Arts & Crafts Bookcase


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It almost has a faint Asian look to it as well. I like it a lot. I like the wood choice the birch has some nice faint figure to it that adds visual interest but isn't overwhelming.

I also like backless book cases, I think it helps the case not dominate the room it's in as much. Is it goign to be for books or household decorations?

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4 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

 Is it going to be for books or household decorations? 

Thanks, Nut.

A little bit of both. We have a fire place with a couple of chairs in front. The bookcase will go up against the wall kind of in the middle and will get some "coffee-table" books plus a few trinkets like interesting pottery or perhaps some rocks and fossils which we've found over the years.

I like the backless look too but I left it possible to add a back in case my wife changes her mind.

The birch is more figured than the photos suggest. I'll try to get a pic of the top which shows the "flame" but my ability to capture figured chatoyance is limited.

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2 hours ago, davewyo said:

It's all finished, Richard. It's a bookcase, doesn't get any drawers. My wife doesn't want a back put on. She likes the open look of it.

BTW, it's Alder and Birch. 33" high, 43" wide, and 12" deep.

Oops, I guess I'd best remove the two drawers in one of mine.

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Thank you very much, everyone. I appreciate the kind responses. In the interests of full disclosure the bookcase was inspired by plans that I got from Woodworker's Journal (no affiliation). I

6 hours ago, pkinneb said:

Very nice!! I like the wood choices and the clean joiner work.

The wood choice came from trying to use only wood that I have on hand, which was purchased impulsively or left over from other projects. 

I have some 3/4, 6/4, and 8/4 Alder which I was going to use to make a Mission Style armoire but decided I didn't need a big, giant armoire to lug around. And I had some "Flame Birch" which I got from Bell Forest to make boxes. I've ended up making two tables, a fishing net, and now a bookcase from that lumber which I bought 4 and 6 years ago.

Alder isn't a bad option when you're looking for a medium tone. I'm pretty happy with  the Birch/Alder match-up. I've built with Alder together with Walnut as well, and it turned out pretty good as the light wood of the combo.

7 hours ago, RichardA said:

Oops, I guess I'd best remove the two drawers in one of mine.

Oh no! There's no need to take yours out.^_^ I'm sorry if I seemed to say that yours was a silly question. You're entirely right Richard, many a bookcase have drawers. Quite often at the bottom, and and I frequently see built-in bookcases with a cabinet  below, which have drawers and doors.

3 hours ago, Chet said:

 I think I might just go ahead and steal this for a project.

Go right ahead, Chet!

I put the rails along the back so I could push the books back and they would all come to a stop in the same place, but if I was to make another (and I think I may be making two out of Walnut for another room), I would be sure to make the sides flush with the rails on the inside of the case. As I made this one the side "slats" are centered on the rails. They would be better if they were flush with the rails on the inside so that the first book put on the shelf can be any size and won't fall into the space left because the slats are centered. I'm not sure if that makes sense. If not, let me know and I'll take a picture of the detail I'm trying to explain.

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10 hours ago, Isaac said:

I like backless bookcases for large coffee table type books because it can help hide extra deep books by allowing them to extend out the back a tad. 

Good point. The beauty of making your own bookcase is that you can customize it to fit the size of the books you own.

9 hours ago, treeslayer said:

Great work as usual Dave, please elaborate on the construction if you will, M&T joints, domino, how did you secure the shelf? well done sir!

Thanks, Dave. It's all M&T done with a router and a dado blade on the table saw. I attached the shelves by gluing at the front and I used screws at the back with very sloppy holes for wood movement.

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