Building a Book Case - Face Frame Building a Book Case - Face Frame

Making the Face Frame

First build the face frame and attach it to the unit. Never build it on the unit.

1. Smooth and square the edges by running the face frame pieces lightly over a jointer. Be careful not to take off more than 1/32" 1/16". Once you have one straight and square edge, set your rip fence for the desired width and rip the stock.

2. Rip the boards to the width specified in the plans. Cut the larger pieces for the left side, right side, top and bottom, but do not cut the narrower 3/4" molding strips yet. Have your assistant available to make the cuts, and use a fence straddler or with feather board.

3. Dowel the face frame together wherever two pieces intersect to strengthen the joints. Use the horizontal boring operation on your tablesaw. Lay out the face frame and mark the joints. Mark across both pieces so they will line up just right. These marks will also ease alignment in drilling. To make sure you drill the dowel holes deep enough but not too deep, set your depth stop to drill the precise depth.

4. Drill the dowel holes 1/8" to 1/4" deeper than one-half the length of the dowels.

5. Repeat the process for each end of the top and bottom pieces.

6. Glue the dowels and the edges of the outer frame pieces together.

7. Glue and clamp the face frame pieces and allow them to dry for an hour. Use scraps of wood when you clamp to protect the surface of the bookcase from being marked.

Attaching the Face Frame

To attach the face frame to the bookcase follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Glue the raw edges of the shelves, then position the frame in place with clamps. Be sure it lines up along all its edges. Some overlap can be sanded out after it is installed.

  2. Drill pilot holes in the frame, or use a nail spinner so the solid oak will not split when you hammer in small finishing nails

  3. Hammer in the finishing nails.


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