Subscribe to Print
Subscribe to Digital
Give as a Gift
Free Product Guide >>
In issue #144, October/November 2009, we published a story on how to make "books" from wood. Here are some close-up photos of some of the books we made for that article. For a larger view of each book, just double-click on the photo.
If you catch the bug and make some books of your own, please add your photos to this forum.
Editor, American Woodworker
Here is a jewelry box that I made using the books as an inspiration.
Jewelry “Books” by Russ Amos Owner of
“Wood by Design”
Walnut- Box, books, and drawer dividers
White oak- Books
Curly white oak- Drawer fronts
Red oak- Books
Purple heart- Drawer pulls
Baltic birch plywood- Lid and drawer bottoms
plywood- Back of box
Spray Sherwin-Williams lacquer on the books
Minwax wipe on Polyurethane on everything else
Most pieces were individually finished before assembly
All pieces given a rub down with Johnson’s paste wax and
0000 steel wool
Soft close mechanism on the lid. Lid opens 105deg
Sliding dovetail joints on the box
Book ends have hidden compartments in them and are held on
with dowels and rare earth magnets
Drawer fronts were cut from one piece of curly white oak.Grain matches up and down and
from right to left
Drawers have removable dividers to keep items apart
End books are each made from one piece of wood
Overall size is 29 ¾” wide x 7 5/8” high x 9” deep
Total weight is twenty seven pounds
Construction took over 50 hours. Design time was an
additional 12 hours
Clever ! This is quite imaginative and well built. Congrats.
Learn from yesterday - Work today - Enjoy success tomorrow
Can someone give me tips on making the pages look realistic? I'm using 3/4 stock for a start and have made lots of blanks. All that is left to do is cut the pages, chamfer and glue the spine on. I'll be making different sizes but had lots of this old pine around the shop. Any help would be appreciated. I'm making them as Christmas gifts and need to finish and ship them cross country. Thanks, Dan
I used a Forrest WWI blade that is 3/32" wide and has a nice deep "V" cutters. If you look at the saw kerf for your blade you want that "V" look to it. You do NOT want a blade that cuts a flat bottomed kerf. 1.Set the blade at 3/16" high. 2.Set fence 1/8" from inside of the blade. 3.Make the first 3 cuts on one side of the book. 4.Turn the book 180deg around and cut the other 3 cuts. 5.Now raise the blade about 1/16" and move the fence about 1/16" more AWAY from the blade. 6.Repeat steps 3 and 4. 7.Repeat step 5 only lower the blade about 1/8". 8.Repeat steps 3 through 7 until you meet in the middle. The middle cut may only require you to cut from one side only. It depends on how thick the book is. You do not have to be exact in your measurements. This ain't rocket science. Also if you have lots of books to do, do all the same cuts at the same time regardless how thick your books are. Just stop at the middle of each book. Russ
Oops, I forgot. You will probably end up with a bunch of "fuzz" in the cuts. Carefully sand the pages with a foam sponge sanding pad. You will NOT get them all the first time. Put a coat of your finish on and when it is dry hit it with the foam sponge sanding pad again. The finish will harden the "fuzz" and make them easier to remove. Russ
Those are quite impressive Tom. I especially like the Curly(?) Maple one that is the 10th down. I've never seen anything like this before. I think they would make great bookends. Where did you get the inspiration/ creativity to come up with this?
Nice added touch w/ the metal trimmed front cover pic. I'll bet similar spine reference accessories/engravings could be added as well.
John C Freeman
1st Corinthians 3:13 "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."