A bookshelf for Little Man
  Re: (...)
The wife and I are expecting a new addition to the family in just a few weeks and I recently finished up a bookshelf for the room we are preparing for "Little Man." The design is my own and was my first attempt to implement some of the design concepts that I've absorbed from the copy of "By Hand & Eye" that I picked up at Handworks. Honest feedback on the design is encouraged.

I utilized a blend of power and hand tools and this was the first real project built on my finished Roubo so I think this post fits better down here than upstairs.

The shelves are joined to the sides with twin wedged through tenons as well as a full width dado. The joinery may be a bit overkill for a bookshelf but I am hopeful that he might be able to hand this down to one of his kids some day.

The finish is GF light brown dye stain topped with 3 coats of wiped on 50/50 Poly/MS blend. I'm not in love with the finish but the wife likes it and that is all that matters.

Full details and many more pictures are on my Blog if you are interested.

Now for my question... I have enough stock to build another one of these for my daughter but am interested to hear alternative ideas for the shelf to side joinery that might speed up the build process a bit (since shop time might be limited in the near future). I tend to question the strength of a simple dado as there isn't much (or any) long grain to long grain glue surface. Am I being too conservative? I'm actually contemplating pocket screws either in addition to the dado or on their own. Does the woodnet brain trust have any suggestions for something a bit quicker yet still durable?

Thanks in advance,

  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
Not sure I'm the one to answer your questions but that's a very nice bookshelf you built. Short of a fire he should be able to hand it down to his kids at some point. You already know how to build that one. Even with the new time constraints I would seriously consider building the same thing again. The second should go faster due to less time spent head scratching.
  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
Nicely done, love the red oak, is that going to hang or sit on the floor?
Adding screws will do nothing, plenty strong as is.
  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
That's a nice interpretation of a mission style magazine stand. I especially like how the downward curve of the back opposes the upward curves on the sides. And those are some good looking through tenons.

I've done similar stands with stopped dados and with pocket holes , and both have held up to full loads. If you're set up for it, you could also use sliding dovetails. That gives you the mechanical interlock as well as glue surface.
  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
very nice joinery Chris. The only suggestion I would make is to put a face board on so its flush with the top of the bottom shelf. Run the depth of the board flush to the bottom of the 2 side supports and this will aid the stability of the unit especially if your sons bedroom is carpeted. When loaded with books these type can become top heavy. I am assuming that the unit will be free standing, not wall mounted.

  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
Nicely done, I like the swoopy top. +1 on swagman's suggestion for the faceboard. I think your joinery is fine, and it looks great. Meticulous execution, you have an eye for detail. Only thought I have is cosmetic - think about through tenons that stick out about a quarter inch, and chamfer the edges.
True power makes no noise - Albert Schweitzer.       It's obvious he was referring to hand tools
  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
Very nice looking Book Case, I like it and personally I wouldn't change a thing. I am trying to stay away from mechanical fasteners of any kind. The Dados and Mortice and Tenon are plenty strong and it looks good. I even like the finish


  Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (The wife and I are e...)
Little Man is a Lucky Man!! That's a very nice bookcase IMHO. And congrats on the little guy joining your family.
"For true creativity, we have to think beyond our tools." - MsNomer -
"Measuring is the enemy of precision." - Chris Schwarz on story sticks -
"only one opinion counts, the one that pays." - daveferg -
  Re: Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by RokJok (Little Man is a Luck...)
Thanks for all of the comments guys. Looking at the pics I can see the scale may not be obvious but the shelf is roughly 4' tall, just under 32" wide, and a touch short of 12" deep and yes it will be floor standing. I had considered adding a wrap around baseboard to make something like a plinth but it didn't really fit what I was looking for. The shelf is actually very stable as-is, even on carpet. I like the idea of leaving the tenons proud and honestly hadn't even considered that. This wasn't an intentional attempt at a mission style design but I have found my love for solid robust joinery and limited skillset for anything too fancy tends to lead my projects in that direction. Sliding dovetails are one of the other options I was considering for the next round but I'm not a fan of routers and am not sure I am ready to tackle those by hand just yet... maybe I need to attempt a few test joints and finally pull the trigger on that Veritas router plane I've been eyeing up

  Re: Re: A bookshelf for Little Man by ckx707 (Thanks for all of th...)
NOTHING is stable when a kid begins to use it to climb. Cleat to the wall or screw it into the wall.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.

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