All posts filed under: Window Seat Bookcase

Window Seat Bookcase: Taming Tear-Out

IT IS NEVER GOOD TO HEAR loud sounds while sending a nice piece of cherry through a planer. This happened a few months ago while fabricating the slats for the back panels of my window seat bookcase. With each pass through the planer, I would look at the boards being surfaced and note the grain and how I am glad I heard Matt Kenney say cherry is his favorite wood. If cherry is good enough for Matt, its  good enough for me. All I wanted to hear was the extremely loud hummmm of the planer doing it’s work. Hearing additional loud things made me cringe because I knew a problem was underway. As this particular board (see photo above) slowly exited the planer, the problem became visible. Instead of wood being cut away by the planer, some of it had been torn away. While inspecting this board I am sure a few cuss words were spoken. But as Charles Neil says, cussing is part of the creative process. Cherry is a luscious wood with finish …

Window Seat Bookcase: The Crest Rail

When contemplating how to lay out the curved lines for the crest rail, I thought about cutting away a slender strip from a left over piece of 3/8″ plywood. I would then grab some measurements from the bookcase SketchUp model and bend the slender plywood to form the shape needed. The bookcase is 48″ wide and keeping the bent form in place while transferring the curve to the longish seat back/crest rail seemed cumbersome. So I called on SketchUp to help me print a template which could be easily taped to the back of the seat back/crest rail. I could then trace the outline of the crest rail directly onto the blocks of cherry without having to call upstairs for help. And this worked super good. While building this project, I have become proficient at printing full size templates from SketchUp. The output from SketchUp is just about perfect. I spaced guide lines in one inch increments to gain good align of the five pieces of paper needed to form the template. One inch in …

Window Seat Bookcase: While the Polyurethane Dries

Over the past two weeks, I have been completing final sanding of the eight panels which reside in the sides and interior dividers for my daughter’s window seat bookcase. With the panels coated with finish, I began glue-up of the sides and dividers. As I began prep work on the panels, I remembered how slow finishing work can be. At least for me. I finally settled on wipe-on polyurethane as a finish. I had been thinking of shellac, but I have never used shellac before, and I did not want this to be the project to gain shellac experience with. I have used wipe-on poly repeatedly and am very comfortable with it. Also, my decision to select poly was greatly influenced by a Fine Woodworking article where a poly and sawdust paste was created to help repair tear-out. Shellac has a quick drying time; polyurethane does not. After some touch up smoothing with my #4 bench plane and a little sandpaper work, I add three coats of wipe-on polyurethane per side. The drying time required is …