New DVD on Bookcases now Available - Popular Woodworking Magazine

New DVD on Bookcases now Available

 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Woodworking Blogs

R1574My latest DVD with Popular Woodworking, “Build a Hand-Crafted Bookcase“ is expected to ship this week. It’s a 126-minute exploration of 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).

Topics include:

  1. Surfacing boards with handplanes.
  2. Cutting through-dados with saws, chisel and a router plane.
  3. Making stopped grooves with a chisel and router plane.
  4. Making a tongue-and-groove back.
  5. All about cut nails, forged nails and wire nails.
  6. Why furniture makers should use hide glue.
  7. On using milk paint and why you shouldn’t use the instructions to mix it.

It was a fun DVD to make and we ended up with another bookcase for the house, allowing me to unbox some more woodworking books stored in the basement. The video is available as a DVD or as a download.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 13 comments
  • stevenljones

    I purchased the DVD (which is awesome, BTW) and a “pop up” during the presentation referred to the bonus video on preparing stock by hand but there was no menu link for the video. There was a link in the “Extras” to the chapter in Chris’ new book, but no video. Was the video not included in the DVD?

    • David Thiel

      Steven, the bonus video link should have been provided to you as part of your purchase “thank you” e-mail. I’m confirming with our shop gurus to make sure that it’s set up correctly. I’ll be sending you a link to your e-mail address to get you going today. Thanks for letting us know, and sorry for the confusion!

  • James3one

    Can you clarify the position/spacing of the nails on the back of the chest? You allowed for expansion by a slight gap in each panel but the placement of the nails, to the outside of each board seemed to contradict the allowances in position.

    • Christopher Schwarz
      Christopher Schwarz

      Two things are going on here. The nails along the outside edges of the backboards hold the backboard tight against the carcase’s sides. The other nails will bend if the wood moves. So I’m pushing wood movement to the gaps between the backboards.

      Also, it’s pine that is fully seasoned. So it’s not going to move much anyway.

      Hope this makes sense.

      • Thornburywood


        Thanks for the clarification on the backboards. Can you please provide some guidance on sizing the backboards when using tongue and groove techniques e.g. if the required width of the back is 36 inches and you wanted to use 6 backboards what allowance do you need to make for the tongue section? If you used 6 inch wide boards wouldn’t this leave the tongue fully exposed?

        And thanks for updating the link to the extras, I couldn’t find it either.

        • Christopher Schwarz
          Christopher Schwarz

          There is no set formula. I know the depth of tongue my plane makes (3/8″), and I know I have five tongues in a six-board back and have to add 1-7/8″ to the total width of the boards (5 x 3/8″) for a tight (no-gap) fit.

          If I choose to have a 1/16″ gap between each board, I’ll reduce the total width of the back assembly by 5/16″ (5 x 1/16″). The amount of gap I use depends on the species, the time of year I’m building it and the way the boards are cut (flat, rift or quartersawn).

          Don’t get too scientific about it. Plane the boards to fit and leave a little gap.

          • Thornburywood

            Thanks Chris, much appreciated

      • stevenljones

        Hi Chris,
        Great video! Where did you purchase the nails that you used in building the bookcase?

  • moz

    Great video, looking forward to the ATC one.
    The bonus video on prepping by hand is not available on ShopClass. I there plans to make that available? …eyes Megan’s direction

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