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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. Countersink all nails, then cover them and woodscrews with wood putty. When dry, sand bookshelf, seal with primer, and let dry.

To give the dog its nappy coat, we first gave poodles and shelves two coats of white acrylic paint, then dipped small pieces of sponge into gray and black paint, blotting colors over the white. We added collars, noses, and eyes with a small brush, let the bookcase dry overnight, then applied one coat of acrylic varnish.

A cat seat for young readers

Like the bookcase, this seat starts with a half-sheet of plywood. You'll also need 3 feet of 1-by-10 pine for the seat, back, and trim; and 2 feet of 1 1/2-inch-square molding for the supports.

Following the diagram above, create a full-size plan on heavy paper or tagboard. Cut out cat pattern, trace onto the plywood, then cut out animal shapes with a saber saw; sand edges smooth.

Next, cut the 1-by-10 into three inch-long pieces, then cut one of the panels into pieces 2, 2 1/2, and 2 1/2 inches wide (for a seat wider than 11 3/4 inches, use a longer board). To accommodate both the seat and the back, cut molding supports into lengths equal to the 1-by-10's width plus its thickness about 10 inches.

Locate and mark the position of the seat supports. Drill countersunk holes through the cat sides, then glue and screw the supports into place.

Align the seat with the front of the supports and nail it in place. Next, position the chair back so it rests on the remainder of the support and butts against the seat. Screw or nail the back in place through the sides. Then glue and nail the two pieces of 2 1/2-inch-wide trim to the seat and the 2-inch-wide trim to the back top.

Glue and nail tail and face appliques to sides. Countersink all nails, then fill screw and nail holes with wood putty. Sand chair smooth, apply primer, and let dry.

To add the orange and black fur, use the same technique as described for the poodles. Paint on eyes, noses, muzzles, and whiskers. Let dry overnight, then add a single coat of varnish.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 1, 1990
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