Bookshelves: Episode 9

Bookshelf 9

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In this penultimate episode, Paul does a dry run of the back frame, and then cuts and fits the tongue and groove panels. Once this is done, he planes the frame joint lines, and places on the main bookcase to mark out the refinements on the back frame.

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  1. Eddy Flynn on 26 March 2014 at 6:17 pm

    this will have to be my summer project as i’ll have to do it on the lawn where i have more space so many other sites will advocate going out to buy marking out tools when a penny washer with do thanks for these tips its great to see the emphasis being put on the woodwork not the tools .

    • Greg Merritt on 26 March 2014 at 7:00 pm

      I’m right there with you Eddy. I want and need to build a bookshelf in a bad way. My shop space is just not big enough. So I have to wait for summer and break out the sawhorses.

      I also agree that it’s refreshing to see simple and elegant solutions promoted instead of the latest and greatest tool of the day.

      Great video as per the usual Paul and crew. Thank you.

  2. STEVE MASSIE on 26 March 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Paul this book shelf is coming along nicely, I am enjoying the build.


  3. david o'sullivan on 26 March 2014 at 10:07 pm

    i to have the problem of space to build this project which is coming on really well .i build the coffee table last year mostly outside as my space is only 8’x6′ .i decided that i am going to build a timber framed workshop this summer i have a space about 15’x 10′ so i hope to be busy busy

  4. Mooncabbage on 27 March 2014 at 5:38 am

    Thanks David. I thought my basement was bad, it’s only 10’x13′, but you’re working in a broom closet 😛

    Good luck with your workshop!

  5. D.J. King on 27 March 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Gentlemen, I feel your pain when it comes to working in small spaces. I have a small basement workshop that is only 12’x 14′. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I’m very happy to have this space, but like most of us, I do wish I had a more generous space. This thread has me interested in seeing the kind of spaces my fellow woodworkers on the site are you using. I’m finding that the more interested I get in Paul’s traditional craftsmen methods the less I use my machinery. I have a benchtop table saw sits on the cabinet and a 14″ bandsaw. I never did like using the tablesaw because of safety concerns’s so over the last couple of years I’ve only used it two or three times. I haven’t used the bandsaw much lately either; maybe three times in the last year, but I have no intention of getting rid of the bandsaw at the moment. The tablesaw is getting moved up to the attic which will give me even more space in my workshop. I do use a small jointer and a benchtop planer to thickness my stock because I find this part of the operation tedious and I prefer to work on the joinery aspects of my projects. I also have an oscillating spindle Sander but I haven’t had much use for that in the last year or so since following Paul. Oh how I wish I would have discovered Paul’s methods years ago. It makes me wonder how many thousands of dollars machinery I probably could’ve saved. Thankfully I did discover him in time enough to prevent me from buying a full-size or contractor size tablesaw.

  6. D.J. King on 27 March 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Paul, I understand The advantages of using the bullnose plane to ease (slightly chamfer) the edges. At first I thought this could just be done with a smoother when the frame was disassembled, but then I realized that you have to avoid easing the edges where the stiles meet the rails. It seems to me that the rails are much simpler because they can be slightly chamfered (eased) along the entire length, but styles not so. If we don’t have a bullnose plane could we carefully use a spokeshave to affect the same operation while the components are assembled or is there a better alternative method? Obviously the rails are not a big deal because you can go from one end entirely to the other with a very lightly set smoothing plane, but on the stiles we would have to be careful to stop short of the junction where the rails meet the stiles. I have a notion that perhaps placing a very small knife nick at the limits of the rails along the stiles during a test fit could act as a small stop cut for easing the edges of the stiles (even with a smoother) once the frame is disassembled. Any comments you have time to make would be appreciated. Thanks for another great project in another great video here.

    • Paul Sellers on 4 April 2014 at 8:28 pm

      The reason I like the bullnose for chamfering is one, it takes off a full chamfer in one stroke and, two, it gets me close into the corners. basically I don’t sweat this at all. i run the plane and get where I want very effectively. At the tail end of the strokes I take i lift as I hot the corner and this breaks off the end of the cut neatly. Using a smoother takes me near to the corner but not quite as efficiently. Using a spokeshave works fine with a gentle hand. Press too hard and the wood compresses and you end up with an uneven corner.

  7. davebulow on 30 March 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for another great video! A great project nearly complete! It’s not one I’ll personally be building, as I don’t have the space or the need for one, but I’ve learned so many new techniques by watching this project anyway! That’s the nature of WWMC!

    (Though I have to tell you my cat was really not impressed by the noise of the file on the end grain at the end of the video! 😉 )

  8. Gary on 3 April 2014 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for another informative video. I never would have thought of the “washer trick”.
    That is one of the many things I appreciate about your lessons: How to make do with inexpensive things that you have around the house or can make (like the “Poor Man’s Router”) instead of having to buy expensive jigs or tools that you may not use on a regular basis. I must say though: my dog and my cat agree with Dave! By the way, I took delivery today on a Record 043 (Ebay UK) which I have already tested. I can already tell that I’m going to really enjoy it. Thanks again & I’m already looking forward to Episode 10! Have a wonderful week.

  9. mcael on 4 April 2014 at 12:57 pm

    So what delights do we have for the next project

    • Paul Sellers on 4 April 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Oak sofa table that works as a computer desk, a dining server, a hallway or entryway table or any other type of table you might care to use it for.

  10. William Goodwin on 23 October 2014 at 7:29 pm


    I’m building a step-back hutch in pine. The bottom case will be 84″wide X 20″ deep and 36″ tall, the upper case will be 84″ wide X 12″ deep X 48″ tall. It will have 2 shelves with an open front to display plates and platters. I plan to build the back with a 3/4″X 2″ frame to be attached similarly to your bookcase. I am concerned with seasonal expansion of the breadboard in the frame across an 84″ opening. The piece will reside in Rhode Island, USA.

    Should I make the side grooves deeper and leave space for the beadboard to float. I thought that maybe I could also create a 1/32″ spacer and gap each board and pin it top and bottom in the frame.

    How do you recommend handling this?

  11. Ed on 21 September 2017 at 6:53 pm

    In which episode does Paul cut the tongues and grooves? I can’t find it. Or, did he start with T&G material already prepared from the mill?

    • Philip Adams on 26 September 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Hello Ed,
      The tongue and groove boards were bought that way as a matter of convenience and time efficiency. You could cut them yourself if you have the relevant planes, but that would be somewhat limiting to many.
      Best, Phil

      • Charlie Schmidt on 9 December 2019 at 1:44 am

        I found that 5/16 stock was just too narrow to tongue and groove myself, with a Veritas combination plane. Instead, I have put a 3/8 rabbet on each side for a series of lap Joints. Charlie

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