modern bookcase design - would like sanity check


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Hi,

 

I am building a library system for my house. I have done this sort of thing before but this is my first attempt to do with unpainted wood and the design is a little different and larger than I have done in the past. The plan is to use walnut plywood for the cases and solid walnut for nosing. This is going to be a lot of money just in plywood so I hoped to get some feedback before I started to see if I am barking up the wrong tree or something. 

 

We have somewhat limited space so I making the cases fairly high (about 10')  The plan is to make multiple smaller cases and attach them 2 stacked vertically and also side by side using cabinet connectors (from McFeely's)  to attach them together. All the basic cases will be the same in my idea but I will flip them around top to bottom and round. The sides and shelves are double thick but left 3/4" on the sides that will attach to the other bookcase. . One hang strip on bottom and one hang strip on top positioned so they aren't visible really at normal viewing. The cases will sit on top of a little box 6" tall that gets them above the wall trim.

 

We are going for a sort of modern design, with no back panel and thick shelves with a face frame that has no overlap and full 1.5" thick shelves.  I am very inspired by "Lee" from Leebuild.com. http://leebuild.com/projects/walnut-bookshelf-wall

 

So questions!  

  • The way I have it done now there will be exposed plywood at the very top from the side pieces. Is this normal? Maybe I should make the top/bottom layers be solid wood. 
  • I'm not sure how to attach the face frame. I want it to be flush but i'm unsure how to accomplish that on the inside corners. Maybe I can flush trim or sand in most areas but in the corners I would use a chisel to avoid it being rounded.
  • Does anything else look foolish here? 

 

Thank you very much for any feedback. This will be my largest project to date and the materials very expensive. Any feedback will be taken as appreciated. 

 

 

 

Detail capture with face frame lifted off:

 

exploded_bookcase-20150326-160749.jpg

 

Overview of the space the bookcases will be in (near a stair case)

 

bookcase_overview-20150326-162159.jpg

 

 

Thank you!

 

Phillip Moore

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I agree with Particle Board, treat it like edge banding. As for the top and bottom, if the shelves are 10' tall, no on will ever know unless they are on a ladder. If you are really concerned, just edge band the exposed top the same way you did the fronts.

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Interesting idea about the stopped dadoes. I could make it thicker but I was afraid the difference between the plywood and 3/4" thick face frame would be obvious. At 1/4" it might just disappear/blend in. 

 

I've never done a stopped dado. Will have to figure out how to ensure the shelves and the sides don't have any gaps. 

 

Thank you guys I think that will work out  a lot better!

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Are all your shelves going to be permanently attached? It seems like if you're going for a more modern and modular system you'd want to make at least some of the shelves adjustable.

And consider that a back to the cases will make them much stronger and less prone to racking. If you want it to appear as if it is backless you can always paint the back panel to match the wall. It also should lessen the chances of gaps where your walls aren't completely flat.

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Thanks @stobes21 !  The shelves are fixed because we inevitably and without compromise space shelves evenly anyway, We liked the look of that and without the holes it would look nicer. Also since we have no back by design, the idea was that the dadoed in shelves would prevent the racking you mention. Also they will be attached to the studs with the hanging strip.  

 

I was concerned about this too but when I emailed Lee and asked him about what he built he said they were quite sturdy this way. I hope he is right.

 

Thanks,

Phillip 

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Thanks @stobes21 !  The shelves are fixed because we inevitably and without compromise space shelves evenly anyway, We liked the look of that and without the holes it would look nicer. Also since we have no back by design, the idea was that the dadoed in shelves would prevent the racking you mention. Also they will be attached to the studs with the hanging strip.  

 

I was concerned about this too but when I emailed Lee and asked him about what he built he said they were quite sturdy this way. I hope he is right.

 

Thanks,

Phillip 

 

You don't need a back if your connecting to the wall studs. The dados are not going to do much of anything for racking but since your connecting to the studs its a non issue. you may want to clamp a diagonal scrap across the face when you lug the things in the house for racking support. With the stopped dado's the shelves should appear to have tight but joints. Rather than cut your dados the full thickness of the shelf just cut them a reasonable width. For example a 3/4 shelf gets a 1/2" dado. The shelf itself gets a 1/2" stub tenon, rabbet on both. All the joinery is well hidden and tight.

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