I'm building a bookshelf. It will be about 6' tall by 2-2 1/2' wide.
I'm trying to match some furniture in the room. It will have adjustable
shelves. What type of wood should I use? AA Plywood? Pine? It should be
furniture grade and able to take a dark, almost black colored stain.
If you use A plywood you won't have to worry about shrinking
and expansion. You will have to deal with framing the rough
edges, but that's not too tough.
Staining pine really dark can be a total bear to get right.
If you use plywood, the edges can be covered with an iron on material, or
you can glue on wood strips to make a nice finished edge. When you say
"furniture grade" the price of pine goes way up. Clear boards are expensive
but if you don't mind a few knots, (especially on shelves) #2 pine is good.
Plywood is sturdy, stable, and would make a good bookcase. Wide pine is
prone to warping. Plywood edges must be finished (not hard to do)
If you want a very dark stain, check out Minwax Jacobean or Ebony.
Plywood for the case uprights is a good choice, it's tough
and stays straight. Shelf length of only a couple of feet means
the shelves needn't be topnotch straight lumber (only
a very very bad twist would be noticeable on a short piece),
and I'd go with solid softwood.
As for finish, pine and some other softwoods have stain-uptake
anomalies. Shellac for primer and a dark tinted varnish should
be a safe combination. I did a full clean/condition/stain/varnish
operation for bookshelves once, and it took over a week
(remember, you have to test on scraps first...).
You may want to use plywood but you will have to face the edges, in
othe words place stip of hard wood along the edges. If you use oak ply
wood you will need to face with oak.
If you do this you should be able to stain as dark as you like. And
the piece will look good. The oak face will help keep the shelves from
sagging which can happen with plywood shelfs depending on the length
of the shelve.
Pine can be tough to stain light or dark. tends to sploch.
A good grade of 3/4" ply might be your best bet. Trim the front edge
with a 1.5" x 1/2" solid wood, poplar is a good choice. Or, you can
use solid wood (no trim needed). You can fasten the front lip with
finish nails or biscuits. For safety sake, secure the bookcase at
the top with an L-bracket screwed into a wall stud.
any of you folks ever here of black ash? grows in the swamps of the
northern upper midwest.
brown in color grain similar to red oak, but a little softer tighter
grain (about 18 growth rings per in. more user friendly than oak at half
the price. I love working with the stuff. can be seen on my website.
I just finished 2 bookcases for my church each one is 6' tall and the
shelves are 46'' wide. I used red oak and butted the edges up and glued
them with Gorilla Glue to get my width 12''. Books weigh anywhere from 20
to 25 lbs per foot. So I used 13/16'' thickness. I you want to check the
sag properties of many woods check out this site.
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm this is a very useful site. And
as far as a dark stain, I recently discovered the use of steel wool and
vinegar, this makes a very dark stain especially on oak, do a google search
and you'll find loads of info. on this stain. I used it and put 3 coats on
red oak and it looks as dark as mahogany.
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