401 Samantha’s Bookcase Construction Finale

December 14, 20092 Comments

Today’s show is the final episode in our Samantha’s Bookcase construction series. This was my first effort involving premium plywood and the end result was great! The Cherry Plywood combined with a solid Cherry wood edging created a beautiful piece that has a prominent spot in our living room today.

In this episode we’ll complete the construction of the base by applying the top’s solid wood edging and also finish up the hutch construction.

One detail I demonstrate in this episode is creating a chamfered edge on the top of the hutch using nothing more than a block plane and a few pencil lines. It’s a great technique to learn and so easy…I can do it!

I tried as much as possible to use hand tools where I could, but using a blending of power and hand tools made this project move smoothly. Unfortunately, it didn’t help with carving out time as it took nearly 9 months to complete. Of course the reason for that has nothing to do with complexity…just the way things go sometimes.


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  1. Jason Young says:

    Hey Matt,

    Just finished watching episode 401 and understand that you used amber shellac top coated with Arm-R-Seal. I didn’t think you could put a wipe-on-poly (or anything else for that matter) on top of a shellac that isn’t dewaxed. My understanding is that Zinsser’s amber shellac is not dewaxed. Is this what you used? I suppose you could have dewaxed it yourself too but that seems very time consuming.

  2. Matt says:

    Hi Jason,

    I usually try to respond to questions as soon as they come in, but lately I’ve been quite a bit behind on keeping up so sorry for the long delay in getting back with you.

    You’re correct I did use Zinsser’s followed by Arm-R-Seal on the latest project. I’ve used the amber shellac on previous projects and I really like the outcome on cherry. It gives it an aged look without muddying the surface. I know there’s a lot of talk about how dewaxed shellac is the only version that you can use under another finish, but I have yet to have a problem with using the current technique. In fact, just to be safe I did a couple of google searches to see what others were thinking and I’m not alone. A number of more experienced woodworkers have used this form of shellac without any adhesion problems.

    One thing I’ve found when working with the shellac is that once it’s properly cured and as long as I’ve properly scratched the surface I can apply other finishes to it and get great results. Luckily, it doesn’t take long for the shellac to cure, so this doesn’t slow the process down at all.

    Maybe I’ve just been lucky so far, but I haven’t noticed anything on the projects I’ve finished this way that would suggest the finish is failing. Hope that doesn’t come back to bite me down the road LOL!

    Thanks for writing and checking out the show!

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