique among woodworking stock. MDF dust is more like a powder than dust and I most likely will be getting out my leaf blower again to rid my shop of this stuff. I guess I could spend a ton of money on better dust collection; I suspect to do it right would cost something like $2,000. Or I could simply put on my dust respirator and do a better job of cleaning afterwards.

Stop molding added.

Stop molding added.

Stop molding is what you see above; that is what Home Depot calls this kind of molding and it seems that this molding is typically used for interior window trim.

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.

Upper case taking shape.

Upper case taking shape.

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.

Up next: After I complete the face frame, I will cut the shelves to size and then begin to add 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!

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