1. #1
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    Default lumber questions

    I have embarked on building a bookshelf for my self.
    I was thinking of using oak.
    After calculating I would need
    (4) 1"x3"x88"
    (2) 1"x3"x66.5"
    (8) 1"x3"x8"
    (5) 1"x3"x6"
    (37) 1"x3"x14"

    (19) 3/4"x3"x14"


    Does anyone have any idea how much the aprox cost would be or another type of wood that would be comprable and cheaper than oak?
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    Wouldn't it be wiser to contact either a lumber or home improvement store in your area for an answer to that question?
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    Steel is cheap, so is aluminum..weld one together, and finish it nicely..
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    I as right now in the planning phazes, just getting rough estimates. I was planning on contacting schutte lumber on friday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfd4life
    Steel is cheap, so is aluminum..weld one together, and finish it nicely..

    I'm with ya on that one, give me some steel, my cutoff saw and a wire welder..............look out world here I come!!

    Everytime my wifes starts talking about building something around the house, I'm like, "Can we build it out of steel?"
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    $$$$$$$$$$


    Oak is expensive, I have made quite a few bookshelves out of pine, it is probably 1/3 to 1/4 the price, it is light colored so takes stain well which can give an appearance of oak. I try to keep spans 2-3 feet, if you go longer than this you will start to see the shelves sagging. Also don't forget a backing, it will keep the bookshelf from leaning side to side. 1/8" to 1/4" plywood works good, that dark brown holey pegboard material works good too and is alot lighter and cheaper.

    If you have the money and want this to be a very nice piece of furniture, go with the oak, if you just want a nice bookshelf pine should be fine, pine is also more forgiving that oak. Don't know your woodworking skills but I would suggest screws and glue vs nails, except for the backing, small finish nails work good for the thin wood on the back.

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    1in square pipe, some polished diamondplate and some red paint, can make quite an attractive bookshelf.
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    Whatever happened to a couple eight inch blocks and a few feet of 1X8.

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    Default Shelves

    I am in the process of remodeling some of the rooms in my house. When I'm done I hope to have a book shelf made from old wood ladders in my computer room. The shelf will have two ladders as the side supports and the rungs will hold the shelves. I was thinking of using old rope to finish the front of the shelves.

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    CaptainMikey - as someone else said take a look at pine to save some bucks and if you're going to stain it, I'd agree, it's much cheaper. Or if you're going to paint it, use the even cheaper whitewood boards. They're just a cheaper grade of pine with the knots and stuff, so they don't look good staining or leaving bare but if you're going to paint them there's no difference. The surface is still smooth, but at face value it doesn't look as nice on the rack. It was about $3 for a 1"x12"x4' WW board and close to $8 for the same in #2 pine. I'm adding shelves to closets so they're getting painted like the others so for me the surface look didn't matter anyway.

    Personally I don't think anything looks better than some polyurethaned natural oak, but as solid boards it is expensive. I used oak & birch plywood for the bookshelf I just built in the home office and it ran me close to $200 for the 2 sheets of oak and 1 sheet of birch, plus the solid oak lumber. If you're going to add moudling or anything to the edges for decoration, then it's cheaper to use the plywood than use a router to make the edges of the solid look nice. I know at Home Depot it's around $50 for a 1"x12"x8' piece of oak, but for a few bucks less you can get a whole 3/4"x4'x8' sheet of oak or birch plywood. There is a strength difference, but regardless of solid vs plywood, if it's going to be a shelf with heavier stuff on it, then you'll want to run some kind of support in the middle anyway, so solid would be overkill for the shelves. I'll dig around for a pic of mine, I used all plywood for the shelves and back pieces, then 1"x3" for the moulding and center support. 1/2" birch plywood is around $30/sheet, and my father-in-law and I just used that to build a toy box for the baby (T minus 10 weeks ETA).

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    As a friendly warning, let me caution you that woodworking starts out innocently enough - a bookshelf here and an entertainment center there - and quickly gets out of hand.

    Depending on your goals (it works vs. built to last and looks good) I might still choose oak over pine, but I'm definitely in the plywood camp.

    Before buying any wood, take a look at some basic cabinetry books at a local store or the library. The concept is simple enough that I wouldn't even bother to buy one - just looking at a few pictures will do.

