Long Farm and Furniture

Living Room Built In Bookshelf

This is a built-in bookshelf that I built to replace a guard railing for the stairwell behind it. The railing was not safe and needed to be replaced, but I thought it would be a good way to add some storage/display space. Since this bookshelf is also the guard rail for the stairs, it had to be a certain height and be able to withstand a certain amount of force. As usual, I overbuild everything, so I think it could stop a slow car.

The body is made of maple plywood, soft maple, and some MDF panels. The shelves are made of oak as well as the top. The top is nine feet long, so machinging the boards for that was a challenge. The guard around the top is to keep anything from getting nudged too far back and falling down the stairs.

Originally, I was going to make the entire bookshelf out of oak since I have an oak mantel I made on the other side of the room. However, with the size and the flooring, it would have been too much. I feel that this was a good compromise of having some oak, but not being overwhelming.

This project had several firsts for me. It was the first time I built a built-in that was not just a cabinet. Setting up the base and installing it was fairly simple. Getting the portion that butts up against the wall just right was a challenge. It was the first fine furniture project that I painted. This went well, but I would likely try to spray in the shop instead of brushing next time. It was also the first project where I made wide use of dominoes, which area a specific brand of floating tenons.

I finished up the trim around the bottom and the wall after the pictures were taken. Enjoy!
White and stained oak built in bookshelf in front of stairs night Long stained oak top on white built in bookshelf in front of brown wall Shaker side detailing on built in white and stained oak bookshelf View from to of back of white and stained oak built in bookshelf Back panels of hite and stained oak built in bookshelf White and stained oak built in bookshelf in front of stairs daytime

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