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  • amabbut3


The first half of 2022 looked like bookcases, subcontracted by a carpenter pal.

Bookcases for some serious bibliophiles. The best part of this project was perusing the clients' home library while doing final touch-ups to the front edges of the bookcases and talking authors with them. Also, they made great coffee.

Specs: Five (5) floor-to-ceiling hand-painted birchply bookcases. They might look like they are from the IKEA, but I assure you, they are much, much more durable. Here are a few reasons why:

- Made with C/CP birch plywood, every knot in which I painstakingly puttied

- More than 50 plywood edges reinforced with 5mm of hard maple (made from shop offcuts)

- Joined with 40mm x 6mm beechwood Domino (mortise-and-tenon, but make it modern)

I sanded every surface twice and painted these suckers by hand with a roller. Did I burn out the motor in my crappy home hobbyist Black-and-Decker hand sander and acquiesce to the wisdom of purchasing a Festool 125cm random orbital? I surely did.

One of the bookcases has diagonal shelving to match the diagonal wall it abuts, at the request of the clients. And the bookcases in the front room have the baseboard of the wall running through the side of the bookcase, so that it looks incorporated with the wall behind it.

The most fun part of this project? Diagonal shelving (I craved anything other than a 90-degree corner by the time I got to this bookcase), books, and hiring my colleague Vanessa to assist with the installation, which would otherwise have been impossible.

Least fun part of this project? Messing up my back mortising Dominos for two days straight, grazing a live wire while drilling my very last installation hole, and having to caulk imperfect seams.

I'm taking a sabbatical from bookcases. Happy reading, dear clients!

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