A Galoot Production Run

A local lumberyard often has "specials" stacked outside their main entrance. In this case it was 1X8 (6ft) shiplapped knotty pine siding. I've done similar projects, making one or two bookcases like this; but I decided it'd be nice to try a whole slew of them, so I picked over the boards and got enough pieces for fifteen (2ft X 2ft) bookcases.

The basic design is that, for the sides, tops and bottoms, one of the laps are planed off, leaving a nice rabbet for attaching the back. (One minor complications is that the original boards had roughened backs, which gave a face-side "orientation" to the boards.) The whole thing is held together with 4d nails (cut nails, of course). The center shelf is dadoed into the sides and each end of the top is rabbetted so top joints could be cross-nailed together. Finally, the back was of 1/8in luan plywood, nailed into the back-rabbets with #16 wire nails. (It's amazing how much rigidity the back adds to the case.)

I made one prototype to make sure I had all the parts oriented, the right measurements, etc, and then I went into "production" mode.

In short, I went through each step (sizing stock, marking layout, cutting dados, final sizing, attaching backs, etc.) for all pieces at a sweep.

I find I really enjoy working like this. For one thing, aside from usually being much more efficient to do a "batch job", it's great from an educational point of view. There's always a little experimenting with each cut you make. Working through a dozen such cuts give you that much more of a chance to see what works for you and to learn from your mistakes. And then there's that whole "muscle memory" thing.

Anyway, there's certainly nothing fancy about this work, but it was a lot of fun. Just me down in the basement with the planes, backsaws, chisels, hammers and drill. The only electrons coming out of VPR on the radio. Ah... this is what it's all about.

The Stack of Bookcases
Here's a picture of the whole lot before they got
dispersed throughout the house.

(In the middle are some of the shaker oval boxes I've made recently.
Not related to the bookcases, but I just wanted to drop them in.

Also, in the upper-right corner, to the right of the futon,
you can see some of the reason why we needed the bookcases.)

P.S. Thanks to Cathi for the loan of her digitalcamera.

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