The Dining Room Built-In: First Bookcase Up!

Done by Christmas - Ha!

It's Christmastime!  I know, I know - the stores have had Christmas stuff out since before Halloween, Christmas movies have been on TV since before Thanksgiving, and the radio stations have been playing Christmas music since sometime in between.  But, I'm running late.  I love the Christmas season, and I usually get my porch tree up right after Thanksgiving, but not this year.  Not yet.  Seems every spare moment I've been working on the built-in, a built-in mind you, I was sure I'd complete in time for the holiday.  But, as I've bemoaned so many times in this blog - I am terrible about estimating how long a project will take me (although I really think the problem is I overestimate my talent!), even as far back as 2012!

The rules have changed. True power is held by the person who possesses the largest bookshelf, not gun cabinet or wallet. - Anthony J. D'Angelo

But today I made visible progress!  The first bookcase is up!  Almost a week ago I cut the parts for the case - almost a week ago!  Well, I had a little time today, and it was a little tricky putting it together alone, but I had a great idea...I used a series of clamps and jigs (for lack of a better word):

Starting at the top of the picture, you see c-clamps, one of my bar-clamps, a right-angle clamp, and a scrap-wood and nail jig I thought up.  Here's a closer look:

 I had all these little scraps of 1x4 from when I was trying to find the right color of wood stain (I failed), so I put them to use by putting a couple nails in a bunch of them to lend a little support while I was driving pocket screws.  Here's a better shot...

So simple, but effective.  There was no way I was going to be able to get the bookcase up from the basement fully assembled, so I put it together in the kitchen,  Here's a full-length shot:

Ha!  There's Linus' bed, just pushed aside and holding some bar-clamps.  Poor pooch!  Anyway, I also put a stretcher across the backside of the top to be able to affix the case to the wall.  I figured with a bunch of books, and the height of the case, I better give it some support...maybe I overdid it with the pocket screws!

So, when I first built the base, the platform portion came up a little short length-wise.  The problem is, I drive a Jeep and can fit an 8 foot board inside perfectly, and I coulda gotten a 10 footer, but I hate hauling on top of the Jeep, so I had to scab together a piece, which turned out ok...

Yep, and there's the pipe I have to box in...nothing's simple here at 173!  The 1x12s for the sides of the case had a bit of bow in them, but through strategic use of a bar-clamp and pocket screws, I got the fixed center shelf installed perfectly level in both planes!

And finally, here's the case in place...

And one last picture looking from the kitchen:

Getting there!  But there's a long way to go - never get it done by Christmas, but that just has to be okay.  Next is the bookcase for the other side of the fireplace!
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