Dennis Reid's Bookcase Side View

New life for an ancient cypress log.

SHOP OWNER: Dennis Reid
LOCATION: Schriever, LA

    This custom bookcase was made for a couple in New Orleans. It is 42" X 80". I used 5/4 quartersawn virgin cypress for the entire case except for the base molding, which was plainsawn to match the client's existing base molding as a transition.
     I made the fluted pilasters and plinth blocks in my shop, but I had a local cabinet shop make the crown molding using my lumber.
    I machined all the shelves and components to 15/16" in an attempt to add strength to the very long (40-inch) shelves. To add more bearing surface in the soft cypress to accommodate the wide shelves and the weight of the books, I drilled the shelf pin holes out to 3/8" and hammered in 9mm brass inserts.
     The entire piece has four coats of Minwax clear gloss polyurethane per the client's wishes. I sanded to 400 grit and tack-ragged between coats.
    The plywood back is 1/8" birch that I matched to the final cypress color by mixing Minwax colonial maple and golden pecan oil stain.
Lunker Cypress Board

    The cypress board at left was used in this piece. It measured 5/4 X 28" X16'. It was part of a virgin cypress log found in the South Louisiana swamps. The huge tree was left in the swamp after being harvested between 1900 and 1908 because it had a hole through the center of it. I am glad the loggers at that time were so finicky. A few of the boards taken from this tree were 41" wide! Thank you loggers!

. . . Dennis Reid




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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081