Have you ever seen something in a catalog, gawked at the price tag, and thought ‘I could totally make that?‘ That was my reaction to this bookcase in the Anthro catalog. Cool vintage books, beautiful bookcase, but why the heck does it cost $1400?
So I set off to make my own. The case is custom made to fit certain books. I wanted to make one for our cookbooks, so that’s what I based my measurements around. It’s made by gluing a lot of slivers of plywood together.
At first, I thought I could just buy a big piece of birch plywood and get the guys at Home Depot to chop it down to the many individual pieces. I never got around to trying that. I asked my dad instead, when we were home for Christmas. Lucky for me, my dad’s a pretty great woodworker. And he’s got all the necessary tools to cut the wood. After seeing how much work it was to cut all the 1-inch, and 2-inch segments, I’m glad I didn’t ask at Home Depot. They would’ve laughed in my face and told me to buy a saw instead.
I sanded all the pieces with super fine sandpaper. In the process, I inhaled a bunch of sawdust and injured my shoulder. Next time, I think I’ll have to get an automatic sander. After sanding, I arranged the wood pieces to make sure the books and case would look nice together.
Then it came down to gluing and staining the case. I used strong wood glue and a dark wood stain (no varnish).
The wood was actually kind of tough to glue together, because all the interior segments are different heights.
I haven’t had a lot of experience with wood glue or stain, but I learned that I should be more careful with the glue. The areas where the glue dribbled over ended up being stain-resistant. And that’s even after I wiped off the excess glue and sanded the area. It didn’t ruin the case, but it’s not very pretty.
After the stain was all dry, my bookcase was ready to go.
By itself, the case isn’t that impressive. But once you load the cookbooks on, it looks pretty sweet. I especially like how the cookbook colors accent the dark wood.
So there you have it: the Anthro bookcase. And done for waay under $1400. If I had my own fancy saw, I’d make more of these and give them as gifts. Some day, perhaps?