The Bookshelf

Finally… it’s kind of finished.

After a month of screwing around aside from some trim my bookshelf is completed.  The top, sides, and vertical partitions are made of oak-veneers plywood with stop-dados rounded in for the shelving.  The shelves are oak-veneered plywood with a solid oak nosing that I attached using a reversible glue bit joint created on my router and a bunch of wood glue.  The stain is red oak with a spar urethane finish over everything and it’s glued and brad nailed together.

Overall I’m really pleased considering this is my first major woodworking undertaking.  A couple of things that I learned in the process.

  1. When you’re making a built-in, spend extra time getting everything square and level, and then spend some more time getting everything square and level.  The framework of the bookshelf itself is pretty good, but the backing (which is 1/4″ oak-veneered plywood) is on a wall that angles in about an inch from top to bottom.  So most shelves are not tight against the back of the unit.  Not cool at all.
  2. Reversible glue joint bits are a bitch to setup, but awesome after you have them figured out.
  3. Wear a hag or hankerchief over your head when you’re staining.  The first set of shelves that I stained are “spotted” with areas where I sweated and the stain didn’t take quite the same way that it did on the rest of the material.
  4. Apply wood glue with a small brush, only use as much as you need to, and clean up squeeze out as well as you possibly can! That crap really shows up after you stain!