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Cherry Bookcase


Cherry Bookcase

Wood: Cherry

Height: 50"
Width: 32"
Depth: 12"




This is the long awaited piece to go in our living room. I'm finally getting around to making some furniture, not just the smaller projects.

The mirror in my living room inspired the design for this bookcase. Rather than making a typical bookcase with all straight lines I decided to add a few curves. The top of the bookcase curves out 1". The case sides have a 1" arch on the bottom. The curved toe kick is the most prominent curve. I feel these curved lines really make this piece more interesting.

For the construction of this bookcase I used hand tools extensively. I used planes to prepare the cases and shelving. I used planes and spokeshaves to ease all of the edges on the front of the shelves. All of the dovetails on the toe kick were cut by hand using a dovetail backsaw and chisels, that includes the half blind dovetail on the drawer front.

The bookcase is made of solid cherry with a 1/4" cherry plywood back. Wow, using that much cherry sure is expensive. I bought what I considered a whole mountain of cherry for this project. Unfortunately, when I finally (wife's words) got started, I realized that most of my boards were less than 6" wide (not too useful when you need 12" of width). Rather than cutting my nice 5 1/2" boards into 4" and gluing 3 of them together to make the case, I decided to go buy wider boards. Two empty pockets later, I was back in business with my 6" wide boards.

The toe kick on this bookcase is not your average toe kick. Instead designing a traditional toe kick, I made it a hidden drawer. If you are going to take the time to build something like a bookcase, I feel it needs to have something special to separate it from any other bookcase. In addition to providing obscurity for items contained within, this drawer is just fun to show to people. On second thought, maybe I should stop calling it a hidden drawer.

The bookcase is finished with Tried and True Danish Oil, a polymerized linseed oil. I really like to use this finish. Not only does it look good, but it is safe to use and it doesn't stink up the house with a bunch of toxic solvents.

Additional Views

Detail View of Top Hidden Toe Kick Close-Up

Hidden Toe Kick Closed Hidden Toe Kick Drawer Open




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