Bookends are great. You can put them somewhere and then books can fit in between them. The bookends stay put and thus, due to the laws of physics, the books stay put and don't fall over. Bookends are the type of thing that people see and go "Oooo, bookends, how swanky!" Well, imagine that the bookends were adjustable on the fly and always in line with each other! Also imagine that the bookends were attached to a base that had some fancy joinery in it. Now that's the type of thing that would make a person go "Sliding dovetail bookends? Who won the freakin' lottery?!" (Also, imagine you won the lottery).
This instructable will help you, the curious (and might I say attractive) reader, create a pleasing and accurate set of sliding bookends. Please note that I'm not a woodworker by trade. The instructions here are based solely on research I have done and the steps I took to construct this piece.
Step 1: Stuff you need
To make these bookends, you'll need a few things. You're going to need some wood. I used some scrap pieces of red oak I had. I would recommend a nice hardwood, such as oak or maple. Walnut might be nice too, as would iroko. Pine may frustrate you. Plywood just won't work. You can probably use MDF or other synthetic material, but you'll not want to use the tools I use here. Power tools work better for synthetic materials.
Speaking of tools, you're going to need some of those. You'll need:
- Safety glasses
- Combination square or marking gauge
- Sharp wood chisels
- Backsaw, such as a dovetail saw, gent's saw, dozuki, or ryoba (not pictured for some reason)
- Wooden or plastic hammer
- Table saw (optional)
- Dovetail angle guide (optional)
I made the dovetail angle guide by taking a nice straight board and ripping it with my table saw after setting the blade to about 12 degrees. That's pi/15 radians, in case your table saw is marked in radians. What kind of wacky markings are on your table saw, anyhow??