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We have our friends from Shanty2Chic today to thank for building and sharing this beautiful bookshelf. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. If books are overflowing from your desktop, stacked around your living room or stuffed into plastic milk crates, it may be time for a bookshelf. Standard bookshelves come in two-, three-, four- and five-shelf varieties, but you can make as many shelves as you want for your project. Birch is the best wood to use if you plan to paint your bookcase, and maple lends itself to a variety of stains. When using a circular saw, be sure the good side of your plywood is facing down; for a table saw it should be facing up.
You can adjust this measurement up or down if you want your bookshelf to be taller or shorter. Alternately, use a router fitted with a ball-bearing-piloted rabbeting bit to make your cuts.
Clamp a pegboard (this will be your template for the holes)in place so that the first holes will be 4" above and 4" below the center shelf.
If you don't have a pegboard, you make a hole-drilling template out of ?-inch pine cut to the same length as the bookcase sides. Use a drill bit that's the same diameter as the shelf-support pegs and drill holes 2" from the edge in 2" increments. Drive the nails until each head is just above the surface of the wood, then use a nail set to drive it just below the surface.
Drill and countersink pilot holes in the side of the bookshelf and attach the shelf with 2" wood screws.
If you decided to use support blocks for the center shelf as well, install it now as you did the bottom shelf. Attach 1" x 2" trim pieces to the side and bottom edges of the bookshelf with sixpenny nails and glue. If you'd prefer to a sleeker look, use veneer banding instead of molding to cover the plywood edges. Using an iron set to a low heat, apply iron-on birch veneer edge banding to the front edges of the plywood sides, shelves, top and bottom. Use a veneer trimmer to slice off the overhanging edges of the veneer and hand-sand the edges with 120-grit sandpaper so that it's flush with the plywood.
Choose a white primer if your paint color is light; choose gray if your paint color is dark.
Yes, a fixed shelf in the middle adds a lot of rigidity and strength to the rectangular "box" of the book shelf. I've come to the conclusion that the best way to build a bookcase is probably not to buy a plan at all.
What eventually came from this exploration was a surprisingly simple set of plans —not so much the type of instructions that tell you exactly how long to cut this or that board, but instructions that first show you the construction really works.
My Thoughts about Building a Bookcase I can't think of a better first-time woodworking project than a simple bookcase. I know it seems like there's a lot of wood to pick from at a place like Home Depot or Lowes. Plywood is a good choice for bookcases and shelves because it doesn't warp as easily as solid-wood boards. It's funny that before I got into this bookcase project, I probably wouldn't have considered using plywood. Even with all the benefits of plywood, there’s still something I like about using solid wood lumber. Of course, if I could figure out a way to keep a room consistent in temperature and humidity twelve months out of the year for the next 100 years I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this. Wood will always hold some amount of moisture, regardless of how wet or dry the weather is. Learning how to build a bookcase is the start of a journey - down a wonderful path of self satisfaction and accomplishment. However, I think a better approach is to design your own bookcase - something that fits exactly your taste, style, and the room in which you will set up the bookcase. My EZ bookcase plans shows you all the basics that go into building a bookcase - from choosing the right style of joinery to finding the best shelf length to avoid sagging shelves. I've also included instructions for building a few simple shop tools that will make cutting lumber easy and accurate. There are plenty of choices on the Web for a nice bookcase design - but I'm really more interested in bookcase plans for the average DIY builder. Aside from the tools and lumber, what you'll need to dive into the world of bookcase design is a basic understanding of how cabinet joinery works.
Sometimes all that takes is a small strip of wood to hold a bookcase shelf up (that's called a cleat) or for the more adventuresome woodworkers, perhaps a dado and groove joint.
Either way, my EZ Bookcase Planner lays out all the choices for you - the best kinds of joinery to use, the best kind of hardware, the best size of shelf for your custom bookcase design. I've always enjoyed showing people how to build a bookshelf - it's a perfect starter project for anyone just getting into building furniture for around the house.
Everyone has a different idea of what the perfect bookshelf is - and that's simply a matter of taste from one person to the next.
After looking at a lot of different bookshelf plans on the Web, I've decided that a better approach to the project is to let people design a bookcase that fits their own style and space.
