Blog Post 072614a

Window Seat Bookcase: The Aprons, Part 2

Subtitle: This is where this project starts to get good.

So far, I have been working on the center section of the window seat bookcase. One look at the SketchUp illustration above shows left, center and right sections. As I build outward from the center section, my excitement for this project builds as well. But, the method of joinery relies on precision work; precision alignment of the holes I am drilling for the dowels, which join mating parts to one another.

A photo showing where I left off last time.
A photo showing where I left off last time.

Drilling holes for dowels has been the task for the past week or more, and I have gotten pretty good at drilling holes (but I did make a few mistakes). I mentioned before about the extra care needed to drill holes; well this makes the job a little slow. Making sure all the holes line up as they should has me triple checking the location of the dowel jig I am using (see a photo here).

I had to drill 36 holes into end-grain which is tough (another 36 holes into side grain – much easier). End-grain is much harder to drill into; often requiring me to put extreme pressure on my drill and checking frequently to see that all the waste is being ejected while drilling is underway. But, as you can see below, I finally got all 72 holes drilled.

Fitting the left side section.
Fitting the left side section.
Center components being located.
Center components being located.
Dowels sliding into place.
Dowels sliding into place.
The right section waiting to be set in place.
The right section waiting to be set in place.
Finally, the basic shape of the bookcase.
Finally, the basic shape of the bookcase.

This is where the project starts to get good. The basic shape of the window seat bookcase is now completed. Nothing is glued together at this point. There remains a lot of parts to fabricate and I want to make sure I think through the order for glue-up carefully.

Next: I’ll add the back and lower shelf to the bookcase. Later I’ll create the middle shelf and the top. Then it will be time to shape the seat back which means adding the curve to the rear legs and the crest rail. Stay tuned…

A Bible Stand for my Mom

The bible stand: designed to fit a very specific space.
The bible stand: designed to fit a very specific space.

One benefit of being a woodworker is the woodworker can design and build furniture to fit any space. In my mom’s home there exists a small corner in her foyer. Not long after graduating from the University of Alabama where I had taken a shop class titled “Wood Technology” I built a slender bible stand to fill that space.

This was about 1985. I was greatly influenced then by woodworker Peter Kramer. A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about Peter which shows photos of his furniture designs (see the blog post by clicking here)

The bible stand is a variation of one I saw in the 1984 issue of Country Home magazine, which I still have. When I am having design trouble, I’ll often open the pages of this magazine and read the article about Peter.

I was at my mom’s house last night and took these photos with my iPhone. The bible stand will soon be 30 years old and is still looking good – no need of any repairs. This is probably the fourth or fifth piece of furniture I built.

The interior shelf which is mostly a decorative feature.
The interior shelf which is mostly a decorative feature.
My first try at machine cut dovetails.
My first try at machine cut dovetails.

For the dovetails in the drawers, I used my router and a mostly plastic dovetail jig from Sears. This worked pretty good despite the dovetail jig being such a budget accessory. Concerning the door, heartwood is used as a design feature; something that Peter Kramer often did. The base features a multi-part molding – should have gotten a better picture of that. As I recall it is built up from four pieces.

It is gratifying to see something I built several decades ago still being prominently displayed in my mother’s home.

Apartment Dining Table Plan: Orthographic Views

Firstly, the pic below shows my progress on the window seat bookcase. In my last post, I had the aprons formed. This week, I have been working on drilling holes in the lower aprons and mating holes in the legs.

A goal of mine - to remove that water heater from the background of my photos.
A goal of mine – to remove that water heater from the background of my photos.

Yesterday, I started on the upper aprons. So, the good news: I am making steady progress on this project. I’ll save the details and more photos for my next blog post. In this upcoming post, I hope to have all the aprons in place.

* * *

At the same time, I am making progress on my next woodworking plan, tentatively titled, “You Can Build an Apartment Dining Table”. Right now, I have the first page completed and I am working on the orthographic views for the second page. My plans usually go like this:
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Chris Schwarz Types Out my Name in a Blog Post

If you look real hard, squint your eyes just right, you can see my name above.
If you look real hard, squint your eyes just right, you can see my name above.

I am thinking about getting this framed and put up in my workshop. I sent an email to my family members the other day when this blog post appeared at Lost Art Press. I said that Chris Schwarz is an important person in world of woodworking.

If you did not know, he promoted a blog post of mine; which in turn was promoting a product of his. A case of scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours? Maybe, but it was fun to see; a nice way to start the Labor Day weekend. Not that he said anything more than I am a veteran woodworker.

Life goes on. Tomorrow I’ll have to find a way to sell more flooring; my mom needs her grass cut; I owe a visit to see my dad and we need to get my daughter’s new laptop working. So in the big picture of life, this does not matter at all. But it was still nice to see. :)

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