Lumber coming tomorrow...

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I've asked a number of questions here lately. The scary part starts tomorrow. I'm building some bookcases that will sit atop a long row of existing cubbyhole units to form a pseudo "built-in". It's plywood plus a face frame - all straight lines - but still a pretty big deal for a weekend warrior like me. I've posted the basic design here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8327630522/lightbox /
The two mirror-image bookcases will flank a TV. Each one will be built as two units then screwed together with those barrel thingamabobs. Here's the overall layout, including the existing cubbyholes:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8326571159/lightbox /
The RH unit shows the plywood shelves and uprights behind the face frame. The LH unit only shows the face frame.
I made a miniature test piece to help visualize how the full units would look, and to practice using the dado jig, face frame clamps, kreg jig, etc. But for the scratched-up scrap ply I used, I'm pleased with the look.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8322432731/lightbox /
The face frame is as yet unfinished. I kind of like the contrast and may leave the face frame natural.
Any tips and tricks before I launch myself into the Great Unknown?
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On 12/30/2012 4:19 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Looks pretty nice.
You may have this figured out ahead of time (though I don't know how you could possibly out guess SWMBO<g>) but if I was building those units, I would have only the middle shelf in each unit stationary, the others would be adjustable.
You just never know what the equipment manufacturers are going to come out with next other than it will be bigger or smaller and better than what's out there now ;)
For rigidity of the adjustable shelves, I would think you're likely in good shape for the 18" span with 3/4" ply but with 26" you might find it "iffy" depending on the load. I've got some at 32" in a wall hung unit and what I would do - if I were to do it over - would be to continue on with a "fake" face frame on the leading edge of the adjustable shelves which would, when seated, look like more of the face frame. To get around the slight gap which will be present no matter how close your tolerances there would be; I might hit the joint of the real face from with a veining bit on the router just to provide a bit of "detail" to lose the gap.
With the size of your units and the face frame, you might even find you're good to go with just the face frame around the periphery and leave all the shelves adjustable, In my bookcase unit, seated atop custom built cabinets, there are six vertical elements with face frame. The shelves spanning them in the five book cases are a bit over 32" and the whole thing sits 5' high. The bookcase is open backed and fastened to the wall at the top (behind the crown molding and screwed in at the bottom - up from within the base cabinets) They've been in place for going on 26 years now and, trust me, they are not going anywhere and still look as good as the day the varnish dried (other than a slight amount of deflection with some of the heavier loads).
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Greg Guarino wrote:

--------------------------------------------------------------- Trust your instincts and have fun.
Lew
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wrote:

I know it's out of fashion, but we intend to fill the bookcases with actual books, of which we have several hundred. I believe I have planned adequately for tall things like atlases and coffee-table books, short things like novels, and medium things like, well, medium- sized books.

I hope that with fixed shelves screwed into the back and braced with a face frame, I should be OK. There will probably be a knickknack here and there to lighten the load as well.
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On 12/30/2012 08:39 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

It'd be cheaper and take up much less room to just buy a kindle - just kidding :-)
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Hey! My wife's kindle might just fit in my "miniature" bookcase mockup. I've been wondering what use we might find for it.
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I was tempted to make a Kindle bookcase just for the fun of it. If it wasn't for the stability issues, maybe multiple shelves 1-kindle wide. That way, you can store the Kindle 2, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Light, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Re-kindle and the fantastic flop Kindle-ING.
Puckdropper
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On 31 Dec 2012 19:52:56 GMT, Puckdropper

Cool. Make sure you engrave the model number beneath each corresponding slot. That'd be cause for some double-takes. <g>
Do it on one entire wall. Just the one square foot of bookcase.
P.S: I wonder if Amy has caught Greg's use of her account again yet.
-- You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. --Ayn Rand
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If you like the contrast by all means leave it that way. A year ago I completed an 8' x8' pantry. Face frames and door panels very dark and all other wood natural white oak. I am very happy with the contrast.
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On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:02:34 -0600, Leon wrote:

A few years ago I built an entertainment center (10' long including the aquarium portion). Just for the heck of it I used cherry panels in alder frames. Almost identical in color when first built. The cherry has darkened quite nicely since and I really like the contrast.
I had no idea if I'd like the result when I built it - it was just an experiment. So to Greg I say go for it.
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It's a happy accident; I really didn't have that much contrast in mind. I'm glad I made the test piece.
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On 12/30/2012 6:02 PM, Leon wrote:

