The latest honey-do is two sets of Barrister bookcases (three cases next to
two cases side by side two sets of each) to be made from cherry.
I have begun making wide boards from skinny ones (g) and have 3 sets of
plans (magazine how-to's).
Problem is they all are designed to be against the wall and SWMBO wants
these to act as a sort of room divider, both sides visible.
The plans all call for 1/4" plywood backs (and I have no 1/4" cherry ply,
nor any easily accessible) but I have a pretty good supply of rough sawn
Question is whether I should go thru the trouble of making a laminated back
(re-saw, join for two sides of 1/4 birch ply, etc.) or simply use solid wood
(MUCH faster!)... if so eye appeal suggests the grain run vertically to
match the sides, but that means edge mating a fair number of narrow boards
to arrive at the 34-35" width of the bookcases.
It also suggests a far greater range of seasonal movement as compared to
running the grain perpendicular to the shelves.
What'cha think... Laminate, vertical or horizontal grain? BTW I'm
envisioning a frame and panel type placement, with the back panel slid into
Thanks in advance,
It appears that both sides of the cases will be visible, and seeing the back
side of a case is not the most esthetically satisfying setup. If you must
show the back side, I'd vote for edge gluing to get the 34-35" width for the
panels. It means a lot more work in matching the vertical grain, but it will
make the best of an unusual situation.
As alternatives, why not make the cases double thick, with glass doors on
each side, or make twice as many...8-)... and place them back-to-back, or
make them as designed and place an open bookcase, plant shelf, knickknack
shelf, etc. against the back side?
thanks for your input...
Doubling up is not do-able as there are space limitations... I had also come
to the conclusion that edge glueing would be better looking... hadn't
considered shiplap as suggested below, it sounds good too!
On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 14:54:50 -0500, "Thomas Bunetta"
A Honey Double-Do? No way.
OK, how about butting a 3/4" solid-edged, inlay-patterned, cherry
plywood panel to the back of each vertical set, perhaps held by pocket
screws from the inside? That would give you a gorgeous back and lend
even more stability to the cases. The inlay could be something
suggested by the room it will face. Or maybe a proud-surfaced intarsia
look would be more to your or her liking. Either way, it would be a
replaceable look which could change as you wanted it to.
give me The Luxuries Of Life * http://www.diversify.com
i can live without the necessities * 2 Tee collections online
On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 05:51:14 -0500, "Thomas Bunetta"
Skills? What are those? Just Do It! Use thicker inlay resawn
from your own wood. That flimsy veneer stuff they sell is way
too finicky for the likes of us. Resaw to 1/2", inlay 7/16",
and plane/scrape/sand to suit.
As it should. ;)
-- I'm in touch with my Inner Curmudgeon. --
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
I recently fixed an old book case with a back made from roughly 1/4" pine.
The back is about 36" wide and 40" tall. It had shrunk over the years in
width by 1/2 to 3/4 ".
After cutting out the broken piece, I inserted a new piece of pine which
went much easier then expected (just had to slightly clamp it on a flat
surface before applying pressure over the width).
So gluing-up the wide back in solid wood should not cause a problem.
Anyhow, watching the amount of shrinkage over that width would make me split
the back into half and have a support in the middle of the bookcase rebated
on both sides to allow for movement of the back.
I plan to look up the tangential shrinkage for cherry (proper term?) and
would accomodate with a deep enough dado and a wide enough edge (raised
panel) or if suggested below I go shiplapped (still thinking how best to
impliment that one) leave enough wood so annual changes will not show. The
pieces will be pre-finished (planning on a wash coat of super blonde
shellac, tung oil and either more shellac or possibly the mix DJM touts so
highly) so expantion and contraction won't reveal unfinished wood.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Thanks for your input,
Gluing up a solid back could very well resort in problems due t
seasonal changes in the width of the back. If you have never built
raised panel door and are not tooled for the task, you may want t
consider going with a flat panel approach with mortise and tenons.
