I became involved with woodworking when one of my daughters became a teacher and in her first classroom there were NO bookcases (she teaches elementary school), so I knew it was important to make her some.
I discovered a simple bookcase in a classroom where my wife was teaching, and copied it. However, I made it far more sturdy, using simple 1x12 pine but dado-ing all the shelves and then gluing AND screwing the pieces together for longevity!
Another project is a 'mail box' I made for her classroom, as every teacher needs someplace to put school work and announcements for the kids to pick up and take home. This mail box is equally sturdy like the bookshelves. I then made a set of drawers to attach to the bottom of the mailbox to raise the height, and also for additional storage. Its sturdiness was tested when my daughter had a challenging student who tried to climb up the shelves of the mailbox and it didn't come crashing down!
Below is a picnic table my daughter requested for her new home. It has two recesses which hold plastic tubs for ice. This made it considerably more complicated in the underside structure. The finish is a urethane stain, but on top of that are four coats of spar urethane since it sits outside and needs to be able to weather the elements.
Below are three Adirondack chairs I made for both of my daughters. The wood is red cedar (frightfully expensive!), then stained to their requested colors, and coated with four coats of spar urethane. The plan came with accurate templates which even had drilling holes indicated. They are REALLY comfortable!
My daughter has limited counter/storage space in her apartment, so I made a cabinet with wheels that has a maple butcher block top and an extension on the top which hinges up. All of it is finished in a natural urethane look. The knobs were found at local World Market.
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