detailI finally got fed up trying to fit those big art and architecture books on shallow shelves meant to hold novels. That’s why I made teh shelves of my freestanding bookcase with serpentine fronts and graduated spacing. The design is reminiscent of the Craftsman style, especially when made in white oak and fumed with ammonia, as I did.

The case has precise-fitting joints and subtle edge treatments, and though they give the piece a hand-crafted look, the router was the chief took used. It was indispensable for shaping the shelves, forming tenons and mortising. Templates keep the routing consistent and accurate, and they speeded the whole process.

Serpentine-front shelves offer a graceful way to hold books. Tusk-tenons make the bookcase easy to disassemble, and because the wedges can be re-tightened at anytime, the joinery makes for a strong connection of the shelves to the ends.