Arts & Crafts Bookcase

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Learn a few tricks constructing this traditional furniture favorite.

Overall dimensions: 433⁄4"w × 143⁄4"d × 601⁄8"h

Remaining true to the look of Arts & Crafts furniture, this spindle-sided bookcase features adjustable shelves and a roomy drawer, accented with period pulls (See Figure 1). Corbels and an overhanging top uphold the style, along with through tenons in square, straight legs. Chamfers accent edges, while quartersawn oak (here, red oak) provides desirable ray fleck figure throughout. Because capturing the prized quartersawn look on all four leg faces presents a challenge, as does the cutting of perfect through mortises, I chose an approach that satisfies both needs. I face-glued three layers of oak for each leg, creating spaces in the middle layers for the through tenons. To match the ray fleck look of the legs’ side faces, I resawed and glued thin layers of quartersawn oak on the front and back leg faces. In addition–though not in keeping with original Arts and Crafts furniture–I added a few shortcuts for speeding construction without compromising the end look.


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