planning my first project --bookcase.

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by semidevil, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Apr 28, 2008 #1

    semidevil

    semidevil

    semidevil

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    So I"m planning to build my first piece of furniture - a tall book case. It will be a very simple one, aprox 8 to 10 feet tall, 3 feet wide, rectangular. no moldings, or anything for now. a very basic one.

    Questions: what type of wood do I buy, and in what thickness is reccomended? do I buy 'real' wood(If so, what kind), or particle board. It seems that a lot of stores, Target, walmart, IKEA, use particle board for these type of stuff. advantage or disadvantage to each??

    I do plan to paint it to match the house if all goes well.

    thanks
     
  2. Apr 28, 2008 #2

    shan2themax

    shan2themax

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    I personally like MDF... I havent used it alot but it paints well and is pretty good stuff... and.... that is what I have seen alot of hgtv shows use when they make things.... but.... I would stick around and wait for the real answers from the real professionals
     
  3. Apr 28, 2008 #3

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Toolguy built a cabinet with the same questions, and he went with plywood.
    Mdf is OK, but a really good material is birch or maple plywood.
    The plywood will hold together with screws better than mdf.
    Then fill the holes and paint.
    The issue is the unfinished ends. You can use a trim over the edge or buy some iron on edge banding that matches to finish it off. You just cut off the excess or use a straight file carefully to remove the sticking over parts.

    Sometimes it is cheaper to buy an already made cabinet, by the time you include the material, screws, putty, primer and paint and hardware, you can actually get it for less $$.

    Good luck with your project.
     
  4. Apr 29, 2008 #4

    semidevil

    semidevil

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    thanks for the tips.

    yea, I would love to buy one if I can...it's just that I'm having trouble finding an exact size that fits as perfect as I want.
     
  5. Apr 29, 2008 #5

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Check your local library for any books on cabinets, after all... they are free.:D
     
  6. Apr 29, 2008 #6

    rachael24

    rachael24

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    There are also numerous free DIY books over the internet...Just do a quick google search of two!
     
  7. Apr 29, 2008 #7

    handyguys

    handyguys

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    like was said - If you just want to do it to save some money you will find something cheaper at Ikea or wallmart. You would build it yourself for one, or a combination of the following reasons.
    1) Want to build it yourself (satisfaction factor)
    2) Want to learn woodworking
    3) Want a design or size that is not available at retail
    4) Want better quality than what is available at retail

    My most recent bookcase I built was built myself primarily because of number 4 in my list.

    I built it from solid cherry, made my own moldings, and even used solid wood for the back by making 4" wide boards with shiplapped joints between them. The bookcase I built could NOT be made as I made it with only a basic compliment of tools. I started with all rough lumber and sized it myself. The tools used were a jointer, planer, bandsaw, router in table, table saw, Bessy clamps, oscillating spindle sander, sliding compound miter saw and a random orbital sander and pin nailer/air compressor. Build time was about 4 hours. I did not use a plan. Cost was about $90, not including tools.
     
  8. Apr 29, 2008 #8

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    You could also buy a piece that is close to the size and modify it by adding some trim or more wood. This will help to get it to fit.
     
  9. Apr 30, 2008 #9

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    I've been useing Birch alot lately. Holds glue and screws very well, has a smoth finish so when painted comes out real nice.
     
  10. May 25, 2008 #10

    B.Thomas

    B.Thomas

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    I didn't do a completely wood bookshelf, but having over 4000+ books in my house, I got #2 pine and cut shelves. I used the white metal brackets and standards from the McMaster-Carr catalog (they are pretty industrial strength!) and put them up against a white wall, painting the shelves white too. It looks seamless, my floor to ceiling shelving. And strong as all heck.
     
  11. May 25, 2008 #11

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    So semidevil, how are you making out with your bookshelf?
     
  12. Jun 23, 2008 #12

    MD builder

    MD builder

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    Here is one I did this weekend. 3/4" birch ply for the sides and fixed shelves, there are standards routed in the sides for the moveable shelves not shown in the picks. The front edges are finished in 3/4 poplar then rounded over with a router and a bit of crown added at the top. White latex semi-gloss after a coat of zinser is the finish.

    bookcase001.jpg
     
  13. Jun 23, 2008 #13

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Clean lines and function, very nice job. What's next??:D
     

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