Yesterday my wife and I were sleeping in. But at about 7 a.m., I heard a quiet “zzzzzip. . . .[pause] . . . zzzzzip. . . .” outside my bedroom door. It was my oldest daughter. With a tape measure.
She had woken up early and decided that she was going to build a bookshelf for her room, so she was measuring the bookshelves in the hallway. By 9 a.m., she and her mother were at Home Depot buying lumber.
After a bit of work with a hand saw and a hand plane, she was ready to lay out the joinery. Mid-morning, my wife texted me at work asking where the split-nut driver was. They needed it to adjust the stair saw for cutting dadoes.
That afternoon, I came home to find nearly all the dadoes cut. My daughter asked me to cut the last two shelves to length, as her arm was tired from sawing.
Just before supper, we glued up the top and bottom shelves. We ate, went to church, came home, and put the smaller children to bed. By that time the glue had set up, so we glued in the middle shelves. We would have done the glue-up all at once, but I don’t own enough long clamps.
For the top, I showed my daughter how to cut rabbets. (We sawed the shoulder with a back saw and split off the waste with a broad chisel. It’s probably the fastest joint you could cut.) We glued and nailed it to the top.
She was pretty excited to see it all come together only 14 hours after she had decided to build it.
The next morning, she put a couple coats of lacquer on it. By lunchtime she had positioned it in her room. Because of the uneven floor, we had to shim one side to make it stand straight up, and we used an L-bracket on the top to secure it to the wall behind it.
She spent the afternoon shelving her books. Looks like she might have to build a second one soon.