Slow and steady…

I’m a big fan of turtles. The mascot at my Alma Mater, the University of Maryland? The terrapin (no, it’s not scientifically a turtle, but dude, I wasn’t a biology major). My favorite cold war era nuclear attack preparation video?  Duck and Cover, featuring Bert the Turtle. And, in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, the turtle beat the rabbit (I told you I wasn’t a biology major!) by sticking to the game plan.

That’s why I’m so damned happy to be reporting that the construction of the ladder-step looking bookcase is complete.  Yes, this is the project that started going together in mid June. It’s the same project on which I discovered how important square assemblies are.What slowed me down? The summer heat. Hurricane season. Wild and crazy kids.  You get the picture, right?

I think they came out looking pretty sweet. The top and bottom shelves fit into full length grooves in the upper and lower pieces. The middle shelves fit into custom cut notches.  Now, this is where things get exciting.  The notches in the back uprights is a nice and easy 90 degree cut. No sweat there.

The notches on the front legs are a tad more difficult. Those babies are slanted back, but the shelf sits parallel to the floor, meaning the notch on the shelf  has to be angled to accept the leg. This took a little bit of head scratching on my part, but I think the final product looks pretty darned sweet. For the assembly, I just glued the front notch, and let the back one float to avoid issues with wood movement distorting the frame.

I really dig the look at the side – the exposed shelves through the side frame really give the piece a lot of visual interest. It will be cool to look in there and see the stuff on the shelves.

Next step? Sand… sand… sand… sand… and sand some more. I have to ensure everything’s nice and smooth as well as breaking the corners on the pieces. Then, I’m gonna stain this one with some gel stain to unify the colors. Then, a bunch of coats of wipe-on varnish to ensure the piece is protected.

But, for now, I just wanna crash on the couch with a beer and sleep better, knowing that I have the tough stuff behind me on this big project.


6 thoughts on “Slow and steady…”

  1. I think they turned out just fine. Never mind how long you took – they’re your shelves, you take as long as you want!

    Don’t get me started on Cold War nostalgia, though. I still think Atomic Cafe should be required viewing in school!

  2. Dum Dum – Deedle Dum Dum
    Dum Dum – Deedle Dum Dum
    There was a Turtle by the name of Bert
    And Bert the Turtle he was very alert
    When danger threatened him, he never got hurt
    He knew just what to do.
    He ducked (whistle) and covered
    Ducked (whistle) and covered
    He knows what we all must learn to do
    You and you and you and you
    Duck (whistle) and cover.

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