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Thread: Low Bookshelf Bench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    3,383

    Low Bookshelf Bench

    This one is for my daughter. It is a solid black cherry bookshelf -- no sheet goods at all. It was sized to go at the foot of her bed, so it is fairly low, but will still hold a fair assortment of books. Strong enough to sit on, though I doubt she will.

    This one probably leans more to the Shaker end of the spectrum. I try to let the grain and the natural beauty of the wood speak for itself. This project is the one where I put into use my recent experiment with using lye to accelerate the natural colour change of cherry over time. Details on that here: http://www.wordsnwood.com/2013/lye/

    Now, on to the photos. (I know that is what you really are here for...)

    Oh yeah, more photos and more detailed explanation on my webpage.

    First: Here is the design I came up with. I used a sketchup model that I had of the actual bed that I built for my daughter last year. I sized the shelf to fit at the foot of the bed. The challenge there is that it is quite low, and books can be quite tall. The solution I chose, (I got the gem of that idea by googling all kinds of book cases, I admit) was to design in a tall section on the left. On the right, the shelf sits on pins and is adjustable.


    The back fits in a rabbet, and the (fixed) shelves are fitted into stopped dados. I used a woodsmith plan for a dado jig to route the stopped dados.


    Resawed the cherry to make 3/8" boards which were shiplapped for the back:


    I took the time to bookmatch the boards and sort them in a pleasing arrangement.


    Here is the first dry test fit. It looks okay, but it looked a lot better once I got to adding the top and bottom trim pieces


    Quick and simple jig to drill holes for brass shelf pins


    Full sanded and assembled and ready for finish. (outdoor for safety!)


    This photo is about 5 minutes after the previous photo, partway through applying the first wash coat of lye solution.


    And here is the final product, finished, varathaned, polished, cured, and installed in my daughter's room


    thanks for reading.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Posts
    1,553
    Nice work!!! looks great!
    the lye process is interesting I like the tone that the cherry took on.
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    9,077
    Very nice work Art. Nice design and I really like the arches on the upper and lower rails. Is the coloration mostly from the lye solution or are there other colorants used? I think its wonderful that a child actually needs somewhere to put books. I enjoy my kindle stuff but, I also have books . . . many books.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-01-2013 at 12:57 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    2,749
    Very, very nice! I'm sure she appreciates having such a skilled Dad.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    3,383
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Very nice work Art. Nice design and I really like the arches on the upper and lower rails. Is the coloration mostly from the lye solution or are there other colorants used? I think its wonderful that a child actually needs somewhere to put books. I enjoy my kindle stuff but, I also have books . . . many books.
    It went like this, as best I can recall, Glenn:
    - finish sand to about 150, 220 on the exposed end grain on the top of the sides
    - glue it all together
    - apply the lye solution
    - apply another "treatment" of the lye in certain spots, amounting to about half of the project (sides and shelves, not the back)
    - very light sanding with 220 grit -- very light, as in wrap the paper around the block, and lightly drag it the length of the board. Followed by wiping with the hand, and a second very light touch anywhere my skin tells me needs a bit, less than 20% of the time.
    - wipe/vacuum off the dust
    - apply flecto varathane diamond finish (satin) with a foam brush
    - repeat the 220 grit sanding between each coat as needed
    - all the horizontal surfaces get 4 coats, as well as the outside of the sides. Everything else gets 3. (I *think*, sorry didn't write that part down)
    - finally buffing with 3M scotch brite pad (#0000 steel wool equivalent, but don't use steel wool on waterbased finished) lubricated with a few drips of water, and then wipe it down with a soft cloth
    - allow it to cure to hardness over about 3-5 days.

    Note: dealing with nooks and crannies was just as tough with the lye as with any other stain or finish. I wonder if I could try this with pre-finishing (before assembly) or not...


    TL;DR: There was no additional colorant. I'm not a chemist, so I will not venture an expert opinion as to if the lye solution is a colorant or not.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

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