If you liked the Boarded Bookcase from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” but would like more details (a lot more details) on its construction, read about this new DVD in our store, “Build a Hand-crafted Bookcase” for $29.
Before you head to IKEA to buy another Billy bookcase, take a moment to read this important message.
Store-bought bookcases with adjustable shelves stink. They are made from flimsy materials, they’re shoddily constructed using questionable fasteners and they can be too-easily configured to tip forward and crush you.
Traditional bookcase construction, a topic covered in “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” is something I’m passionate about. If you are smart, you don’t need adjustable shelves. If you do your research, you can choose fasteners that will outlive you. And if you are frugal, you can build a completely excellent bookcase using home-center pine and a handful of simple hand tools.
The DVD begins by throwing out the modern idea of using adjustable shelves and discusses how the design was created and can be modified. From there we explore a bunch of different skills in detail suitable for the dead-nuts beginner (there’s way more detail than in the book).
- Surfacing boards with handplanes.
- Cutting through-dados with saws, chisel and a router plane.
- Making stopped grooves with a chisel and router plane.
- Making a tongue-and-groove back.
- All about cut nails, forged nails and wire nails.
- Why furniture makers should use hide glue.
- On using milk paint and why you shouldn’t use the instructions to mix it.
I built and finished the bookcase shown in the DVD with only two days of shop time – and I had to slow myself down so the film crew could get additional shots for the DVD. In other words, this is a quick project. But don’t be fooled by that. If you choose your fasteners, adhesive and joints with care, this bookcase will outlast everyone you know.
— Christopher Schwarz