This section is from the book "Mission Furniture: How To Make It", by Henry Haven Windsor. Also available from Amazon: Mission Furniture: How to Make It.
This beautiful piece of mission furniture can be made at a very moderate cost by anyone who has a slight knowledge of tools. Considerable labor can be saved by ordering the material from the mill ready cut to size, dressed and sanded. Quarter-sawed oak is the best wood to use and it is comparatively easy to obtain. Plain-sawed oak looks well, but is more liable to warp than the quarter-sawed and this is quite an element in pieces as wide as the ones used. For the complete bookcase the following material will be needed:
Begin with the sides by cutting them so they will pair up all right. The front edges are rounded while the back edges are rabbeted on the inside as deep as the backing to be used. The bottoms are cut as shown in the sketch. Holes about 1/2 in. deep should be bored on the inside at the proper places for the wooden pegs which hold up the shelves.
Details of Bookcase
The top and bottom boards should have the front edges rounded and sanded the same as the sides. The top board is sanded on one side only and care should be taken to get the best side up.
Now cut and fit the top back board. This is fastened to the top by means of screws. Screw two cleats to each of the sides as shown and by running screws through these into the top and bottom boards the frame is completed.
The backing which can be made of some cheap lumber is now put on. Next put in the center upright piece between the doors by means of a tenon and mortise at the top and nail at the bottom. The front edge should be rounded and the edge and sides sanded. Cut and fit the bottom rail as shown. It is fastened to the frame by means of cleats on the back side.
The doors are put together by means of a tenon and mortise. They should be rabbeted for the lattice work and the glass. This lattice work can be omitted and leaded glass put in its place which is very becoming to this kind of work.
When the case is completed it must be carefully gone over with sandpaper before any finish is applied.
A mission stain is suitable for work of this kind, but it can also be finished in "golden oak" which is done in the following manner: First put on a golden oak stain and after it has dried for about 2 hours, apply the filler. Let this dry about 10 minutes then rub off with an old rag. Then go over the case again with some very fine sandpaper and after seeing that all parts are free from dust and dirt the varnish can be applied. Three coats of varnish will give a beautiful glossy finish.