Sliding Door Bookcase Kihei HI
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Sliding Door Bookcase
Sliding Door Bookcase
Dust-Free Display and No Hinges to Mount!
By Seth Keller
Glass doors make a bookcase, but doors that swing on hinges are a pain to install. Ditto for doors that lift open and slide back—on a Barrister’s bookcase, for example. Regular sliding doors are much easier to install. In addition, they’re ideal for a bookcase designed to fit in a space where swinging doors might get in the way.
This bookcase features super-smooth sliding door hardware that installs in minutes (see “Euro-Style Sliding Door Hardware”). The shelves are generously deep and widely spaced. Following the lead of Arts and Crafts era builders, my design incorporates elements inspired by traditional Asian furniture.
Building this project requires two sheets of walnut plywood (one 3/4-in. thick and one 1/4-in. thick) and about 40 bd. ft. of 5/4 walnut. The total cost, including glass and hardware (see Sources) is about $600.
Build the Cabinet
1. Start by cutting the plywood panels and shelves to final size (Fig. A, A1-A4 and Cutting List).
2. Cut grooves for the sliding door tracks in the top and middle panels (Photo 1 and Fig. G, Cut the first groove in each panel, then reposition the fence and cut the second grooves).
3. Instead of cutting both cabinet sides (A5) to final size, cut one blank twice as wide as the sides, plus 1/8-in. Rip this blank in half after you’ve routed the dadoes, to create the sides (Photo 2). This method saves time and assures perfectly aligned dadoes. Plywood thickness is often undersize, so you may need a special bit to rout the dadoes (Fig. C and Sources).
4. Rout dadoes for the drawer dividers (A6) in the middle and bottom panels (Fig. B).
5. Rabbet the cabinet sides and the top and bottom panels for the 1/4-in. plywood back.
6. Glue the cabinet sides and panels together (Photo 3). The top and bottom panels run the full depth of the cabinet. The middle panel aligns with the rabbet at the back. Use cauls to evenly distribute the clamping pressure.
7. Glue in the shelves. They slide in from the back. Make sure their back edges are flush with the rabbets for the cabinet’s back.
8. Glue on the shelf edging (A7). The edging hides the stopped dadoes in the cabinet’s sides.
9. Glue in the drawer dividers.
10. Fit and install the sliding door track.
11. Cut and fit the plywood back (A8), but don’t install it.
12. Glue spacers (A9) on the top panel. They allow fastening the top.
13. Glue up the top (A10) and cut it to final length and width. Then rout a 45-degree bevel around the front and sides.
Photo 1: Saw grooves for the sliding door tracks in the top
and middle cabinet panels. Caution: The blade guard must be removed for this operation.