Vol. 5, Issue 2
Mission Style Bookcase
The wedged through tenons match those on the rocking chair arms.
top shelf was specifically designed to match the arms of the
rocker, with fairly heavy round overs and wedged
through tenons in the corners. One important construction
consideration (that I unfortunately missed until it was too
late) was to leave the top shelf long and wide and cut it to
size after wedging the through tenons. Since the tenons
are located in the top shelf's corners, there isn't a lot of
grain support and those corners are prone to splitting when
the tenons are wedged (and even when the mortises are cut).
I tried to pound in the wedges gently, but a good deal of pressure
is necessary to close up the gaps around each tenon. I ended
up splitting one corner of the top shelf. I repaired this using
glue and lots of clamping pressure so that it's nearly invisible,
but I suspect it's still a weak spot and would definitely do
things differently in the future.
used in both the bookshelf and rocking chair construction,
shows interesting color variations.
design consideration was the walnut lumber grade used in the
rocker. I made the seat rails from a single piece of #2 walnut
with some sapwood, color variations and grain swirls. To parallel
this, I laid out the bookshelves so that there is at least some
sapwood or color variation on each front edge. The grain inconsistencies
inherent in #2 walnut meant that surfacing and smoothing these
boards took some patience and care, but I love the resulting
patterns and colors.