The Bookcase Is a Dog ... the Chair's a Cat

Sunset, November 1990 | Go to article overview

The Bookcase Is a Dog ... the Chair's a Cat


As they faithfully attend their young owners, these cat- and dog-shaped furnishings can add special personality to children's rooms. Both the chair and the bookcase have a pair of plywood animal silhouettes for sides; these are linked with pine boards that form seating or shelves.

Craft the pieces now, for a jump on the holidays. Once you have supplies, it should take a day to cut out and assemble the parts for either one, then several evenings to paint and seal them.

You'll need the same basic tools for both designs: a saber saw (for dog and cat silhouettes), a circular or table saw (for shelves, seat, and trim), an electric drill with a countersink bit for woodscrews, and a screwdriver and hammer.

Also buy 3/4-inch solid-core plywood with smooth surfaces on both sides dimensions are given with each project), heavy paper or tagboard, wood glue, 1 1/2-inchlong #6 flat-head woodscrews, finishing nails, wood putty, sandpaper, and wood primer. To add the color, you'll need paintbrushes, sponges, nontoxic acrylic paints, and polyurethane acrylic varnish.

Poodle bookcase

The bookcase requires a half-sheet of plywood, 40 inches of 1 1/2-inch square molding for the shelf supports, 3 feet of 1-by-6 pine for the trim, and 3 feet of 1-by-10 pine for the shelves.

Following the diagram on page 118, create a full-size plan on a sheet of heavy paper or tagboard; cut out poodle pattern. Trace onto plywood, then cut out shapes with the saber saw. Sand edges.

Next, cut molding into four lengths, each equal to the width of the 1-by-10--about 9 1/4 inches. Rip the 1-by-6 into 2 1/2- and 2 3/4-inch-wide strips, then cut both strips and the 1-by-10 into two 17 1/2-inch-long lengths.

To assemble the bookcase, mark the location for supports on the inside face of each poodle profile. Secure supports with glue, then countersink woodscrews through sides into the molding. Stand the poodle shapes upright, then glue and nail shelves and trim in place (taller trim forms a raised lip that keeps books in place). For additional bracing, countersink woodscrews through sides into trim.

Add ear and haunch appliques to outside of bookcase and tail pieces to the inside, securing with glue and nails. …

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