Building a bookshelf may be one of the most satisfying projects a first-time DIY builder can take on. The most basic shelf is little more than a simple board held in place at both ends by hardware - or held in place by resting on another board for support.
The support can be another board (cleat) mounted inside of a cabinet frame - much like what you'll find in a bookcase design. Making shelves with rabbets and dados requires a little more sophistication in the shop - along with some extra tools - like a router and a router cutting guide.
If you've ever owned a cheap set of bookshelves, you've probably noticed that over time that a shelf will start to sag in the middle.
Designing fine furniture may be out of reach for most DIY builders - but a simple custom bookcase is the perfect project to try your hand at woodworking.
The biggest challenge building your own custom bookcases is making sure the cabinet goes together true and square. My EZ bookcase planner can help you brush up on the basics of bookcase construction - showing you up close how the shelf joinery works - as well as giving you several options for different joinery options.
27-page PDF ebook includes easy, step-by-step plans for designing a simple bookcase with 1x12 lumber. I can always use another bookcase or bookshelf somewhere in the house, even if it ends up in my basement filled with tools. If you've ever bought a cheap bookcase made of particle board, then you don't need me to tell you solid wood is a better choice. Sign up today for our FREE e-mail newsletters and get helpful tips and timely article links delivered to your e-mail inbox. Dozens of ideas, loads of how-tos, and the latest advice on the projects and products you need to improve your home today, plus special offers. From style to tile, find tons of inspirational photos, ideas, and how-tos for brand-new rooms, quick upgrades, and big and small fixes, plus special offers. Twice-monthly advice for bringing your home outdoors, from year-round yard upkeep and planning to the wonders of making your garden grow, plus special offers.

Monthly advice on how to make your home eco-friendly, including energy and water saving tips, healthy home products, green remodeling, and more, plus special offer. Be the first to know about This Old House contests, sweepstakes, and events and receive special offers and promotions from your favorite home improvement brands. Traditionally, built-in bookcases are made with solid wood boards, carefully routed to make tight grooves that accept each shelf.
For the strongest frame, we used oak plywood and doubled its thickness for the bookcase sides, or legs, by gluing and nailing plywood shelf supports onto longer boards.
The tricky part of working with plywood is ripping down the 4-foot-wide boards to the widths needed for the frame and shelves. November 25, 2011 By Beckie Denise from Simply Weekends spent one of her “beloved” weekends building a puzzle-style bookcase. I recommend having fixed shelves in this project to give you something to attach the back planking to. Sanded it down,put wood filler on, sanded it again,then stained it but where my wood filler was put showed through stain. You can build a bookshelf to fit a particular space in your home or make one that's a standard size so that it can work in a variety of locations. The wood you use will greatly impact the finished look of your piece as well as its cost and durability.
Calculate how many 8' long boards you can get from one sheet and use that to figure out how many sheets you will need. If you want a special wood such as mahogany, teak, walnut or cherry, you'll probably have to special order. For special order woods, the recommendation is to use a clear finish so that the beauty of the wood can shine through. For a table saw, invest in an 80 TPI plywood blade, one designed for cross (miter saw) or rip (table saw) cuts. One of the challenges of working with plywood is that it comes in large 4' x 8' sheets,so it can be a bit difficult to handle on your own. Since book sizes differ and your needs may change, it's best to make your shelves adjustable so that you can arrange and rearrange them as best suits you.
Put a piece of tape or a drill stop on the bit to guide you in drilling to the correct depth and take into account the thickness of the pegboard.
If you'd like, you can use support blocks for the center and bottom shelves; they'll strength the frame without adding excessive bulk.
A back panel gives a bookshelf a finished look and protects the paint on the wall behind the bookshelf. Tighten any screws if necessary to get the shelf to stand in place with perfect right angles. Proper sanding is essential to the final appearance of any finished surface and affects the success of the staining process.
Sand the entire surface, don't rely on your eye to sand only the spots that look irregular to you, sand the whole bookshelf. The final touch is to put a protective coating on your new book shelf--whether that's paint or a clear finish.
If you've chosen a more exotic wood for your bookshelf, you'll want to use a clear, polyurethane finish to highlight the natural beauty of the grain. Once you understand how joinery holds furniture together (it's not as complicated as it sounds), suddenly your options for building a bookcase (or any project for that matter) are nearly endless.