Make sure that the panels are not glued into the frame, so they ca
expand and contract. You may even want to pre-finish the panels.
I'm equipped to make raised panels (and have made a few)... I will need to
look up the expansion -contraction rates for cherry to make proper
Your suggestion of pre-finishing is a given.
Thanks for your help,
A curiosity... do you think the horizontal grain would look as good as
vertical (it would be a lot easier, and shrinkage and expantion will be
reduced due to narrower tangential cross section.
Thanks for your time,
On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 15:26:18 -0500, "Thomas Bunetta"
I think that the grain usually runs vertically simply because panels
are usually longer vertically. Consider the other pieces in the
room. If it's going to be adjacent to something else with the grain
going vertically I might convince myself it was worth matching it, but
I think I would break up the panels with one or more stiles. I think
that might end up looking too busy though, on top of being a heckuva
lot more work and I would have talked myself back into going
Or perhaps you could leave the backs unfinished and make a free
standing room divider to put behind them. Could end up being more
useful down the road if you rearrange things at some point.
why put a back on it at all?
put a small 1/4 or so lip on both sides of the bottom shelf and put boos in
from both sides, or build 2 books cases back to back, also from what I
understand if you put a cherry stain on Birch it comes very close to
looking like cherry or birch plywood may be a thought
You don't know my SWMBO!
One of the designs is for frame and panel ends... one look and she exclaimed
"I don't want to dust all those edges!!!"
Made my life easier! <BG>
The back must be enclosed, wood, glass or something!
The width of a double unit is not feasible due to space limitations.
I'd thought about trying to stain birch ply, but then I'd have to (shudder)
stain Cherry <gasp>...
If I did that, every Klown Hammer from the Cabal would smite me and the
Ghost of Paully Rad would forever haunt me!
Thanks for your assistance,
Traditional panel would be vertical grain. However, this also
typiciall assumes the panel has a vertically longer aspect ratio.
Earlier I suggested one center stile. I thought about that later and
here is more astehetic (sp?) input.
If you go to a single center stile, you "could" make it 1.5-to-2x the
width of the side stiles. To be really accurate you should use the
golden ration of 1.6 something. Or you could break up the back into
three panels, then use the same width for all 5 stiles.
Thanks for thinking about this!
A friend suggested I match up enough boards (5-7" in length) to "slice off"
the smaller widths which would then be vertically aligned and "flow" from
one case to the other. (Much easier than all those separate glue ups.)
Not sure I completly follow but I think I do. If you are saying you'll
use vertical aligned boards across the back and cut them so the board
on the top case is cut from the same piece as the piece on the case
below, etc so if you stack the cases in the proper order you can see
the grain lines match up, that is brilliant.
I built a really big (ugly) all Oak piece on contract for some real
estate office that had a hug top 3' wide by 8' long. On the front it
had a set of legal file drawers on each side and a double set of doors
at the center, typical FF construction. For the top I built a frame,
with cross members aligned witth the front (and back) stiles. Then I
floated some MDF in the frame, layed in 1/4" oak ply and trimed each
panel where it met the frame with a 1/8" wide Cherry inlay, so while
it looked a bit like frame and panel it was all sanded flush.
All that being said to indicate that the only pride I got out of the
design was that I sliced the 3 inlayed oak panels for the top all from
the same piece of ply, and I also calculated and cut out the gap for
the stiles and cherry inlay. It relly looked cool because you could
really tell it was from one piece. I think if I just cut it in three
pieces, then laid them in 3-4" apart, the grain cathederals wouldn't
have flowed nearly as nice.
You should do the same with your vertical pieces (if I followed
correctly), figure out the exact distance between the visible portions
of the boards accounting for the top and bottom of each case (and any
feet, etc) and cut that much out of each piecs so it truly looks
continuous, just having some portions hidden in a sense.
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