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.
In early 2016, I made a 126-minute DVD that explores building the bookcase from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” entirely by hand using surfaced home-center pine.
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
11 thoughts on “‘Build a Hand-crafted Bookcase’ DVD”
Chris are the DVD’s multi region i.e. will they work in Australia?
It is all zones, so yes.
Sensational, thank you.
Didn’t realize LAP was going to sell this too. I got the digital download version from Popular Woodworking’s site a couple weeks ago. It is a very worthwhile video. Reading Chris’s writing is great, but watching him do the work – and picking up little tips and techniques – is even better.
I want that beading plane…hopefully Caleb will be taking orders again before too long.
Currently half way through the dados. The Anarchist Design book and the video are a great help in building the bookcase. My “billy” bookcases are overflowing so this will replace one of them. Will have to make a couple of taller versions to replace more of them. Hopefully I will have learned from my mistakes on this one and do better on the next one!
I also got the DVD as soon as it came out. I just acquired my first grandchild a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve a bookcase is one of my projects I want to do for him. After watching the DVD, I threw out my previous plan and began adopting Chris’ ideas. I think the video is worthwhile both for the project and the perspective.
I just started watching it on the Pop Wood video site. Looks good so far.
OK, I’ll show my ignorance, What’s a “Billy” bookcase???
It is the ubiquitous IKEA bookcase. Go to IKEA’s web site and you’ll see it.
Looks pretty much like a Sauder or O’Sullivan or Bush particle board bookcase, i.e. vinyl laminate covered rectangular box with all square edges. Most/all shelves are adjustable.
One thing that Chris tends to forget is that many Americans still have never been to IKEA. Less than half of US states have a store.
Why is IKEA getting all this flack? Take a look at this bookcase: https://www.bukowskis.com/fi/lots/694729-bokhylla-ekolsund-ur-ikea-1700-talsserie-1990-tal
At least they have tried.
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