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Thread: Birdseye Maple bookcase

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Michigan
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    Birdseye Maple bookcase

    I've been asked to build a bookcase measuring 84" tall and 9' 8" wide using Birdseye maple. I have been given about 80 bd. ft. of birdseye maple stock from Michigans Upper Peninsula. A very good friend named Bruce who is a logger and has a sawmill wants to give this bookcase to his wife for a belated Christmas present. He logged off the B/E and milled it at his sawmill.

    He wants the 2 outside pieces measuring 24" x 24" to have adjustable shelving for pictures and the center section measuring 66" x 16" to have fixed shelves for books. The bottom areas are for storage and will have raised panel doors. He would like the doors to be made of B/E also but I explained my caution with tearout and he said plain maple would be fine as long as I made the rails and stiles with birdseye. Bruce has given me some leeway so I've been pondering (and asked a couple WW'ing friends their opinions) about using cherry for the raised panels and B/E for the rails and stiles. All the carcase has been made using 3/4" maple plywood per his request, all the face frames will be B/E maple.

    Pictures show the face frames already cut to size and passed through the drum sander. I'm not sure how well the B/E will show up but it is highly figured. The next pics show the carcase mocked up to get an idea of size...and I just had to get my mom and dad in on the project.

    I will post more on this thread as work progresses.
    Last edited by Steve Clardy; 11-25-2006 at 06:13 PM. Reason: OP requested title change
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  2. #2
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    Hey Steve,
    That's going to be a beauty for sure! I love birdseye, but you are right about the tear out. Every time I use b/e, I wind up burning my fingers on the scraper

    Cherry would work for the doors, but personally I would think about a very light wood that wouldn't compete with the b/e - maybe birch or plain maple.

    Can't wait to see pics of your progress!

  3. #3
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Looking good

    Birch should match fairly close.

  4. #4
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    Steve,

    I luv tthe figure of BE Maple, but agree that tearout is annoying. I think cherry would really compliment the BE.

    Question though, how are you planning to support books on a 66" span of 3/4" ply?

    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Walsh View Post
    Question though, how are you planning to support books on a 66" span of 3/4" ply?

    - Marty -
    Good observation Marty, when the face frames are installed the span of 66" will be cut in half by a upright face frame which will have a shelf pin drilled from the backside of the face frame to support the center. The backsides of those shelves have been nailed through the maple plywood for support from the back edge

    So the top portion will have a "split" in it at the halfway mark and the lower storage areas will have 3 raised panel doors.
    Last edited by Steve Ash; 11-24-2006 at 11:54 PM. Reason: more info....
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ash View Post
    Good observation Marty, when the face frames are installed the span of 66" will be cut in half by a upright face frame which will have a shelf pin drilled from the backside of the face frame to support the center. The backsides of those shelves have been nailed through the maple plywood for support from the back edge

    So the top portion will have a "split" in it at the halfway mark and the lower storage areas will have 3 raised panel doors.
    Steve,

    That's better...I was worried about droopy saggy shelves...been awhile, but been there, done that...

    Then again, even at 33", 3/4" ply will be straining if they like lots of heavy books. I assume you're going to face the shelves with solid stock...? Maybe a little wider than normal...?

    Thanks...
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  7. #7
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    I guess we think alike Marty, the two shelves are cut 1 1/8" less than the finished dimension to allow for a 1 1/8" B/E face. Had to really hunt hard for 2 pieces that were highly figured on the edge for this purpose. I feel confident that amount should be enough to support the shelves with books on it.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ash View Post
    I guess we think alike Marty, the two shelves are cut 1 1/8" less than the finished dimension to allow for a 1 1/8" B/E face. Had to really hunt hard for 2 pieces that were highly figured on the edge for this purpose. I feel confident that amount should be enough to support the shelves with books on it.
    You got it Steve...should be good and solid and stay straight...and look great!

    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  9. #9
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Steve,
    I love working with maple and that looks like some great stuff. I looksforward to seeing the end result.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Wisconsin Dells, WI
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    That's really looking nice Steve.

    So's Mom & Dad.

    Do a good job on that, cause I'll expect to see you here to help with the bookcase I've got to build. I'll even feed you.

    Karl

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