I cannot recall the last time I built anything 100% from solid wood, but that is exactly what I am doing with this set of solid cherry built-in bookcases. Even the backs are solid!
The contemporary way of building cabinets uses lots of sheet material, with perhaps a wooden face frame and solid wood panels at the ends. Relatively quick to build, the individual cabinets are carted into location, screwed together, mouldings added, and then job done. There is a risk, however, that the final product will look exactly like a set of kitchen cabinets, not quality custom furniture. Probably not a big deal for most, but for a furniture maker, the result can be less than satisfying, especially in this situation where the bookcase configuration favours the more traditional built-in approach.
The job is taking longer than I expected. Part of the problem has been a rash of appointments related to the administrative drudgery necessary to run a business, but the biggest factor has been my marked underestimation of the labour involved in building about 15 linear feet of bookcases from a small mountain of boards. For example, when all is said and done I suspect I will have spent at least 4 days just sanding! I planned for two. Furthermore, because very few of these boards, milled from the client’s property and then air dried, were defect free, each plank had to be individually assessed, cut into salvageable bits, and then those bits had to be glued together to make the needed parts.
To minimize mess in the client’s home, as much of the work as possible is being done in the shop. Two of the more narrow sections are being constructed almost completely in the shop while three other sections are being built, then disassembled, to be reassembled on site.
While I am afraid to commit to a delivery dateat the moment, I am hoping to be ready to install next week.