What was your inspiration for this piece?
I love wooden bookshelves, especially older ones with fine hardwood trim work and often intricate hand carved details. My inspiration for these shelf units is in the idea that they are kind of a modern take on those older wooden library shelves. The bookshelf boxes and shelves are made with red oak plywood. The trim elements are all made with solid quarter-sawn red oak.
Tell us about the creation process including any obstacles overcome or surprises.
As a former draftsperson I never start the physical work on a project without at least one and often many drawings. In the case of these bookshelves there were many studies of alternatives for the three trim column capitals. These were then modeled from my favorite sketches in 3D software and cut from solid blocks of quarter-sawn red oak on the CNC router in the BARN wood shop. The biggest challenge was getting the intricate sort of topographical details on the outward facing surfaces of the capitals to come off the router in a smooth and finished state which did not require a lot of further sanding. After some experimentation, I was able to accomplish this by instructing the router to make a set of fine final passes, following the contours of the capitals, moving in the direction of the grain in the oak blocks, and making very small sideways steps from one pass to the next.
Dave is a retired construction and technology project manager who is greatly enjoying making things by hand again. He worked in finish carpentry and furniture making many years ago.