First Project - Simple Bookshelf - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 4Likes
  • 1 Post By Steve Neul
  • 1 Post By Toolman50
  • 1 Post By sanchez
  • 1 Post By Dent08
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 Old 11-07-2017, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
View Dent08's Photo Album My Photos
First Project - Simple Bookshelf

Currently right in the middle of doing my first project with a circular saw and I have some design questions. I've made a model in sketchup of what the shelves will look like. Unit is A (left) is 56.5" high by 20" wide (I have a small space to work with) and unit B is my other design, the only difference is the top piece. I've left 2" above the ground for my first shelf as I don't have too much height to work with (I have a half wall in my closet). I'm really new so even figuring out the spacing between the shelves was mind boggling for a second.

I got a 4x8 pine plywood from home depot and had them cut it to the length of my wall pieces and then into foot long strips which I will make my own cuts off of. The design on the left is the one I was planning to go with, but now I'm thinking about the top and the look/support of the unit (hence the design on the right). I am jointing all the wood together with dowels and wood glue.

Some questions:

1) which design (top) would I be better off with design and structure wise?

2) I have no backing to my unit right now as I will be pinning it into a corner of my closet. Then screwing it into the studs on the right hand side wall. Should I do a small 1/4" or so hardboard backing on the shelf?

3) Also thinking of doing some trim, was initially thinking edge banding but now kind of want to do some wood trim for practice. Any suggestions?

Sorry for the long read. Looking for all the comments and criticism I can get.

Dent08 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 11-08-2017, 09:34 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: milwaukee, wi
Posts: 1,258
View sanchez's Photo Album My Photos
Hi, welcome! That looks like a good first project.

Hopefully you're already aware of issues with imperfect 90° inside corners, off level floors, etc. These are things that come up when installing cabinetry.

The good thing is that this is a closet, so all the imperfections are in a tiny room that doesn't get a lot of attention.

The first design keeps you from seeing the edge of the plywood top on the outside of the cabinet.

The dowelled construction isn't the best to prevent sagging, and books are heavy, but at only 20" wide, you probably will not have issues.

There are benefits of adding the back. It will hold the whole thing together so you can screw it to the back wall as well. You can nail through the back into the fixed shelves to help with sagging. Since the back instead of the shelves are holding the side panels together, you can add some adjustable shelves.

If you want it to look like part of the house, use matching baseboards to cover the bottom. This will also help hide the shims you will need under the left vertical panel to level the whole thing.

You can buy either 3/4" wide mouldings instead of edge banding to cover the edges of the plywood. If you're painting, you can glue and nail them on. If you're staining, glue them in place and hold them to the edge with strips of blue painter's tape.
sanchez is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
View Dent08's Photo Album My Photos
Sanchez,

Thank you for the great advice! I read it awhile back but haven't been on to respond.

So, I've been working. A lot of lessons learned on this project and the realization that I know absolutely nothing! I did a lot of research but not enough. To be honest I wasn't very good with measurements and drilling/lining up the dowels perfectly.

I accidentally drilled through the whole plywood on my inside wall panel dowel holes. Thankfully that panel is screwed into my wall and hidden, but I just couldn't get the damn side on without drilling deep holes.

Missed some hole alignments I guess with the dowel centres and didn't get all the shelves flush in the front. But nothing a little sanding can't fix.

Visually from far it looks great! I need some daylight for sanding so that will be done this weekend. I honestly still haven't decided if I really need a backing on it or not. I have a freshly painted wall behind that almost matches the colour of the stain and I think nothing over 5lbs is even going to go in that shelf. Still have to buy and apply some edge banding as well for the trim. In order to stain what colour of edge banding works best? I had a roll of the natural wood/veneer colour but put it back because I wasn't sure if I was going to do a wooden trim or edge banding at that point. After that I have a wood conditioner if I need and a dark gel stain. I'll definitely make sure to practice on a scrap peice of wood before I start.

Any comments or suggestions so I can learn are appreciated guys! Thanks.




Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

Last edited by Dent08; 11-23-2017 at 07:37 PM.
Dent08 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 09:27 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,989
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Next time just put the top and bottom on with a back and leave the middle open. You could make a template and drill rows of 3/16" holes on the sides for adjustable shelves. The adjustable shelves are a convenience and make finishing so much easier if you don't have all those shelves in the middle. Then purchase 5mm shelf pins to hold the shelves.
Dent08 likes this.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 11-27-2017, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
View Dent08's Photo Album My Photos
Hey guys,

So I did a test piece to work on staining. I took a small block of plywood and on one side I applied just the Gel stain with a foam brush and then wiped off the excess. I let it sit for about 5 minutes before wiping and of course, major blotching.

