Lessons from a Built-In

Built-in Completed (well, almost)
Despite soaring temperatures (45 degrees centigrade and above) threatening to shut down my brain, I managed to complete the top half of the built-in for my study.

This was an easy project, basically a simple bookshelf but I learnt much, particularly about dealing with imperfections.

I am beginning to suspect that learning woodworking has a lot to do with discovering ways to work around imperfections, mistakes and the natural obstinacy of wood.

In this project, I found that the plywood I had bought had warped slightly. I had cut housings on two pieces I intended to use as the sides of the bookshelf but found that they did not close fully no matter how hard I tried. The matter was rectified by planing a shallow rebate in the portion that had bellied out.

There were other little matters that had to be sorted out but the biggest problem arose while fitting it in place. The beam under which the bookshelf was to fit was inclined from front to back by more than half an inch.

A lot of banging with a rubber mallet only managed to make it fit half way through and not all the way back as I has hoped. This was frustrating because I had planned to add a 2 inch wide crown moulding on the top and could not do so now because the top protruded from the edge of the beam.

I will now have to make a half top to cover the projecting bit on top of the bookshelf and then add the moulding.

I'll wait till the heat declines. The weatherman has predicted rain in the next couple of days - hope he is right.

Indranil Banerjie
31 May 2015


  1. You have a good collection of books. Custom book selves will save a lot of space. Looking good.

  2. Looks nice painted and finished.
    Normally you would leave an inch or so of gap and cover it up with crown molding. The moulding needs to be scribed and cut to fit snug.


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