Arts and Crafts Bookcase

I have reached a new plateau in my woodworking journey – Bobie let me make a piece of furniture for the house…the living room no less!

About 10 years ago, we bought a quartersawn white oak, arts and crafts bookcase/cabinet (at left) at an antique store in Summit, NJ.  It is a unique piece in that the top is a ‘barrister’s bookcase’, but it has a closed cabinet on the bottom.  It’s been a very functional piece in our living room.

When I suggested that I build a small bookcase to replace a cabinet holding CDs (and why would we need that anymore?), Bobie agreed as long as I matched something already in the room.  The ‘barrister’s cabinet’ was a logical choice for me.  The arts and craft form is relatively simple and within my skill level, but the key to this one is the details and the finish.  I had a great time working with white oak on my Oak Tool Cabinet and was ready to shoot for ‘living room standards’.

I picked up some beautiful quartersawn white oak at Wood, Boards and Beams in nearby Fairfield, NJ.  Once I had the dimensions, roughly a square 26″ x 26″ when viewed from the front, I started playing around with designs.  I needed to bring in elements of the existing piece so they looked like contemporaries.  I did that by picking up the edge treatments, a curve that was part of the upper bookcase, and, of course the finish.

The full regimen of finish, all General Finishes is:  boiled linseed oil, Espresso Wood Stain, Amber Dye Stain, Brown Mahogany Wood Stain and 4 coats of Arm-R-Seal Satin.

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