On the other side today I applied wood conditioner to the whole thing with a rag. Immediately some spots appeared darker than others like they were soaked. After about 30-45 mins I applied some gel stain to some areas with a rag again, that didn't work so well either. Again huge blotch stains in some areas. It looks absolutely awful.

I realized I don't have the supplies to do stains yet. I was using an old t shirt bunched up and I don't think that is the best way. I also read pine plywood isn't the best for staining either, but I heard it's do-able.

Do you guys have some tips for staining for a beginner and the best methods? I was also applying the stain with the grain as well as wiping with the grain.
Dent08 is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 11-27-2017, 10:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 4,232
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
You will enjoy this shelving in your closet for many years. A very useful project.
You can’t believe how much it would cost to hire someone to come to your home to install closet shelving. You definitely saved some money. Good job!
Dent08 likes this.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 11-27-2017, 10:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: milwaukee, wi
Posts: 1,258
View sanchez's Photo Album My Photos
Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't use a gel stain on pine plywood. It's more like a paint than a stain. I have only used gel stains on non-porous items like a fiberglass door. Even then, you need a brush, and you shouldn't overwork it. It basically just sits on the surface.

Try to switch to a regular stain. It is thinner, so it's easier to work with. If you are using the oil-based wood conditioner, let it dry for six or more hours before putting the stain on. A rag will work fine for the conditioner and the regular stain.

If you're using Varathane brand, you can get little sample pouches of the oil stains for about 25¢.
Dent08 likes this.
sanchez is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
View Dent08's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't use a gel stain on pine plywood. It's more like a paint than a stain. I have only used gel stains on non-porous items like a fiberglass door. Even then, you need a brush, and you shouldn't overwork it. It basically just sits on the surface.

Try to switch to a regular stain. It is thinner, so it's easier to work with. If you are using the oil-based wood conditioner, let it dry for six or more hours before putting the stain on. A rag will work fine for the conditioner and the regular stain.

If you're using Varathane brand, you can get little sample pouches of the oil stains for about 25¢.
Thanks Sanchez. The gel stain is no joke, this stuff is thick, and sticky when it dries. I think I need a lesson on the art of staining. To keep the look of my project more appealing I'm thinking of switching to painting it and keep the staining for when I get more experienced with it. So here's some pictures of what happened, which I think is a combination of 3 things 1) I didn't sand thoroughly enough 2) leaving excess stain on 3) improper wood conditioner application. I'm not even sure I'm wiping correctly?

3 pictures below. Wood conditioner (and this is where those darker lines around the grain appeared), first attempt without wood conditioner, and then my second attempt on the other side with conditioner.
Attached Images
   
new2woodwrk likes this.
Dent08 is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 08:05 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Panama City, Florida
Posts: 837
View new2woodwrk's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent08 View Post
Thanks Sanchez. The gel stain is no joke, this stuff is thick, and sticky when it dries. I think I need a lesson on the art of staining. To keep the look of my project more appealing I'm thinking of switching to painting it and keep the staining for when I get more experienced with it. So here's some pictures of what happened, which I think is a combination of 3 things 1) I didn't sand thoroughly enough 2) leaving excess stain on 3) improper wood conditioner application. I'm not even sure I'm wiping correctly?

3 pictures below. Wood conditioner (and this is where those darker lines around the grain appeared), first attempt without wood conditioner, and then my second attempt on the other side with conditioner.
I had something similar happen to one of my projects - a pine tray and used a dark stain.

Came out so ugly I'm sanding it down to just add lacquer and be done with it.

Best of luck with those cases - quite the project
new2woodwrk is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My first workbench. Simple, yet elegant Tyler Hartung Project Showcase 11 08-07-2016 11:06 AM
Our Community Service Project Build TimeTurnsElastic General Woodworking Discussion 0 04-12-2016 04:13 PM
Looking for jointing idea for simple project hig789 Joinery 2 02-20-2016 10:21 PM
Help on 1st Project virtu Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 18 08-18-2015 11:15 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome