First project - take two

Since a number felt the original project was too easy for a class, how about one of these two?
Bookcase - http://www.diynet.com/diy/ww_materials_products/article/0,2049,DIY_14442_227 0134,00.html
Shelving Unit - http://popularmechanics.com/home_improvement/furniture/1999/11/kids_furnitur e_4/index.phtml
A couple of comments about the class for reference. There are about 12 people in the class (very beginner). Class is two hours a week for 5 weeks. And the instructor recommended 4S wood - no planing or joining for the intro class.
Thanks for the feedback.
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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Better choices.
Patriarch
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I haven't managed to follow your link; they wrap, and have defied my efforts to fix.
My first project, also in a beginners woodworking class was:
http://www.frontiernet.net/~toller/Box.JPG
The box is put together with dovetails. The inner box was made of wood recut on a bandsaw, and assembled with box joints. The top is a solid panel, relieved on a router table.
It taught a lot of skills pretty quickly. No plans, but none are really needed.
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toller:

http://tinyurl.com/3ukm9 http://tinyurl.com/4evcn
--
Mac Cool

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Very kind of you, thanks.
My son did some bookcases like that for his eagle project. That was before I did any woodworking. I think you need something more complicated. Even changing the biscuit joints for rabbets would be better.
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Corey, I think the bookcase would be a better choice due to size and types of skills you will learn. The bookcase has you learning how to glue multiple boards together to make wider pieces - this is an essential skill if you want to make solid wood pieces (larger than a jewelry box that is).
Good luck and have fun. The nice thing about woodworking is that you can't make a mistake - it can be corrected or used for something else like firewood ;-) Hopefully your class will stress safety skills, these are critical to learn.
TWS
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Okay, sounds like I'll try the bookshelf for my class project.
My next big question is what to make it out of? Try using plywood and either put on the glued edging or trim out the edges with a hardwood cap of some kind? Or skip the plywood and use all hardwood?
Thanks

about
http://www.diynet.com/diy/ww_materials_products/article/0,2049,DIY_14442_227
http://popularmechanics.com/home_improvement/furniture/1999/11/kids_furnitur
weeks.
intro
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That's a good project for solid wood. I say that because you can't sand through the veneer on solid wood. You don't have as many things to trim with solid wood. And there are fewer fussy bits with cutting solid wood.
You can find red oak, surfaced 3 sides, generally for about $3 per board foot. For a project in red oak veneer plywood, I would estimate $65-$80 for a full sheet, even though you won't likely use all of it. And you'd still need some solid wood for the pieces that don't lend themselves to plywood.
With the s3s, assuming you check it out closely in the wood rack, you should have little problem bringing it all to pretty close to the same thickness, even if you have to do a little leveling with a hand plane. Builds character, teaches useful skills. And you'll likely use the hand plane to get the edges ready to glue together. You would if you were building this in my shop, at least. No power jointer here - no room for one.
Poplar, pine, soft maple, red alder, and some other woods I'm missing are good starter project woods. Inexpensive, easily worked, readily available. Red oak is harder to work, particularly for a beginner, and white oak somewhat more challenging, and more expensive. Walnut and cherry are a joy to work, but generally pricier, and not needed for a beginner. (You have to be Charlie Self to get a pickup load of figured, thick, air-dried cherry for $75. But then, the universe may have been evening out for him, given the grief he's seen the last couple of years.)
Ask your teacher where to purchase wood locally, and what he thinks about the proposed project. Most of them really want to help, and to see you succeed in the starter course.
Patriarch
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A few more questions, if you don't mind.
The class is very intro for very beginners. Some of the people in the class didn't even know what a jigsaw was. I like to think I'm a little ahead of the class because of the amount of reading and research I've been doing (though I haven't put anything into action). With that in mind, the instructor recommended we buy s4s stock from Lowes - to keep the wood selection, joining, and planing to a minimum, if not avoided entirely. So I'm thinking about using s4s Red Oak for the project.
Questions
1) If the depth of the case will be 10" or 11", will it be best to join three 4" boards or 4 3" boards? If so, would I be able to use simple butt joints or should I look into a more advanced joint for the boards (biscuit - don't have a biscuit jointer though, tenon, etc)?
2) What would you recommend for the bottom and/or shelving? For the bottom, butt joint or cut a dado notch out in the side or attach a support bracket around the case for the bottom to sit on? For the shelf, adjustable pins?
3) For the back, should I use the 3/4" ply or the thinner stuff?
4) Comments on trimming out the top edge with a little casing/molding to dress it up? Maybe a casing of some sort around the bottom too? I'm assuming this would be finish nailed if done.
Thanks, again.
"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

available.
joy
cherry
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The difference between s3s and s4s is that s4s is ripped to a specific width, generally on a table saw-like machine. Oh, and s3s is generally half the price the Lowe's gets for s4s.

Either works. Three boards is just fine.

If we are talking about gluing up the side panels to make the 11" wide stock, then edge gluing will be just fine. Biscuits don't add much here. The glue is already at least as strong as the wood. Just get the edges flat, straight and together.

Dado, if you have access to the tools, and some instruction on how to use them. There are many acceptable ways of attaching the bottom.
Adjustable pins work fine for the shelves.

3/4" is pretty heavy, and only required if this shelf wil be hung on the wall by its back. Thinner otherwise.

Sure. Why not? Make it look nice. It's your project. Put some of yourself into it.

You're welcome.
Patriarch
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"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message
If we are talking about gluing up the side panels to make the 11" wide

How about the top, bottom, and shelf? If I use solid wood will edge joints over three boards suffice?
Thanks, again.
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As long as you are gluing with the grain parallel to each other, then yes.
When you get into cross grain situations, you need a more sophisticated approach.
Patriarch
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"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

Okay, I looked at a local lumber company price sheet and you're right - s3s is about half the price of Lowes s4s (the s4s prices are about the same). If I'm not looking to do any joining or planing, will I get a straight enough cut from a TS on the s3s to make my own s4s pieces to work with? I'm sure long-term when I have some more skills I'll go with s3s. But should I try it for this beginner project/class? I'm supposed to be done in 5 weeks time.
Thanks
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If the tablesaw cut isn't smooth enough (it often is), then 5 minutes with a handplane will make it so. And the use of a handplane is a fundamental skill that beginners should really know.
How else are you going to take three 4" boards and make a 10" or 11" glue- up? Why cut off and waste the expensive 4th surface?
By the way, next year this time, this level of project will take you a weekend, and you'll still get to see the game on TV.
Patriarch
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Use a butt joint, it'll work fine. One tip no one has mentioned here is that it might be a good idea to cut your shelves a little long before you glue them up, and then you can trim the ends nice and flat and square on the table saw if the joint slides a little when you clamp it. If you cut them all right to length beforehand, and one of the boards moves, your project is going to end up being a little shorter than you had planned on.

For a bookshelf, a dado would probably be best. If you're uncomfortable with that, you could just do the butt joint, and rip a couple of boards to glue up under the bottom for extra support.

Thin is fine for the back- 3/4" would make that sucker really, really heavy! I'd use 1/4", myself.

It'd make it look a little classier, and finishing nails are pretty easy to sink with a nail punch and then fill in with a little glue and sawdust or wood putty.

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Sounds like you are comfortable with your choice. Have fun with it.
I would like to make a suggestion, though. While the web can be helpful when you are looking for 'inspiration' pieces or specific plans, I'd suggest a trip to your local library the next time you go searching. Plant yourself in front of the stacks somewhere around 684.08 on your Dewey Decimal dial and take a gander. You might be surprised at how much is available and how much easier it is to find.
~Jeff in Memphis
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