Sunday, August 21, 2011

Latest Commission: Barrister Bookcases

     I recently met with a client that asked me to make a Barrister's style bookcase to fill a media niche in their home.  Happy to say that after we discussed the project and their requirements for it they accepted my bid and now it's off to work.  I'm going to refer to these as a faux Barrister bookcase because there are some major differences in the design.
     Traditionally, barrister is a term used to describe lawyers.  Before the advent of the internet lawyers had collections of books to research their cases.  As you may imagine, the longer they practiced the more extensive this collection of books became.  The Barrister bookcase was developed as a way to add cases as they were needed.  One unit stacks on top of the next.  Another feature is the glass panel in front that slides up and into the top of the case to allow access, this also minimizes dust.  My client has several of these cases already so this one will add to them.  The main difference is that I'll build it as two, stackable units that will be 80" high.  One of the primary uses for the case will be to house a turntable so the center unit will be considerably taller than the rest --- there comes the challenge!
     Using a cabinet grade, Red Oak plywood will simplify the construction of the case but it also requires using mechanical fasteners (i.e. screws) rather than glued, traditional joinery.  The doors will be a traditional coped frame.  To conceal the screws and to replicate the cases being separate units meant I needed to design some type of molding.  I spent much of the morning yesterday doing just that.  After planing the material down to 5/8" thick, I formed the profile using a router.

  Each piece required four passes, increasing the depth of cut each time.  The mantra for this is to keep a slow, steady feed to achieve the best cut possible.  There will still be a lot of sanding with the tadpole sanders to smooth the profile to meet my standards!  You can't see it in this photo but I'm sure glad the router fence I made has a port on it to attach the shop vacuum.

Here's a close up of the molding, what I needed to do was raise the bit and make it wider than needed to maintain a flat, square edge.  Once the desired profile was cut, the molding was ripped to about 1" wide.
     The remainder of the afternoon was spent cutting the casework pieces and dado's in them for the joinery.  One of those days where you get so involved in what you're doing that you don't notice the temperature hitting 102 degrees!  My first clue is usually that I see these wet spots on the wood caused by my sweating all over it.  Quit work around 4pm and completed the order for the hardware.  Anxious to see how the work progresses today after church.  Sure am glad that I probably won't be doing any assembly next week as the predictions are for our temps to hit 110+, can't work fast enough to keep the glue from skinning over before clamping the work together!

No comments:

Post a Comment