But let's narrow our choices down a bit and just look at two options: plywood or solid pine. That means I can usually go with longer shelves and maybe even thinner pieces of material (save $$) and still have the same strength as a smaller bookcase made of solid pine. Or I could be more practical and just be aware of what my solid wood projects will have to endure over the next few years, and maybe use a few construction techniques that will help keep the damage under control. Aside from the moisture problems I talked about, solid wood is full of natural inconsistencies from one board to the next--thickness, grain, density, knots, twists, bends, warps--all unpredictable features in wood that I have to account for differently with each board I pull from the rack.
But I do understand and appreciate the quirky nature of wood, which helps me do a better job of planning and building projects.
I’m sure plenty of people have built their bookcases the same day they brought home the wood.
You'll soon discover is that the skills you've picked up while building your bookcase can be applied to just about any kind of furniture project you can imagine. I wouldn't normally suggest that everyone can design and build their own furniture projects - building furniture can get complicated (and expensive) if you don't have a lot of woodworking experience. Once you have the basics in hand, you'll be free to design and build a bookcase in any style, shape, or form you like. Unlike most of the furniture around your home, a bookcase is one of the few things that just about anyone can build - without it looking like someone built it (if you catch my drift).
I'm not talking about anything complex - just a basic understanding of how to attach two boards together and keep them that way for some time to come. You'll also learn how to put together a few handy shop jigs that make cutting lumber to size a breeze using an inexpensive circular saw.
I've built a variety of simple bookshelves and bookcases using only a circular saw and a power drill. Of course, this means people will need a basic understanding of how all the pieces go together - and be comfortable with using a few basic tools to cut the wood to size. It's not only a good way to get familiar using power tools - but the final product is something you can actually use around the house. The simplest shelf design follows the later idea - the shelves simply rest on some type of support. I'm not sure that rabbets and dadoes do any better job of holding up books than a simple book shelf made with cleats - but they do make your bookshelf project more of a fine woodworking piece - something you might be proud to hand down to future generations.
All boards have their limit - and any amount of weight pushing down in the center of a board will test just how strong a shelf design is. What you'll discover is that the construction of a bookcase goes together fairly quick and easy - with only a few common power tools and some inexpensive lumber.
What we're dealing with is a large box, essentially,- with lots of corners and intersections that can easily be out of square if we don't use a few precautions during assembly. You decide which type of construction best fits your needs - and then use the how-to guides for completing the project. That's one of the biggest reasons I decided to include a bookcase in my series My First Project. I used inexpensive 1x12 common pine for the sides, shelves, and top, and a few pieces of poplar for the cleats and trim.
But sawn lumber is expensive — enough oak for a 8-foot bookcase, for example, could run into thousands of dollars. Making a straight cut along an entire 8-foot sheet with a circular saw is difficult, and running plywood through a portable table saw is dangerous. With her Ana White plans in hand, Denise busted out the power tools for her first “made from scratch” building project. Many people who have just moved into their new houses or apartments struggle to come to a decision in how they are going to ornament and organize their possessions. We give you the steps below for building a small bookshelf, but you can easily adjust the measurements to construct a case that even more successfully meets your storage needs.
Bookshelves are traditionally 12" or 16" deep; of course, you can customize to suit your needs.
Cutting plywood can be difficult and dangerous, so it's important to set yourself up for success.

In this case, creating rabbet joints will allow the top of the bookcase to sit squarely and securely on the two sides.
If you do add these blocks, be aware that your center shelf will be fixed; you won't be able to adjust it.
If you've measured it to fit a particular nook in your home, the addition of trim can create the look of a built-in unit. The problem was that I couldn't find a design that really fit what I was trying to do, or fit the unique space I had available to put in a bookcase. But the best part about building a bookcase is that it teaches you how to build just about anything from wood.
Sure, the problems that come with solid wood construction are painfully obvious in 100-year furniture - wobbly legs, loose joints, open gaps between boards. That’s the more realistic approach, and one that woodworkers have been using for hundreds of years, long before plywood ever came around.
So, when I decide to use solid wood boards instead of plywood, here’s what I stop to think about before I get started.
After that, boards go through a multitude of drying steps just to get the moisture level down low enough to ship to stores.
And the best part is that most projects can be built with only few common power tools and some inexpensive lumber from a home center.
