|In the raw|
I don't know whether I reached the conclusion from experience or from one of Schwarz weblog postings that he wrote during the writing and research on the book, but I knew that I preferred fixed shelving. I won't bother with my own reasoning since the Kentuckian lays out his case fairly well. I'll go through some of what I have learned in making this piece of basic carcase construction and point out my own variations and the one place where I think Schwarz's design can be significantly improved.
The first point that requires attention is that this is a large piece, larger than most projects for those who primarily use handltools. It requires a correspondingly large assembly area and adequate tools to the task, which I learned conclusively that I didn't have. Because of the nature of globalism, I was only able to buy a single 48" parallel clamp and 3 at 36" from a Taiwanese distributor. At least, I thought I bought the 36" clamps, but the maximum capacity as I learned from making this piece is 31", which is what I had to cut my final width down to, removing 5" from the 3 shelves.
|15" of excess beech banded shelving|
Clamping up the three shelves into their corresponding dadoes is an acrobatic challenge even if all the pieces are uncupped and perfectly fitted. Trying to apply warm hide glue beforehand only adds to the complexity. I found that I could partially assemble the shelves and then allow some hide glue to trickle into the joints before tightening the clamps. Because I was working in an unheated workspace, I squirted some hot water into the joints to help the glue flow down the full length. The main function of the glue at this stage is to hold together the assembly until the nails are driven in.
|Gluing the kickplate to the main ssembly|
|Playing card shims|
|the historically accurate back|
|Rabbeted top rail back discreetly receiving the backboards|
|The knot around which the bookcase was constructed|
|a painterly effect|
|Completed and awaiting a librarian's touch as soon as the BLO has dried|