OK, here you go any way. This was a print screen image so the details are as good as what I am seeing but should put your mind at ease as far as intricacy is concerned. The Xray version of the plans I used to build the bedroom project.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/8330462334/in/photostream/lightbox /
The result,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/4436686012/in/set-72157630857421932
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On 12/31/2012 9:55 AM, Leon wrote:

And for joint details.... And keep in mind that you make all pieces into components so that you can separate them.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/8329455515/in/photostream/lightbox /
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On 12/30/2012 4:19 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Nothing at this stage of the game, simply have fun and follow your instincts.
But, and strictly for future reference ... many of us have learned the untold benefits of being able to use a 3D modeling program, like SketchUp, to actually build a project, in great detail, before setting foot in the shop ... and, at a minimum, saving much of that hard earned stock from the possibility of the scrap pile, streamlining the process, and gaining some extra satisfaction from having confidently executed a well conceived plan ... perhaps putting a few extra bucks in your pocket at the same time.
Just ask Leon, in his airplane display case thread posted shortly after this one today, how he went about designing and building that display case with absolutely nothing to go on but a client's murky spec. ;)
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I fooled around with Sketchup a while back, but only briefly. I managed to "sketch" the first floor of our house with it, but I found it very frustrating. It didn't seem like the kind of thing that would lend itself to exact measurements. I guess I either didn't give it enough time, or was going about it the wrong way.
For bookshelves like the ones I'm making, 2D seems adequate, and is already more planning than I've ever done. But I do feel foolish for not having gone that route before. I now know the exact measurements for the spacing of the dadoes, for instance. My test piece, thrown together by eye, reminded me that it's the face frame that needs to look properly spaced; the shelves have to be located with that in mind. Drawing it precisely made that easy.
So I hope my plan is at least reasonably "well-conceived". "Confidently" may be too strong a term; I'll call myself "cautiously optimistic".
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On 12/31/2012 7:15 AM, Amy Guarino wrote:

FWIW you do have to think a little differently with Sketchup but IMHO what that amounts to is much more simple to use that an typical CAD program.
Well Swingman and I probably installed Sketchup and uninstalled it "two times" before finally leaving it on our computers and actually putting it to good use. IIRC up until version 6 it was pretty frustrating to deal with. I had been using AutoCAD for several years and now totally use Sketchup and cannot imagine going back. Dimensions are fine, there are settings to make lines less clunky looking and dimension tweaks. There are countless Youtube tutorials and once you understand the concept you wonder how you may have found it difficult to use. LOL.
I personally have added a bunch of short cut keys to eliminate having to click on icons to change commands. then there a re countless add- ons to do various procedures.
And if you would like to see one of my detailed drawings to put your mind at ease concerning accuracy and or exact measurements just let me know. ;~)

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On 12/31/2012 9:18 AM, Leon wrote:

And I've got about 40 on the 3D Warehouse (many are just 1st iterations, without the detail that I actually do for shop work) ... but will still give you an idea of the utility, with a couple of full kitchen designs thrown to boot:
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/cldetails?mid f1c8d44f47cba8b2c2cd006d206129&prevstart=0
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wrote:

More than one user for this computer. Sorry.

I see some amazing things posted here, so it must be my problem rather than the program. Or perhaps I was using a more primitive version.
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On 12/31/2012 9:30 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Really has not been that much change in the actual drawing/modeling tools since before Google first bought the company that developed it.
Although the last two version upgrades have added some modeling tools to the Pro version that are not available in the free version, they are merely convenience items, like a solid modeling "trim" function, which really does not impact the modeling/drawing functionality to any extent. The basic difference in the Pro version is that it contains a standalone "presentation" module ("Layout"), that makes it much easier to draft and print construction documents, plans and presentations.
The above notwithstanding, the single most important concept/secret to getting the most benefit from Sketchup is, in a nutshell:
ALWAYS model a scaled "component" of every element of your project/design.
The above can not be reiterated enough!
By doing this you are effectively building your design before you actually go to the shop; and, by doing so, you save time, money and material by making your mistakes and perfecting your design digitally.
By practicing that one "secret" first and foremost, you become proficient with the program quicker, end up with a better design, as well as insuring a better end product.
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*snip*

*snip*
I agree. I've been using a 2D CAD program that doesn't support anything like components, and really miss that functionality. It's especially good when something needs to be repeated exactly, like windows and doors. Without components, you have to spend time modifying each one, or decide if it's better to delete and replace.
FWIW, the 2D CAD program is used to talk to a "craft cutter" which is basically a plotter with a knife blade. I have to export from the CAD program to the cutter software then cut.
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