Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book 'em

Nothing quite compares to the feeling of completing a creative project.

Kim and I carried this completed book case out of the workshop and into the bedroom yesterday.  It's the first large piece of furniture I've finished in some time.  Sure, I've done plenty of other smaller projects, but this one has been simmering and slowly coming along for quite some time.  In fact, the drawings I made for it are dated 2008.  Kim reminds me that since then I've created a few other things outside of the workshop, but still.  Five years on a case piece is a long time!

I've written about this project before here on Commonplace.  There was a post about making dowel pegs from firewood.  I talked about preparing the lumber in this post, which also shows the inspiration for the project- an article written by Shaker furniture expert Christian Becksvoort.  His version can be seen on his site- boy howdy, I saved $4,500!  And yes, I adjusted the measurements from his example- my version is about 6" wider.  This post is mostly about Memorial Day, but there is a picture of the dovetails, freshly cut, that hold the case sides together.  And in this post, the shelves were but a drawing taped to the wall and a pile of lumber.

Here is the case with the doors closed, empty of books.  It is made from solid black cherry.  The wide lumber (the top and sides are 12" wide boards) comes from a memorable snowy day, probably 15 years ago, when I acquired it from a barn in western Geauga county- the personal stash of an octogenarian woodworker who could no longer make use of it.  I think of him and his kindness often when I'm working in the shop.  The small table in front is one of a pair that I built about 8 years ago.  The bed frame was built with the same lumber.

Dovetails are a mechanical joint, and here they connect the top of the case to the sides.  The shelves are also connected to the case sides with sliding dovetail joints.

I'm particularly proud of the perfectly matched door knobs I turned on the lathe.

 Here's the case, doors open, loaded with trout and fly fishing books.

The young apprentice says it measures up!