Monday, October 17, 2011

Front Facing Bookcase

After building the front facing bookshelf to mount on the wall (see that project here), I decided I wanted to take on a more substantial project.  I had seen a few different bookcases and I really liked this one from Land of Nod:
I looked at a bunch of different plans, and I also looked at actual front facing bookcases in classroom type settings like the Onslow County Partnership for Children (see my post about OCP here).  Sort of like this one:

I drew up my own plans and I'm happy to share them with you (sorry about the picture messing with the webpage formatting, but I wanted it to be large enough to be readable):
1. Start by attaching A and B with a small amount of wood glue.  Then secure the attachment by using 3 screws from the bottom of the bookcase. (if you have a drill bit that will allow you to sink the screws so they are flush, it gives a much nicer finished product)

2. Attach a piece C to the board B as shown with wood glue and then with 3 screws from the back.

3. Place the next B piece 3 inches down on piece C as shown and use a pencil to mark the back of piece C.

4. Use a drill from the back side of piece C to mark the location of 3 screw holes using the line as a placer.

5. Then put the board in place and drill the counter sunk holes from the front side in the place of the placer holes.

6. Place some wood glue and attach piece B behind piece C.

7. Secure the hold by inserting screws into the counter sunk holes from the front.  If you wish to have a more finished look you can use wood putty over the screws and sand it down to make the front look unmarked.  I decided that just painting over the screw heads was enough.

7. Repeat steps 2-7 two more times

8. Add the final piece C as in step 2

9. Place boards D on either side and mark boards D in the location of boards B so that you have an indication on board D of where boards B will line up.  Make sure you mark both boards D at the same time. (note about board D: if you wish, you can use a table router to round the edges of boards D and A.  Sanding is an alternative to make sure the edges are not sharp)

10. Screw placer holes from the inside of boards D so you know where to place the screws.  Drill 2 screws into each board B.

11. Drill counter sink screw holes from the outside of boards D using the placer holes.

12.  Add a small amount of woodglue to the edges of boards B then screw boards D into place.

13. Remeasure the dimensions of the back before cutting piece E if you wish to put a back on the piece.  This is optional and there are many options.  You can use wainscoting as with boards C, hardboard painted with chalkboard paint, an upholstered piece of hardboard, hardboard covered in cork, etc.

14. Drill 3 countersink screwholes through board E and into the back of boards D.

15. Place some woodglue on the back of boards D and secure with wood screws.

16. Sand and paint
It took about 6 hours to build and paint and cost about $60.  I could have built it a lot cheaper if I had used MDF on the sides instead of actual wood, but MDF has to be sealed before you can paint it, doesn't stand up as well, and is a lot heavier.  I also had a lot of leftover wood that I've since used in other projects.

I decided to use wainscoting for the back instead of plain hardboard for the back shelves to give it some extra class. I painted it with 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of semi-gloss paint using a foam roller to get nice thin coats and to reach in all the spaces and corners.  I used a fine grit sandpaper on the piece after it dried to smooth it out.
 Bella loves her new reading space!

Any questions?  If you make one, be sure to send me a pic!

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