Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kipp's Hipster Mid-Century Modern Console/Bookcase

Kipp and Rose bought a house a few months ago that was built and embellished somewhat eccentrically by a man who loved wood and mid-century (1950's) decor. After we put in a few hickory hardwood floors in the upstairs bedrooms, we decided to tackle a mid-century console/bookcase that he had found in a book. The floors proved to be challenging but they turned out great:

While we were doing the upstairs floors, they had a professional crew come in and install oak flooring in the living and dining rooms. Now it was time for the new piece of furniture. Even though the design of the console was very simplistic, there were some difficult parts to the process. The basic case is made from cherry plywood and the trick there was getting all four 45 degree corners to line up. We edge banded the plywood and tried out a few new techniques to add wooden fasteners to the case. The base is made of solid cherry with pocket screws connecting the runners and legs. Finally, we used my favorite formula for a stain - 3 parts tung oil, one part boiled linseed oil, and a few splashes of denatured alcohol. It really darkened the cherry nicely and it will continue to darken with age. We finished it with a few coats of wipe on polyurethane and some furniture wax. 

I have become a vagabond woodworker - having no real shop, I squat in the garages and basements of friends. Here we are working in Kipp's garage on his console and Patricia's sliding barn door.

Kipp is ironing here; anyway, he is attaching the edge banding to the sides of the plywood with a heat-activated veneer.

The edge banding is slightly wider than the plywood so we trimmed some of it with a flush trimming router bit. I did revert back to my favorite block plane to do the rest of it.

The case built with the dividers installed and the first coat of oil.

The base is a bit unusual, as the Scandinavian design called for it to be smaller than the case.

The finished console/bookcase attached and sitting pretty on top of the new oak floor in the dining room. 

Rose was ready and had it adorned in no time at all. I have to admit, even though it is kind of hipster doofusish, it looks really nice.

Kipp's next project is to gut and restore a mid-century stereo console he bought last week. I will probably help him with the internal woodworking bits. For me, I hope to get the last bit of wood to finish the sliding barn door, then move on to something new :)

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