The Dining Room Built-In: Building the Idea

No Time Like the Present

I have the next project in sight! Work is crazy right now, the holidays are coming, and I have to start back to school soon, but I thought - why not get involved in a rather extensive project right now. I guess if we wait for the ideal time, nothing would get done. Right now I'm in the planning stage, and if you know me at all - the planning stage can be pretty tedious. But much like Thoreau, I thought it wise to take my time and plan well. Then I started by picking up a couple tools I knew I'd need for this particular job. First, I got a random orbital sander.

I suppose if you're trying to guess the project - that didn't help much.  Funny thing is, I have all kinds of sanders (nothing like my dad though - I swear he has two of every tool known to man!), but I never had a random orbital sander.  From what I understand, these sanders don't leave some of the gouge patterns that palm sanders tend to leave.  Anyway, here's another hint:

Okay, it's not the toolbox.  Although, that's an old beat up box I've had for many years now, but it was rusting, and I was looking for something to do for half an hour, so I painted the thing.  Plus, I was looking for a storage place for all the Kreg tools I seem to be collecting these past couple years.  Also, I had some blue paint, so I thought that would go.  I digress, so here is the latest tool acquisition, one directly targeted at the next project:

See it?  It's the Kreg shelf-pin jig.  A little better clue, but sufficiently vague I'm sure.  So, cat out of the bag...I want to try my hand at a built-it here at 173!  Here's what's in the space right now:

See the shelves in the dining room?  Well, we've had them since 1994.  They're the come-in-the-box type of shelves, and when we got them they were pretty nice for where we were financially, and considering the fact that we were apartment living.  But lo, these many years later, they are really the last piece that keeps the dining room from being "finished".  SO, I have a plan, and here's a little sketch:

I lingered most about the fireplace, as the most vital part of the house. - Henry David Thoreau

I realize it's a pretty amateurish rendering, but I had so many thoughts running through my mind I just had to sit down and draw it out.  The plan is - an electric fireplace incorporated into hand-built bookshelves.  Yep, that's the plan.  With any luck at all it'll turn out at least close to what I see in my mind's eye.
I have a feeling this will be a protracted project, but let's cross our fingers!
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