Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Limbert #366 Bookcase Finished

The last couple of weekends I spent most of my time finishing the Limbert bookcase, if you're not familiar with my finishing process check out my post on it here. It takes a few days to complete with drying time in between, so while I was waiting I was working on my Shaker table for The Woodwhisperer Guild March Woodworkers Fighting Cancer build. It was kind of nice having two projects going on at the same time, if I got bored with sanding I could switch over to tapering the legs of the table, if I didn't have much time I could work on the drawer. I decided to go with a medium brown finish for the bookcase so I started with medium brown dye and I used brown Mahogany gel stain for the over stain. I took the time to finish the backing plywood prior to attaching it to the back of the case with 1/2 inch staples to allow for any wood movement.
Once the dark wax was mostly dry I had a friend help me carry it into the house, all that quartersawn white oak is heavy. After letting the wax cure overnight I couldn't wait to set up my vintage Kodak camera collection on the top and fill the bookcase with my woodworking and photography books that have been piled on my dining room table for months. Then I decompressed some of my other bookcases leaving me with a whole empty shelf to expand in to.
I was very happy with the way this project came together, I started with just some pictures and measurements, used Sketchup to make them into a workable plan and went on from there. One detail that I didn't cover in my
previous posts is the bevel on the edge of the adjustable shelves, its a nice little touch that you can see in the pictures or some of the antiques. I created the bevel the same way I did on the top of the Shaker table, I adjusted the angle of my tablesaw to 12.5 degrees and set the fence 1/2 inch away from the blade. Using a tall fence and a magnetic featherboard I carefully moved the shelves vertically past the blade. Cuts like this almost always leave burn marks so a little clean up with a low angle smoothing plane was in order. Every time I make something I learn something new, sometimes something big, sometimes something small, I noticed with this bookcase sitting near my last one that my sanding and finishing have improved. I learned on this one that it is easier to finish a bookcase with the back not attached, a lot easier.

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Limbert #366 Bookcase, Part 2

Last weekend I cut and routed the dadoes and grooves in the sides of the Limbert #366 bookcase. During the week I took a few hours and, using the template I marked out the cutouts and the bottom lift. After drilling a few access holes and cutting the waste out with a jigsaw I used the template and a 3/4 inch pattern cutting bit to clean up the cuts. I also cut the adjustable shelves to size and added the bevel on the front of each shelf.
Saturday I cut and glued up the top for my cherry Shaker table for the Woodwhisperer Guild Woodworkers Fighting Cancer build, then I moved on to sanding the bookcase. I ran the complete sanding schedule I use for white oak, starting with 60 grit, then 80, 120 and finally 180 grit. Between 120 and 180 grit on the inside of the sides I drilled the shelf pin holes for the adjustable shelves. I don't use a fancy template for this, I have a section of pegboard with two lines of holes 8 inches apart marked every 2 inches. With this I use a 1/4 inch brad point drill bit with a stop collar in place to drill 1/2 inch deep holes. I've used this on many projects and have never had problems with it, its simple, its cheap and I can make custom templates for any project.
The final dryfit was done after hand fitting each part, a few clamps were used to hold everything together and tight while I took measurements to insure that everything was square. I took the rest of the afternoon to make a taper cutting jig for the tablesaw inspired by Marc's live Guild event as I would need to cut long tapers for the Shaker table.
Today I had to run to Lowes to get some oak ply for the back of the bookcase, all of the pictures of the original that I could find show a plywood back so why not? I gathered my long clamps and glue bottle and completed the glueup. After a couple of hours of drying I flipped the bookcase onto its face and measured for the plywood back. After cutting and sanding the plywood I placed it and attached it with some blue tape for the pictures leaving it unattached to make finishing easier.
I took the rest of the day to cut the mortises in the Shaker table and taper the legs. Also I took the top for the table out of the clamps and rough sanded it.
One of the features that attracted me to this particular bookcase is the detail on top of the piece. The small fixed shelf and the cutouts along with the solid wood back and the large fixed top shelf are very nice and would make a perfect place for me to keep part of my vintage Kodak camera collection. I can't wait to complete the finish and get this bookcase in the house.

"Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves."
Rudyard Kipling