Built with patience, dedication and a little help from his friends at WoodCentral!
SHOP OWNER: Jim Wright
Here are the pictures of my bookcase I promised a few months ago, along with my version of Norm's workbench.
First Things First
After 20 years of basically no woodworking, my father-in-law gave me his old, rusty Sears radial arm saw. For my first project, I decided to build something for the shop, namely a workbench. Norm's plans seemed reasonable and challenging, and they turned out to be both. The bench turned out to be quite usable and I learned a great deal from it. Expansion plans now include a front vise, when I have the time.
The Bookcase Saga Unfolds
TLOML and I decided that the biggest need in the house was a bookcase, so I embarked on that great adventure. I downloaded the plans from August Home's PlansNOW web site in December 1998, and finished the project in July 1999. I learned many lessons along the way, mostly from the WoodCentral experts, and to all of you I owe a big debt of gratitude.
The bookcase is made of red oak and oak plywood. The top and bottom are bolted onto the sides -- the top and bottom splines in the sides have T-nuts. This was a great 'knockdown' feature. Otherwise I'm not sure how we'd move it.
I tackled the routed grooves in the pilasters first, and they came out reasonably well. However, I guess I'm most proud of the custom molding I designed, routed and installed for the top. Hopefully the side view (see photo, right) shows that off a little bit. You won't find these details in the standard set of plans. You can see some of the construction details in the shot of the back (see photo, below).
When Jim Cummins passed, I told you all that I would dedicate this bookcase to him, and I'm glad to finally be able to do that publicly. His insight, patience and expertise helped out in so many ways, I lost track. Here is a brief list of the issues he and you helped me with. . .
Now that's a 'How to' list if I ever saw one. Again, thank you! Now, as soon as I can finish and post another project I will!!
- Where to find plans for the bookcase and workbench
- The dangers of ripping on a radial arm saw and how to overcome most of them, including featherboards, correct alignment, and need for a "rip" blade
- Recommendation for how to finish the bookcase, including material and extensive instructions that proved to be great for a 'beginner'
- How to minimize tearout using a router (for the moldings on the bookcase), and a dado blade
- How to layout the cutting lines on irregular pieces of wood (i.e., not the nice standard sizes recommended in the plan, but much cheaper pieces I got from a local cabinet shop)
- How to cut miters accurately (rule #1 - don't use a radial arm saw and expect perfection)
- How to safely and precisely make the moldings I designed. . . Jim Wright
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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081