I absolutely adore libraries. I think you can get to know so much about a person just by looking at the types of books with which he has chosen to surround himself. I especially loved the libraries in the movies My Fair Lady, Disney's Beauty and the Beast and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I'm also really inspired by several real-life libraries: Click here to read the rest of this entry... Melk Abbey in Austria: Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC: I therefore knew Myrtlewood would have a library before I'd even given a thought to any of the other rooms. I had to balance my desire to build a huge library, though, with my lack of desire to make thousands of tiny books (seriously, they are a pain to make). So Myrtlewood's library wil be small and cozy, but I will find a way to work some luxury in.
Which leads me to the floor. Yes, I'm still working on floors; I fear I may be working on them for a year or more, at the rate I'm going. Anyway, I'd been inspired by a parquet floor in a window pane design I'd seen somewhere and thought it would add some interest to my little library. Here's how I created it.
First I figured out the dimensions I wanted for each piece (3/8" wide for each walnut plank and 6/8" square for each cherry piece), then measured out the design, centered it in the room and drew the entire design in pencil on the plywood floor. Then I cut and glued down the vertical walnut planks. I cut and sanded each horizontal strip so that it fit perfectly. Even though I'd measured the walnut planks very carfully, there were still variations in the sizes of the open spaces. So I cut and sanded each cherry square to an exact fit. I do not have pictures of me doing this; I'm still trying to block the entire painful process from my memory. Here's what it looked like when I'd finished. I finished it as I usually do: by sanding, restaining and giving the entire thing a few coats of polyurethane. Not bad. I think I'll keep it.