This weekend, I’m teaching a coffin-making class – and those who choose to will re-purpose their pine boxes as bookcases until they’re needed for their intended purpose. (Mine is going on my front porch until Nov. 1; then I’ll add shelves.)
I thought it would be fun to do these just in time for Halloween, but I made a grave mistake by putting off prep until today. I was thinking of prep in terms of my measurements. Assuming I don’t gain a lot of weight between now and my end, I can fit inside a 2-board bottom and top, and single-board sides (1x12s). But I am 5’6″ (or at least I was at age 30) and not terribly muscular (or on the particularly heavy side); all of the students in this class are men, and thus likely larger in all dimensions.
So I’m basing the rough lengths off Christopher Schwarz’s height (he is (was?) 6’3-5/8″) and the rough widths of someone slightly less than William Howard Taft’s approximate girth (in 1928…not now; he’s probably lost a lot of weight in the last 90 years). That should account for a range of shapes and sizes. But that means 28 panel glue-ups, some of them three boards wide. Turns out, one can get blisters from clamps – but that won’t kill me. And if it does, well, mine are the shorter and narrower pieces – just build it around me.