Maple Bookcase with Fluted Trim

This project is a bookcase for my daughter.  I wanted to make this a timeless design that she can keep the rest of her life if she wants.  This will be a mixture of a couple leftover sheets of good plywood I have from my home office desk and bookcase build, plus maple wood for the trim.  I wanted to make sure the bookcase was built with good quality materials to last a lifetime.  If you want to see the finished product, click  here.

Bookcases are fun from a design standpoint, because you can start with a simple box and easily dress it up.  Here’s my basic overview of what I am looking for: a simple rectangular bookcase with adjustable shelves, fluted trim, a small amount of trim detail at the base, and on feet so it can clear a typical baseboard trim and stand flush against a wall. The sketchup model I used can be downloaded here.

When construction is finished (before painting) it might look something like this:

This bookcase starts off as a simple box, pocket hole screwed together.  I chose 2″ spacing for the shelf pins and made a short jig with a piece of scrap plywood.  I have used this on multiple projects now, and I cannot see any need to buy a shelf pin jig when they are so easy to make yourself.

I know some people really like their store-bought jigs that cost $30-$100, but I can’t see spending the money on one myself. I’ll post my shelf pin jig details in another post.  I did purchase a bulk pack of shelf pins for my last build, witch should last me quite a while.

  

Once the details for the base and feet have been designed, they can be cut and installed.  The curves are just cut by hand on a band saw, then sanded to the line with a spindle sander, 1/4 sheet sander, and/or hand sander.

   

Note that I chose 4.5″ tall feet, cut from 3″x3″ oak.  They are pocket-hole (Kreg) screwed into the base, and they do support the sides.  Screws are hidden on the insides and back faces.  The rear feet sit 3/4″ away from the wall in order to allow this bookcase to clear many baseboards.  I had this 3×3 oak left over from the construction of the house, and it will be painted so I don’t feel bad mixing and matching wood species here.

Note the 5/32″ roman ogee edge I chose for the base trim.  Because I cut all they plywood shelves the same width, the front trim is 1 1/2″, while the side trim is 3/4″.  You can see a small triangular gap, but this will be covered by the fluted trim

I really like the way this bottom detail comes together  The extra Ogee trim that bands the bottom of the bookcase really adds a dimension to this, even more than the fluted trim does.  You can see that the fluted trim is made with 2 passes of a 1/2″ core box bit, not to full depth.  I just eyeballed it until it looked good.  There was no science here, I just made a few cuts on scrap wood until I was  happy with the depth and spacing.  Once cut to length, it was glued and  nailed into place with a brad nailer.

Finally, I made some shelves out of 3/4″ plywood with a 2″ tall piece of maple Kreg-screwed to the front.  This maple adds height to stiffen the shelf, plus has an ogee routed into the bottom edge.

I had some grand ideas about a tall piece of custom crown molding for the top of this which I may still make sometime in the distant future, but I had a stick of store-bought crown laying around from my office desk build.  The instant gratification of putting this crown molding on was too big of a draw, so I attached it to some pine strips for support, and screwed it in to the top.  It will be easy to remove in the future should I want to change the look, but I think it looks pretty nice right now.

 The Crown is glued and nailed to a strip of pine, then screwed into the top of the cabinet.  This can be removed later to update the look of the cabinet if desired.  I’m still not 100% happy with my miter cuts on large crown molding like this, but I’m slowly getting better.  The next steps include fitting a 1/4″ back onto the project, then paint.

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  1. Pingback: Bryan's Site | Maple Bookcase 2

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