Office Bookcase

hapter ten o lateral File Cabinet hapter eleven o media Storage Center hapter twelve o closet Work Center chapter thirteen o writing Desk hapter fourteen o stand-up Desk

Many of the projects in this book will be built using modern sheet goods — material such as medium-density fiberboarcl (MDF), veneer and coated particleboard (PB), and veneer-covered plywoods. These materials are the perfect choice for a number of reasons. First, they are uniform in size and thickness, stable, ready to use, and have companion hardware that is used to join these products. But most importantly, these sheet goods sustain our forests and don't deplete our natural timber resources like solid wood. MDF, PB, and the plvcore veneers use, in many cases, scrub trees that grow quickly. These so-called "waste" trees were plowed under or burnt in the past but have now become a useful and cost-effective resource.

There are purists who turn their noses up at the thought of building with composite materials. But a good part of an old-growth tree is needed to build a solid wood desk. You can build the desk with "waste" trees that are used to make particle-board and achieve almost identical results. It's just as strong and looks just as nice! And, you've helped manage our forests.

The Learning Process

I enjoy writing books about woodworking. To work at something I love and being able to make a living is a real pleasure. However, putting these books together so you can simply follow the building plans isn't my real purpose. My goal is to try to teach something new in each book. Simply following building plans will result in a beautiful project. But if you haven't learned anything in the process all you have is a piece of furniture. Learning new skills and techniques is the ultimate goal — it's a priceless accomplishment and much more valuable than any piece of furniture.

As I often tell my students, focus on the "why" of each step, not on the final result. And ask questions! The only so-called "dumb" question is the one that wasn't asked! I'm always available via e-mail at [email protected].

The Projects

The first chapter details some of the modem fastening devices and materials that have been developed for composite material joinery. This book is all about practical furniture — reasonably priced, well-built and, above all else, functional. This modern hardware lets us accomplish these goals and the results are impressive.

The heart of many home office furniture pieces is a flat work surface. In chapter two, you'll learn how particleboard, high-pressure laminates and a little bit of solid wood can be formed to make the perfect desktop. Laminates are available in sheet sizes up to 5' x 12'. So, the worktable top can be made to suit any requirement. The colors are numerous and you can form any shape you need.

In chapter three, you'll learn how to build modules to support the desktop. These modules can be storage drawers, file drawers, compartments with doors or a combination of the three. You can build any configuration by combining the wood-edged top and two or three custom modules.

The rest of the projects can make any home office both functional and attractive. From lateral file cabinets to bookcases to complete workstations, there's a project for every need and space requirement. There's even a self-contained armoire that opens up into a complete office!

We have CDs, VHS tapes, back-up tapes, books and other items that need media storage devices. Where do we keep all that, data? Take a look at the media storage center in chapter eleven. It might be the answer to your media storage needs.

Chapter twelve details the possibilities for converting that unused closet into a dynamic home office. It's another work center that can be hidden quickly when your workday is clone.

The last two projects were designed and built by editor Jim Stack of Popular Woodworking Books. Jim is just one of the many great editors and extremely talented woodworkers that I've encountered on the PW staff.

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