completing a Mission Style cherry and walnut rocking chair
3 Issue 2), my most valued client, my wife, suggested that
a new bookshelf would be useful. I wanted it to reflect some
of the rocker's design features, while retaining a distinctive
custom feel and providing the versatility to accommodate varying
||This Mission Style rocking chair inspired the design
for the bookcase.
I started the bookshelf design process by re-examining the chair.
The rocker's vertical frame pieces (legs and back slats) are
cherry, while most of the horizontal pieces (seat rails, back
rails and arms) are walnut. There are decorative and functional
wedged through tenons in the arms, and figured cherry is displayed
on the back slats; otherwise,
the design is free of ornamentation. All exposed edges are simply
eased or rounded over to varying degrees.
The primary considerations for the bookshelf design were that
it emulated those of the rocker, it could be made with the lumber
I had and it would fit in the intended space in our living room.
With this in mind, I started sketching, making at least a dozen
rough drawings of various bookshelf configurations. Eventually,
my wife and I decided on a design with three vertical cherry
frame members that would support two columns of adjustable walnut
I began laying out the bookshelf by selecting three pieces
of lightly figured cherry to use for the vertical frame members.
These were intended to mirror the vertical pieces on the rocker. I left the outer two
vertical pieces long to allow for through tenons that would
match the tenons on the rocker arms. The bottom shelf fits in
1/4" deep dados in the side pieces, and hidden triangular
support blocks glued and nailed underneath provide strength
and slightly increased racking resistance.