Scoping a First Project

You gotta figure that four years of thinking about building something without actually building something will wear on you. So the question comes down to “what?” It’s a pretty obvious choice for me: bookshelves. There are a lot of things about bookshelves that lend themselves to a first project, and me in particular:

1. They’re easy. No fancy cuts or too-tricky joinery.
2. (In my view) They’re best when made of softwood, which works easier, doesn’t cost insane amounts of cash, and doesn’t require absurd amounts of planing to get to a certain thickness (at least to the thickness that I desire).
3. They don’t require too many tools.
4. Designs for what I want are readily available.
5. I need several bookshelves, so I’ll have some practice at repetition there.
6. The shelves are also repetitive, so even more practice abounds.
7. People like bookshelves.
8. I need bookshelves in an excessively seriously god-awful way.

The basic idea is a design like 57th Street Bookcase and Big Fish Furniture that I remember from my Chicago days. When I lived there, I even had some stuff from Big Fish, and I liked it, but certain factors made me decide to sell it before I moved. Some of it had to do with it being too tall for comfort. A lot had to do with the fact that I did not make it myself. And there was some other stuff that we won’t talk about here.

Anyway, I’d like to do stopped-dado fixed shelves, perhaps a rabbeted top, finished with oil. I haven’t made up my mind about the particular wood. The western conifers all seem pretty nice, I just have to see what’s available and what I like.

So now I need to draw out the design and dimensions. Much of this will depend on measuring my apartment.

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