Step 4: Cut the toe kick and side arches

Cut the toe kick and side arches «»
Cut a piece of plywood to 30½ inches. Place this board good side down. Mark off a width of 2½ inches across the plywood, but don’t rip it to this width yet.

Find the center of it and measure up from the bottom 1¼ inches at this point. Make a mark. Then place the board over another scrap piece of wood. Tap a nail into the scrap wood 1½ inches from each end of the toe kick and butt the bottom of the toe kick against the nails. Place a strip of ¼-inch-thick hardboard in front of the nails, then push the center of it back until it meets the center mark to form the shape of the arch. Trace along the bent hardboard to mark the arch onto the toe kick.

Using a jigsaw, cut the arch. Then, using a circular saw, rip the toe kick to 2½ inches.

Mark and cut arches into the two side pieces in the same manner. To make sure the side arches are even, clamp the pieces together and cut them at the same time.

TIP: It’s easier to cut a curve in the toe kick before it’s ripped down to its narrow width.
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    Tools List

    • 100-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • circular saw
      Circular saw and guide
    • hand clamps
      Spring clamps for holding saw guide
    • plunge router
      Plunge router fitted with 5/8-inch-diameter guide bushing, ball-bearing-piloted rabbeting router bit, and ¼-inch-diameter straight-cutting router bit
    • speed square
      Speed square
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw for cutting arches in toekick and side pieces
    • iron
      Iron for adhering iron-on birch veneer edge banding to plywood
    • j-roller
      J-roller for adhering iron-on veneer
    • Double-sided Veneer Trimmer
      Double-sided veneer trimmer
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 5/8-inch spade bit
    • pocket hole jig
      Pocket-hole jig for boring angled holes for pocket screws
    • miter saw
      Miter saw (or miter box with hand saw)
    • paintbrush
      Paint brush

    Shopping List

    1. 3/4-inch cabinet-grade birch veneer plywood for the case and shelves. One 4x8 sheet will make the whole bookcase

    2. 1/4-inch-thick birch veneer plywood for the backing. One half-sheet will cover the back of the bookcase.

    3. 8-foot piece of pine bed molding to trim around bookcase top.

    4. 1¼-inch pan-head pocket-hole screws

    5. 6d finish nails to attach the bed molding.

    6. 3d box nails for fastening the plywood back.

    7. 1/4-inch-thick x 3-inch-wide hardboard strip used to mark arches onto toekick and side pieces.

    8. 7/8-inch-wide heat-activated birch veneer edge banding, used to conceal edges of plywood.

    9. 1x pine, for making hole-routing template for shelf pegs.

    10. 8 metal shelf pegs

    11. 120-grit sandpaper

    12. Primer and paint,
    or stain and varnish