    Structurally speaking, 3/4 plywood with a 1x2 on each long edge will easily support many BIG books on a 4' span without sagging over time. As a bonus, the turned-down edge hides the plies in the wood. A 1x board by itself isn't as strong with or without edging. If it's a smaller span and lighter or fewer books, 1x pine or oak is more than adequate. I have a true span table for various shelving types and loads but I can't put my hands on it at the moment.
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    Wink

    Just go down to Home Depot or Lowes and see what they have to offer. Sometimes you can find a good book case at Sams, Costco or similar stores and all you have to do is put them together.

    Works the same and probably will cost less. PLUS - you don't have to have cut out any wood and take a chance of cutting off a finger or two!! Unless you have some carpentry skills or some one to help you, it isnít worth it to build one from scratch!

    Just my observation and opinion.








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    I'll have to agree with that, I'll save time and bucks when I can avoid making sawdust. It just depends on where you want to put it and how much it has to hold. Those store made ones are laminated particle board, the cheapest of the cheap when it comes to "wood". They generally don't make them more than 3' wide, and I've had a few of them start to sag on me. Software development books are not light reading.

    I have to agree with ullrichk, it can get out of hand. It takes me longer to acquire the tools I need because I have to buy things for the Mrs so that she ignores the new tools showing up when I do get them.

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    Go to your local High School and ask about computing board feet ,if you've forgotten how like I did.
    Maybe you could get one built as a student project.When I took Industrial Arts(what they called wood shop),we got a few requests and the student that did them got graded and excused from having to come up with an idea themselves.
    The commissioner had to pay for the wood,paint and other materials but not labor.

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    I can't find them right now but there are free software calculators for board-feet and other such woodworking related information. There are several sites that have free plans also for all sorts of projects. Lowes, Home Depot, Black and Decker all do, as well as WoodWorker's Journal (http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/ez...rrentissue.cfm)

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    The way that I figure it, the cheapest bookshelf (pressboard, walmart etc... steel) is $230 to fit the area. The red oak will be $115(per local mill). So oak is the answer. Just one question, what would be better for the shelves. Biscuits glue then plane down. Or _-_-_ pattern then plane down. I was thinking that the altered-dovetail joint would look cool. But the good thing is that I have gotten access to a complete woodshop for 3 days to comeplete my project. Thanks for all the input!
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    Biscuit-glue then plane depends on the size of your planer. Mine handles 13" wide, so when I had to do larger stuff I had to plane it and then glue it, then finish the joint, although not much work there if you line up the right boards and clamp it properly so the boards don't set at a slight angle. Pipe clamps worked better than wide adjustable squeeze clamps, the latter were harder to keep the pressure on while keeping the boards flat.

    Joints are far from my forte, I haven't even broken out the dovetail bit for the router yet. I have seen some real nice work that can be done in some of the books and magazines. I have seen some say that it's easier to get a smooth joint with the dovetail than biscuits.

    A guy I knew before we moved here did handmade furniture with no hardware are all. Joints were done with butterflies, mortise and tenons, and pegs in some spots. He was making a dining room set when I went over the one day. About 8'x3.5' oval, top about 2" thick. Glass would have been jealous of how smooth this top was. And since there were no screws or anything, the whole table could have been taken apart for relocating in about 5 minutes.

    Don't forget to shoot us some pictures when you're done.

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    I have narowed it down to either dove tail or mortise and tennon joining, I have no access to a biscuit cutter and to rent it is just as worse. But I do have a dovetail jig (inheritance) and a router. So let the fun begin, that is on december 28th.
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    There's just something about natural oak.


    This sounds like fun if you know how to use all that equipment. Personally, I have no luck with wood, and have to agree with the aluminum and tig welder idea. If I can weld it, it'll be good.
    There goes the neighborhood.

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    5 Years of woodshop classes hopefuly will pay off. I have a pretty good knowledge of woodwork, not as much as the yankee workshop dude. Bob vila's co host of this old house. Man I would like to have his workshop.
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    Biscuit joiners are pretty cheap and easy to run. I've had good results with the Ryobi one I got at Home Depot. I can't remember how much it was but I don't think it was over $50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfd4life
    1in square pipe, some polished diamondplate and some red paint, can make quite an attractive bookshelf.
    Square pipe?

    Is that the same as round beam?
    As far as steel being cheap....have you priced it lately? I know here where I am, it ain't so cheap nowadays, but like my old buddy AR, I would much rather be throwing sparks than sling sawdust.
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    The last cutter I saw was about 130. Ill have to do a little browsing tomorrow
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    I really wish that I could get access to my highschool shop. The equipment was old but it worked just as well as the new stuff and was alot funner (i made that word up) to use.
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    All I remember from high school shop was our 9-fingered teacher always saying "the right tool for the right job"

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