• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Best materials to make book case/storage unit

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

olivetree

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
Hi i have a customer who has asked me to make him a book case approx 1m high x 1.2 m wide, he has two in another room made out of pine and stained.

He has asked me to make it out of whatever i think is best, he doesn't want to pay for oak.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Chrispy

Established Member
Joined
10 Aug 2011
Messages
1,839
Reaction score
21
Location
Oxfordshire
What have you got? What can you get hold of? would be a good starting point. you can make a bookcase from any wood with the right design.
 

No skills

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
2,559
Reaction score
1
Location
Hanging by my fingertips
Without a bit more info.. how about some birch faced ply with some pine lippings on the exposed edges - stained to match the existing units?

?
 

olivetree

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
My only concern with pine is that doesn't it have a tendency to warp? I like the idea of the birch ply and the pine lipping, that might be the way to go.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,958
Reaction score
742
Location
Derbyshire
olivetree":zbdwte3e said:
My only concern with pine is that doesn't it have a tendency to warp? I like the idea of the birch ply and the pine lipping, that might be the way to go.
Pine is probably the best material for bookshelves by far.
 

woodbloke

Established Member
Joined
13 Apr 2006
Messages
11,770
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury, UK
mailee":21z21g7k said:
There's a surprise! :lol: :lol:

As other's have said, anything will do the job, provided the design's correct. Bear in mind also that books are incredibly heavy, so that if mdf is used, it must have adequate support or the shelves will bow :twisted: - Rob
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,958
Reaction score
742
Location
Derbyshire
woodbloke":zr7ngb5u said:
mailee":zr7ngb5u said:
There's a surprise! :lol: :lol: ....
Not if you have several very old (100yrs probably) bookcases with pine shelves which show no sign of bending in spite of being permanently heavily loaded.

As other's have said, anything will do the job, provided the design's correct.
Plasticine? Just anything won't do I'm afraid.
MDF is one of the worst - steady creep under load.
What makes pine best is strength to weight, durability, ease of use and low cost.
 

woodbloke

Established Member
Joined
13 Apr 2006
Messages
11,770
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury, UK
Jacob":2c3rrpo6 said:
woodbloke":2c3rrpo6 said:
mailee":2c3rrpo6 said:
There's a surprise! :lol: :lol: ....
Not if you have several very old (100yrs probably) bookcases with pine shelves which show no sign of bending in spite of being permanently heavily loaded.

As other's have said, anything will do the job, provided the design's correct.
Plasticine? Just anything won't do I'm afraid.
MDF is one of the worst - steady creep under load.
What makes pine best is strength to weight, durability, ease of use and low cost.
Jacob, as usual, you miss the point entirely. This was my somewhat feeble attempt at a jest as Alan makes 99% of his stuff in pine and had he read it before you, then he would have seen the point...whereas clearly you didn't.
And as is this is a woodwork forum and not a plasticise or play-doh one, I would have expected most people to realise that I was talking about wood, though mdf would be suitable, provided it's properly braced, lipped and supported but I agree, it's not the first choice for something under load.
Obviously not...you've been on that plasticine forum again :lol: - Rob
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,958
Reaction score
742
Location
Derbyshire
Oh right. I see the point now. Or do I? Confused! :?
 

Chrispy

Established Member
Joined
10 Aug 2011
Messages
1,839
Reaction score
21
Location
Oxfordshire
You see its all about design, maybe you could make a bookcase out of say plasticine if it were destined for a cryogenic store or such like.
 

matthewwh

Established Member
Joined
5 Jul 2006
Messages
1,507
Reaction score
5
Location
North Oxfordshire
Pine has a bad reputation for straightness only because it tends to have been forced to grow quickly and then been dried too fast in order to make it cheap as possible.

My recommendation would be to try and find some older pine and recycle it, interior doors from the local tip might be a possible source, look for close grain lines with as few knots as possible.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,958
Reaction score
742
Location
Derbyshire
matthewwh":3i5dhuie said:
Pine has a bad reputation for straightness only because it tends to have been forced to grow quickly and then been dried too fast in order to make it cheap as possible.

My recommendation would be to try and find some older pine and recycle it, interior doors from the local tip might be a possible source, look for close grain lines with as few knots as possible.
I didn't know it had a bad reputation for straightness and I've been using it all my life! New redwood that is.
I've got five huge bookcases here I made myself (about 5' x 6'6" with a central partition) from redwood and there is no sign of bending. I've got 3 very old pine bookcases which also are in good nick.
No problemo!!
 

matthewwh

Established Member
Joined
5 Jul 2006
Messages
1,507
Reaction score
5
Location
North Oxfordshire
Hi Jacob,

Not sure if we've crossed wires (who ever would have thought it!) but I'm referring to 'off the shelf' straightness rather than bending under load.

Most of the big sheds offer a selection of wooden bananas.

If you are buying from a proper timber merchant you may well have better luck.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,958
Reaction score
742
Location
Derbyshire
OK.
The good news about buying a banana is that it's unlikely to bend any further, so for short lengths bananas are good - even more so if you can argue a banana discount.
 

mailee

Established Member
Joined
26 Jun 2005
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
1
Location
grimsby Humberside
Yes I did get the joke Rob. :lol: All I can say is buy your pine from a timber merchant and not one of the sheds. They will probably let you pick through the pile for the best pieces, my yard does. Then it's down to a good design to hold it all together and stop it warping. I have built a lot of things in Pine as you all know and not had much trouble with it. But do not use Pine from any of the sheds unless you want to build propellors. :lol: HTH. :wink:
 

olivetree

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
Pine it is then, once again this forum has been a great help although i did like the plasticine idea !
 

Benchwayze

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2007
Messages
9,450
Reaction score
108
Location
West Muddylands
Hi Olivetree,

There's nothing wrong with pine, if you buy first quality joinery grade. A good timber merchant will be able to advise here.
If you buy it ready planed you take the risk that it might not have been planed carefully.

I have employed Jacob's strategy, if I can get the timber for the right price. Quite often a badly bowed piece of timber in the racks, has moved as much as it's likely too, and with a good machine you can end up with serviceable sections.

What I thought most about here is the span of the shelves. But I am quite sure you wouldn't neglect to use intermediate upright supports.

So, as your customer isn't stipulating anything in particular, I would use good quality pine, for appearance. No fiddling around lipping birch ply; which wouldn't be much (if any) less expensive.

John :)
 
Top