Monday, December 21, 2009

Console Crisis

I found a bit of time recently to make a bit of progress on the consoles for the bookcase. (Consoles are the little doo-dads that hold up the shelves.)

Unfortunately I made several false starts on them, but think that now I am back on track.

My initial thought was to go with two piece brass shelf supports that Lee Valley sells. These are not too bad, but I was hesitant to use them because I thought they would be quite visible and contrast-y with the panels and the shelves, they are not adjustable, and I wasn't sure if they were appropriate for a heavy bookcase.

So I thought I would make my own consoles, and I was inspired by the ones made by Craig Johnson on his cabinet here.

I thought I'd make them out of some left over elm from the panels, ensuring they blended in as well as possible. I also thought that rather than carving them as one piece items, I'd drill the backside and glue in a piece of dowel, the other end of which would fit in the hole drilled into the panel. Voila - easy!

I decided that I would make the dowels myself out of a scrap of a very hard wood that I had, greenheart. It's not much to look at, but a very very hard tropical wood, so this seemed like the perfect application for it. since I don't have a lathe, I made the dowels by driving a piece of greenheart through a hole drilled in a piece of iron. Needless to say the resulting dowel was like a piece of spaghetti, plus it had these strange 'hairs' or barbs on it. Time for plan B - I bought a couple pieces of dowel made of birch.

Lee Valley brass shelf pins, home made dowel, elm console prototypes.

Then I made up several prototype consoles out of elm. I quickly came to realize that on a small item like this, the coarse grain of the elm was not really working. So I rooted around and found some teak that is close to the tone of the elm, just a touch darker, and I think it will work.

I decided to take a break from fooling around with the consoles themselves, and made up a jig to drill the shelf holes. It took a bit of care to make sure that the holes were as deep as I could make them without going through the other side of the panels!

No comments:

Post a Comment