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.
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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