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Barrister Bookcases in Walnut
3 January 2009

This project started with a test run with some scrap oak. The plans are from Woodsmith #134. However, there is a flaw in the original design with respect to wood movement, so the side panels were modifed to a frame-and-panel design.I built these in black walnut with a shellac finish. I started this project in 2002! A ice storm, nephew, house remodeling, 2 kids and starting a business all conspired to delay the project over and over, but I finally finished it in the fall of 2008.

walnut barrister bookcase

As with most barrister bookcases, each section is separate - tradtionally for easy transport when full of books. I made an extra base and cap so I can set it up as two side-by-side cases. Here they are in unequal-height configuration:

walnut barrister bookcases in unequal height configuration

I found one board in the lot with some great coloration and grain patterns. I resawed and planed that board to 1/4" and used them for the panels in the sides:

walnut barrister bookcase side

With one of the doors open (swings up and back):

walnut barrister bookcase with door open

I could not decide if I wanted flat or beveled glass in this project. Given my indecision, I opted to not permantly affix the trim that holds the glass in place, instead opting for brass screws:

walnut barrister bookcase - screws holding trim and glass in door