[Castle Bookcase] Carcase Assembly, Part II

Today I installed a block (2  2×4 cut-offs glued and screwed together) to support the bottom shelf, directly under the support brace for the main shelf.  Here it is before installation:

IMG_20130625_141940_683 It was a perfect fit and will carry any weight from the top shelf down through the bottom shelf nicely, I think.

To install it, I drew lines where the vertical support will go, then countersunk screws in that space to hold the block.  A layer of glue and the vertical support was installed with pocket screws and the block is now hidden.


Don’t worry, you won’t be able to see the ugly support blocks for long.  I plan on taking some 1×4 pine and routing a profile (haven’t decided on what yet) and making my own molding (I did say this project was going to push my limits!).  That will make a fine first project on my homemade router table.  More on that later.

Then I cut a piece to fit the top shelf and split the shelf in  two so Kylie’s books have something to lean against.   It was a little too tight though, causing the top to bow upwards by an 1/8th of an inch or so.   Time to break out the Nice Ash plane and use the old min-Moxon vise and within a minute or two, I had shaved off just enough material for a perfect fit!   I freaking love this little plane!IMG_20130625_145632_990

Four more pocket screws hold this in place.  I realized today that this thing will be painted (gray, pink and purple) so I don’t have to worry about screw holes.   I will putty and sand them all before painting.

Here’s a shot of the progress:IMG_20130625_150527_014

I had just enough time left in naptime to cut the back from 1/8″ hardboard and install with small finish nails.  I created a little nailing jig I remembered reading about in Wood magazine…i think…it may have been Popular Woodworking.   Either way,  it’s a piece of off-cut 1×4 about 6″ long.   Then I cut a piece of 1/4″ square dowel to length and nailed it in place:IMG_20130625_153719_576

I figured out how far from the edge I wanted my nails in the back of the bookcase and cut and chiseled out a “V” notch in the square dowel: IMG_20130625_153712_344 It works like this: lay the 1×4 against the side of the project so the dowel acts a lip on the edge (in my case, the dowel rests on the “top” of the back as the bookcase lays face down on the garage floor).  Line a nail up in the slot like this:IMG_20130625_153842_553

And hammer it home.   Line up the end of the jig on the previous nail and all your nails will be equally spaced and the same exact distance from the edge.  It made attaching the back easy!!

Added a few nails along the shelves and supports to tighten  it all up and cleaned up the shop.  I am quite pleased with the fact that not a single nail protruded into space where you can see it (either inside or outside the carcase)!!!  This little jig is awesome.

Here’s today’s progress shot, all shelves and the back installed!


It is perfectly square and all shelves are level (the vertical divider ended up being off, by 1/32″ of an inch—which I think is within acceptable tolerances), despite the distortion in the cell phone picture above.  Definitely my finest attempt at creating something in the square.

Time today: 1 hr, 45 min

Total time: 4 hrs, 15 min


About Steven M. Vaught

A native son of Delaware, now living in Illinois, Steven is a writer, family historian, amateur astronomer, sometimes-gardener, woodworker, father to three wonderful children, husband to a wonderful wife, and caretaker of one cheeky vizsla.
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