Blogging, Fine Woodworking, Window Seat Bookcase
Comments 6

Window Seat Bookcase: The Aprons, Part 1

So, how y’all been doing? I have not written a post about my current project since July 6th, which is shocking. I have never had such a lapse in blogging since I started way back in 2009.

I once wrote that a neglected blog is such a sad thing. It takes courage to hit the “publish” button and put your words and ideas out there for everyone to see. Courage with every blog post; something good to see. Then, a woodworking blog goes silent, often right in the middle of a project. One of the guys I used to follow was making a sweet Arts and Crafts style bookcase and just when the project was getting good; he stopped blogging. For real! I hate it when that happens. There are too many silent woodworking blogs, and I don’t want mine to be one of them. 🙂

My main excuse is my new job which continues to be awesome. During the last few weeks, things have been hectic. I find myself putting in a lot of extra hours at work; as soon as I finish breakfast, I am reading email and planning my day. Evenings find me doing follow-up and preparation for the next day. Before and after work used to be prime woodworking time.

Things are slowly getting back to normal. I have started missing my workshop and my tools. Fortunately, I have been able to get a little woodworking accomplished.

MAKING SOME PATTERN ROUTING JIGS
In my last post on the window seat bookcase, I mentioned making a pattern routing jig which would enable me to cut curved edges in a more safe way. I was going to follow an article in Fine Woodworking August, 2014 issue by Tim Celeski titled “Smart Jig for Pattern Routing”. I started sourcing the hardware needed to make the jig by visiting my local Woodcraft store.

Long story short: Woodcraft did not have what I needed. I did not want to wait for delivery from an online source; plus the price of all the hardware (especially the toggle clamps) was in the neighborhood of $50.00 for a jig I would seldom use. So I decided to come up with my own jig design and save the money. Using SketchUp, I began making two pattern routing jigs/sleds…

The lower left side front apron prior to printing.

The lower left side front apron prior to printing.


The printed shape of the lower left apron is glued to MDF.

The printed shape of the lower left apron is glued to MDF.


The MDF trimmed and mounted to what I am calling a plywood sled.

The MDF trimmed and mounted to what I am calling a plywood sled.


I'll need two sleds to route  subtle curves in the lower aprons.

I’ll need two sleds to route subtle curves in the lower aprons.

FORMING THE FRONT AND BACK APRONS
With the pattern routing jigs (or sleds, not sure what to call these things) completed, I can begin to form the three lower aprons which, together, form a subtle curve across the lower edge of the bookcase (note the lower curve in this image). The aprons are highlighted in blue at the top of this post.

I cut the needed cherry close to final size and carefully matched the grain from left to right. My band saw rough-cuts the lower curve. Using strong, double face tape, I mount the cherry to the jigs and begin to smooth the rough cuts at the router table.

Template routing a smooth edge on a middle lower apron.

Template routing a smooth edge on a middle lower apron.


Front and back aprons cut to final size.

Front and back aprons cut to final size.

After some clean-up with a variety of hand planes, work with my one and only rasp along with some sanding, the aprons are ready for joinery. And speaking of joinery; that’s next. I will continue to use dowels as the main joinery. To connect the front and back aprons to their mating parts, I’ll have to drill almost 60 holes which have to be precision aligned. No small task. That will be the subject of my next post. By the way, my rasp is called a bastard file – I’m serious; just had to throw that in there.

* * *

On a separate note, I recently changed the theme here at my blog. My old theme was Portfolio by The Theme Foundry; a somewhat minimalist theme which served me well for almost a year. Portfolio is a premium theme, so the decision to ditch it after buying it was significant. But being minimalist, Portfolio was limiting in some ways; namely the menu in the header area had only enough room for four links before it started to wrap to a second row of links.

For my new theme, I wanted a free one. Earlier this year WordPress launched “Twenty Fourteen” which is loaded with options and if you like color, this theme does not disappoint (as long as you use the WordPress premium color upgrade). This theme looks great on my iPhone which was a major deciding factor for leaving my old theme. With time, the number of people viewing blogs via a smartphone will continue to grow and grow. Having a theme which is well suited for a smartphone is key.

On a desktop computer, Twenty Fourteen is basically a three column theme which means the post area is more narrow. On a mobile device the theme adjusts to one column and still looks good. Anyway, I’ll keep messing around with Twenty Fourteen and add more of its features as time permits.

6 Comments

  1. Sometimes the more you do yourself multiplies the satisfaction received. Well done Jeff! PS – I really like the new format. I’ve got to find the time to start my own blog.

    • Thanks Russ! The new job requires a lot of preparation each day. That is mainly why my woodworking has slowed so much. 🙂

  2. Hey Jeff love the post. I use the Twenty Fourteen theme as well and really like the mobile version of my site. WP is great and easy as pie to get a good looking site.

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