planning out builtin bookshelves for our library

greeting, we're looking to convert one of our upstairs room into a full blown library (floor to ceiling, all walls with consideration for a window seat) and wanted to do a bit of leg work regarding the construction. the room is approx 16'x12'. any and all responses welcomed. TIA
we'd like the end product to "high-end" and are considering cherry or mahogany as our wood of choice. in speaking with some shops, it seems many use cherry veneer with solid cherry only on front pieces. i suspect this is done to reduce cost and maximize their profits. if we were to do this ourselves we would save on labor and therefore could spend more on materials. is it a waste to use solid cherry all around for this library (i realize if cost were no object one could use anything however i wanted to know what makes better sense and would look polished in the end)? broken down, we have:
side panels (cherry ply?) shelves (solid cherry?) back (that pins against the walls) (cherry ply?) flutes, molding, etc (solid cherry?) the framing (support) seems to be 2x4 (pine?)
for our window seat, there will be room to construct a box below the window. what type of spacing (support) would one need to have between boxes to insure adequate support for 1-2 adults seated on the seat (width of window is about 5ft). a similar question for the shelving above the window, what type of reinforcement would we need to consider to insure structural integrity for supporting the weight of the books above the window?
finally we have hardwood flooring. would we simply nail the 2x4 frames directly to the wood flooring or should we pull it up first?
thanks
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Use of ply is not a 'cheep' approach or cop-out. Ply is much more stable than solid wood. I have seen some libraries in good old England and you would think solid wood would hold up to time. I does not. Some rooms look great in photos but up close it is amazing on how must cracking and warping happens not just with time but with seasons. Get good multi ply as in the case of shelves it is good to double up to get 1 1/2 " thickness to help reduce bowing due to weight of books. Wood like cherry is now expensive in my parts and ply with solid face would be the way I would choose for a large project as you describe. If you want to put your money to good work consider an architect or int/designer to help with the project.

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On 1 Jan 2005 20:35:17 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Plywood is more stable than solid stock for cabinetry, shelving and built-ins. Cherry and mahogany 3/4" ply can be $100-150 a 4x8 sheet in some areas, it's not exactly cheap. Doors, faces, etc... can still be done with solid stock.
About the "maximize their profits" statement. Many cabinetmakers do not mark up materials. Using sheet goods often takes less time, and you're paying by the hour. You may not SEE the number of hours on the bill, but that's how the job is estimated. I suspect the business you're in prefers to "minimize profits"? Going in to a high-end, custom situation with the attitude that craftspeople are out to rip you off will not help you. Excellent craftspeople command good money, and may even be booked out a while. If someone's cheap and immediately available, I'd so some deep research before hiring them.
Ever see the "Fraser" episode with the plumber? <G>

That's assuming you have the skills, tools, and experience to do the job as well. The FINISH on wooden surfaces is often the difference between an amateurish job and a truly sweet product. By the questions you're asking, I doubt you have the skills required to build this to a professional standard for less money.

Probably, but it's your home. I don't know if a potential buyer would care if the "cherry library" was solid or plywood. The overall value of the home would probably be the biggest factor in the effect of solid wood throughout.
If plywood truly bothers you, by all means use solid stock.

Hardwood ply and solid faces.

If they're fixed shelves, I'd use ply with solid facing. I might make movable shelves from solid stock.

All designed in to a professional's job. The overhead shelving would have hard points designed in so that they can be attached to studs. Window seats are expected to have people sitting or standing on them.

Seriously. Go see some of the work that craftspeople you're considering have done elsewhere. If you like the work, LISTEN TO THEM and let them work! Don't like the finished products? Keep looking.
Built-ins, shelving, and window seats are not rocket science, but they do require straight, square, level, and plumb parts that need to be fitted to an existing area that is none of the above. Could you do it? Maybe. After buying tools, wasted materials due to lack of experience, etc... I doubt you'd save money, you'd probably spend more.
Barry
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hi, sorry if i hit a nerve with my comments. i assure you it was unintentional. it was just that i was surprised to find that, when delved in, many parts of the cherry bookshelves would be veneered mdf with solid facing pieces. the prices quoted were not insignificant and i just wanted to make sure i understood the terminology and if that was actually the correct approach.
just like many of these 5.8ghz cordless phones that are out. come to find many are 5.8ghz only in one direction and 2.4ghz (or less) in the other. when trying to balance that with my 2.4ghz wireless router to avoid cross-contamination, it wouldn't help much at all.
we just ordered a closet system from www.easycloset.com and while it looks great, it was mdf underneath melamine and chipped easily. we're just looking to do something more polished for our formal libray. thanks.
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On 2 Jan 2005 06:41:24 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

No problem at all.
Remember a built-in place custom library is NOT easycloset.com. <G>
Barry
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Norm will be doing exactly what you are planning in March on NYW.
http://www.newyankee.com/2005.shtml
Check the last item on the page. To bad it is so far in the future if you can not wait for the show to air.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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