Building a Book Case - Introduction

Safety Rules for Power Tools

Know your power tools. Read the Owners Manuals.

Ground all tools (unless double insulated).

Wear eye protection.

Wear ear protection.

Keep all guards in place and in working order.

Turn off and unplug the power tool from its power source before you perform any alignment, adjustment, maintenance, or repair procedure.

Don't stand directly behind the work piece when feeding it into a tool.

Turn off the power and let the machine come to a full stop before you remove workplaces or scraps.

Wear a dust mask.

Never operate power tools if you are fatigued, taking medication, or under the influence of alcohol.

Remove adjusting keys and wrenches from tool before turning it on.

Keep work area well lit, clean, and free from clutter.

Don't use power tools in damp, wet, or explosive atmospheres.

Keep all visitors a safe distance from power tools, and make them wear eye and ear protection.

Make work shop childproof. Unplug tools, use padlocks, master switches, and remove starter keys.

Don't force tools.

Don't use a tool or accessory to do a job for which it was not designed.

Don't wear loose clothing, gloves, or jewelry. Roll sleeves up above your elbows, wear non-slip footwear, and tuck long hair under a hat.

Use clamps or a vise to hold workplaces when practical.

Don't overreach. Keep proper footing and balance at all times.

Keep tools sharp, clean, and maintained according to the Owners Manuals.

Reduce the risk of unintentional starting. Make sure switch is in the off position before plugging in tool.

Use only recommended parts and accessories.

Never stand or lean on a power tool.

Repair or replace damaged parts before further use.

Feed work into blade or cutter against the direction of rotation of the blade or cutter only.

Never leave a tool running unattended.

Take special care regarding the use of the table saw fence settings.

Follow our suggestions on how to make cuts using safety guards, push sticks, push blocks, fence straddlers, and feather boards.


Building Bookcases

Most Common Mistakes

The single most common mistake in any do it yourself project is the failure to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for any tool or material being used. Other common mistakes include taking the safety measures that are laid out for a project for granted, and poor project planning. Here is a list of hints to successfully complete a project and to do it safely.

Follow the "Golden Rule" of measuring: "Measure twice, cut once."

Provide yourself plenty of time for each step.

Understand your plan. (If you have questions, review that chapter of the project.)

When finishing the wood, keep dust and dirt away from the bookcase.

Follow the application instructions for your choice of finish.

Allow an extra 1/4" to 1/8" when cutting the stock.

Experiment with scrap wood before you work on the real piece. This will help with finishing touches like the molding.

Be sure to use a dowel jig, horizontal boring machine or dowel centers to be sure that dowel holes are aligned.

To be sure shelf will be level, mark both sides at once when laying out for the dado cuts.

Be sure face frame is flush with the plywood sides before nailing.

Assemble entire face frame before attaching to the plywood.

Use a drilling jig to be sure holes are aligned so adjustable shelves will be level.

Do not fill countersunk nail holes until after the stain has been applied. This assures a better color match.

Use plywood width slightly less 16" so that you can get three pieces from a 48" sheet.