Let’s say that one day I become a woodworking rock star and I am asked to appear on one of the many woodworking podcasts that will no doubt exist (creating a woodworking podcast is very trendy these days).
A frequent podcast question posed to ww rock stars is this one: “Who has influenced your work?” To keep you from waiting the many years it will take me to rise to rock star status, I’ll go ahead and tell you how I’d answer this question.
First, a very key influence has been my Dad. He often tackled woodworking projects while I grew up. This exposure to woodworking gave me the confidence to take a woodworking class while at the University of Alabama (see a special blog post about my Dad by clicking here).
But the woodworker who has influence me the most is Norm Abram. His show, The New Yankee Workshop, debuted prior to widespread use of the internet. His weekly TV shows were almost like 30 minute woodworking classes. I paid close attention to the processes he used to make furniture and rarely missed an episode during the show’s long 21 season run.
A TIP FROM NORM
While making the shelves for the window seat bookcase, I utilized a tip seen in an early episode of Norm’s show. Norm went through the steps needed to make a panel cutting sled.
After glueing together the cherry boards required to make the three adjustable shelves for the window seat bookcase, I needed to trim them to final length. Because the shelves are more than 12 inches wide, I used my Norm inspired panel cutting sled to make accurate cuts.
This is the second version of Norm’s sled I have made and it works very well. I was able to make accurate cuts and even take thin shaving off the length which enabled me to get a really sweet fit.
With the shelves cut to final size, the next task was to create a notch at each corner…
I used my bandsaw to cut the corners completing fabrication of the shelves.
One other thing – as you can see above, virtually nothing has been glued together at this point. Since there are so many parts which fit between other parts, I will likely wait to glue-up everything near the end of the project.
The shelves are designed to be adjustable. Adjustable shelves need adjustable supports. To create the supports, I used my Kreg shelf pin jig to ensure the shelf supports align with each other.
With the first four holes drilled, I move on to the other legs. I need to drill a total of twelve sets of four holes.
This was a fun step in the build process for the bookcase. I was able to use my smoothing plane on the surface of the shelves, but not too much smoothing. I still have a long way to go before I have the confidence I need to really go at it with my smoothing plane. I am strongly considering joining the Alabama Woodworkers Guild which is based about 30 minutes from my house. I think I can get some good advice on hand planes there. Plus Chris Schwarz will teach there in a matter of months.
Next is the back; a step that will involve re-sawing and work with my thickness planer, and overall, a very similar process that I took with the case sides and dividers.
But before I get to the back, I have a quick little project to tackle. More on this new, very temporary diversion from the window seat bookcase next weekend.