MvR's CD Rack project


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Over the past many months in between other projects I've been building a rack to house my CDs that would look more like some of the other furniture in my house, most of which is old. I decided to go with an Arts and Crafts style bookcase-like design. It has through tenons with tapered wedges on the top and bottom shelves to hold it together, and dados holding the intervening shelves. I did cheat and put a bit of glue on the a couple of the middle shelves to combat a bit of bowing of the wood, but in principle this unit can be knocked down for moving it. The uprights are of four quarter quartersawn white oak, the shelves are of four quarter plain-sawn white oak, and the top and bottom shelves are of five quarter rift sawn white oak. The bottom shelf is placed high enough that I can fit records below it, and the upright portions are relieved on the back to fit over baseboard molding. Most of the work was done with hand tools, such as a backsaw, miter box, paring and mortising chisels, planes, rasps and an adjustable square.

You can see the tapered pins in a bit more detail here.

The finish on the unit is garnet shellac over thinned tung oil. Before I applied the oil and shellac I fumed the pieces for about five hours in a container with an open dish of rather strong ammonia to darken the wood to a brownish color due to reaction between the ammonia and tanic acid naturally in the wood. The garnet shellac also significantly darkened the shade. Because it was brushed on I had to do much sanding between coats to eliminate runs (which really show using a dark shellac) and the final result was rubbed out with auto body compound on extra fine steel wool.

Here is a semi-side view which somewhat shows how the finish looks, though not as well as I'd like.