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Discussion Starter #1
I am busy building some custom base cabinets for my home library. These will sit behind my desk. They are made of 3/4 Birch ply with select Pine face frames.

As a side note, my new Paulk Workbench is working very well for this. The many dog holes and clamping spots make alignment a snap. I very much like having all the tools under the bench so I have a clear surface to cut and assemble. Ron Paulk put a lot of thought into the design and I am very happy with it!
Bud
 

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where's my table saw?
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I just finished a Pine project

I hated the look of the Pine when I stained it. It was to duplicate an vintage outboard trolling motor stand for a friend who had bought 2 motors but only one came with the wall hanger. He was happy as it matched the one that he had, but I wouldn't have used Pine if it were mine.

So.... unless you know how it will look and you have practiced with the stain be very careful. If your library has Pine for the theme then you probably will have to stick with it. Just a word of caution. :nerd2:
 

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If you are going to stain the pine, I'd do a wash coat first. It will help even out the stain penetration. Look it up on line. Basically it is a very thin coat of sealer that has been lightly sanded. Practice first, it has some issues when people first try it, they almost always put on too much.

I've got an old German work bench that has been great to work on. The two vices and the lines of dog holes make holding work so quick and easy. The fact that it has a massive beech top helps also. It was old when I got it, 40 years ago!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have a good bit of experience in stains and varnishes. I come from a nautical background and have owned several wooden yachts. "floating furniture"

I do a seal coat of my own mixture of diluted varnish with mineral spirits and other secret ingredients and let it dry 24 hrs minimum. I am careful not to sand the raw wood too much as this opens the pores and makes the stain too dark on the first application. I use a foam brush and liberally apply the stain and immediately wipe off with a cotton shop towel and after it dries, I re-apply another coat till the desired wood tone is achieved.

After several days of drying, I usually apply a minimum of 3 coats of a good marine spar varnish. On my yachts I would usually stop at 6 or sometimes 10 coats. There is no need for that effort on indoor cabinetry however. I use a commercial grade stain from Sherwin Williams as it has more pigment and it really is more of a dye than a traditional stain.

Also the cabinet assembly on the bench is temporarily clamped together. It is actually in two sections.
 

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Looks good! With 3/4" birch ply it is heavy duty stuff, maybe overbuilt if you are only going to keep books in it. But what the heck, enjoy!
(Will need some help moving it around though.)
 
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