BA LogoBen Allen

Benjamin's Bookshelf




Before. A nice, but solely utilitarian oak book case. It is oak though, and mostly quarter sawed at that.

old shelf remove

Saturday morning. The shelf and books have been moved to the guest room. Need to get this done because guests are coming in a week.


Make some sawdust



One board clamped to another to provide a fence for running the circular saw along. Quick clamps are very useful tools. If you're still in the c-clamp screw era, time to move up to the quickies.

ripping to width

Early morning ripping. Sawhorses in the driveway.

ripper to width close

Close up of the clamped board used as fence. Yes, I know the contrast makes it difficult to see. My circular saw's blade is 1 and 7/8th inches from the edge of the plate.

using the rotozip

Using the rotozip to cut through the baseboard original to the house (1912) so that it can be used as the front on the bottom of the bookcase and the bookcase can fit flush to the wall.

marking the shelves

Marking the vertical sides of the shelving for the shelf dados. Those are the plans on the left.

routing the dado

Routing shelf dados. Got to love plunge routers.
Again using a clamped board as a fence.

made some sawdust

Made plenty o' sawdust in the driveway. The snow shovel was too far "buried" in the garage to use as a dust pan. Since it's untreated pine, the saw dust wound up in the compost pile. We'll see what the tomatoes taste like next year.





Assembly. Had to do it twice. Made the mistake of assuming the floor was a flat surface. My canvas drop cloth had a few wrinkles that caused some shelves to be higher or lower than the side supports. This was late in the day and I was ready to be done. Doh! Had to dissasemble and reassemble with everything flat.

partly assembled

Partially assembled and tipped into place. Great! The gap of the baseboard is exactly filled by the width of the bookcase. Good measuring (more than twice) Ben! Now tired. So this is the end of the work on Saturday.

fully assembled

Sunday. Now fully assembled. Edges of top have been routed for a nice curve matching the period doors and trim in the rest of the house (closet on left shows the style of trim in the house). Note baseboard on bottom now used for the bookcase. Makes it match nicely the rest of the room and trim on the second floor.




masked and ready

Masking tape in place although I full well know touch up will be required because some paint will undoubtedly ooze under the tape. Vamos a ver.

beginning priming

Starting to prime.

priming near done

It's now necessary to move into the zen of painting.
A long time later, priming nearly done. Takes a long time (about 18 minutes per shelf).
I am painting because I am painting.

priming is done

All primed. Whoo Hoo!

starting to paint

Now the color. Navajo white, semi-gloss.

painting low

First the ladder, then time to get down on the floor and get at the underside of the bottom shelf. Done top to bottom so in case I make a mistake it happens to an area I have not yet painted.

The masking tape removed

Masking tape has been pulled and rolled into a ball.
Where's the strike zone?





Tools and Materials

Circular saw
Wood glue
Plunge router
Quick clamps
Bar clamps
Drop cloth
Shop vac
Paint brush (I used a 2" sash brush)
Measuring tape
Saw horses
Safety glasses
Extension cord
Cordless drill
Drill bits
Putty knife
Nail set
Wood filler
Masking tape