Craftsman Bookcase


If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing excessively.
By Robert W. Lang
Pages: 39-45

From the August 2008 issue #170
Buy this issue now

There are many bookcases in my house, but they’re a motley collection – poor cousins to the rest of the furniture. The really nice bookcases I’ve made have gone to live with clients, while I have kept the prototypes and the also-rans. They are nicer than concrete blocks and pine planks, but not my best work. The cherry bookcase in my living room was a test case – both of a dovetail jig and the wood’s moisture content.

It was time for something nicer. This design is an adaptation of early 20th-century Gustav Stickley bookcases. I wanted to use nice wood, and show off a bit with the joinery.

I didn’t have a specific species of wood in mind when I went to the lumberyard, but I knew I wanted something attractive and wide enough to avoid gluing up individual boards. I found a nice batch of sapele, also known as African mahogany, and brought home 50 board feet of wide planks.

Online Extras

SketchUp files of the plans for the Craftsman Bookcase project are available by clicking here.

For a video of selecting the lumber for the Craftsman Bookcase project click here.

For videos on making and using jigs for the joinery of the Craftsman Bookcase project are available by clicking here: Router Jigs Part 1Router Jigs Part 2


From the August 2008 issue #170
Buy this issue now