I'm talking about a project that you can pull off with only a few power tools - and some easy-to-find pine lumber at your local Home Depot. And the best part was that I was able to buy everything I needed for the project at my local home imporovement center.
What's more, the skills you'll pick up getting through your first bookcase plans project will come in handy for just about any wood projects you might want to tackle in the future. Without the right kind of support - evenly distributed along the length of the board - a shelf will certainly begin to sag in the middle - books loaded or not.
You'll also appreciate that most bookcase plans gives you a variety of options in how you bring the boards together - from the most simple joinery using cleats and shelf supports - to custom building the shelves with dado and groove joinery. I like to have my carpenter's square and level close at hand when assembling my custom bookcases, and I always do a tape measure check from corner to corner to make sure the numbers add up. I've also included some handy printable graphs and templates to help you draw rough layouts for your custom bookcases design. It's a perfect opportunity to put your basic building skills to work and create a fantastic piece of furniture—something that will provide years of service for you, your children, and your grandchildren! Plywood that has a hardwood veneer is not only less expensive but in many cases stronger than solid softwoods like pine. Your best bet is to find out if your lumberyard has a commercial table saw to make clean, straight rips.
Some may possibly expend weeks or even months taking out the furniture or having things put into the proper place in a way which suits to their personal taste. Sand the unit lightly and remove the dust with cheesecloth or a soft, cotton rag, Apply a coat of paint. Not to mention that most plans were either to complex, or they required lots of expensive shop tools that I didn't have. For now, just let me say that I've since made some really attractive pieces of furniture with plywood.
But just think how amazing it is that solid-wood furniture can hold up as well as it does…for that long. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the boards you bring home from Home Depot are ready to go. That can be a problem when you start to assemble pieces together…they might not line up. It's the perfect project for learning the basics of wood construction - without having to invest a lot of money in tools and materials. Although someday you might want to build a nicer version of a bookshef, using hardwoods and perhaps some more sophisticated joinery - for now, a few boards of inexpensive pine will give you a very nice and functional bookcase or bookshelf without putting a lot of time or trouble into the project.
I've covered all the most common construction techniques that woodworkers use - with an inside look at the top three joinery styles that you'll find in bookcases and bookshelves today.
Of course, much of this depends on the type of wood you are using and the thickness of the board itself - as well as the length (or span) of the shelf. So I decided to take a closer look at the basic construction of this kind of furniture, and develop an easy-to-follow guide for designing my own bookcase. That's good news for beginners, just in case things don't turn out as well as you like first time around.
The real culprit for solid wood construction is humidity…or rather, changes in humidity.
Ideally you want the moisture content in wood to be around 10-12 percent before you start cutting and gluing boards together.
I'm not a big fan of bookshelf pins, mostly because I've never found a need to adjust my bookcase shelves after I've loaded them with books. Fortunately some furniture designers have tested the limits for us - and have laid out some handy rule-of-thumb guidelines for just how long of a shelf we should build for a given type of wood and thickness. Measure the length of the two legs, plus the width of the case, then add 10 percent for waste.3.
You will see that this kind of bookshelf will suit simply about any interior decoration and it is extremely affordable. And believe me, you can spend just as much money on high-quality plywood as solid hardwood boards. Problem is that most wood you pull off the rack at a home center is going to be at about 20 percent.
The simple set of templates and how-to guides show you what's needed in a basic bookcase design, but with enough flexibility that you can make the bookcase any size or style you like. But there are also special-order lumberyards that make veneer plywood from any kind of wood, including mahogany, teak, cherry, or walnut. It is accessible in a broad range of styles including a work station edition in which there is a computer desk added. Once I got the hang of using the tools, I was a little more comfortable buying more expensive wood and materials, like cherry or maple hardwoods. So let's just keep in mind that plywood might very well be the better choice for building a bookcase. It soaks up moisture during warm, humid summers and then gives it all back in winter when everything turns dry. So in a perfect world, you would let the wood dry for a couple weeks in your garage or basement to get the moisture content down. For now, we'll just concentrate on getting some inexpensive wood from a home center and figure out how to make the pieces come together.
Take the length of one shelf and multiply it by the number of shelves (including the bottom shelf). This leaning ladder shelf can make no difference what quantity of room space existing either as there are corner editions which are very space saving.Linea hadfield leaning ladder bookshelf in woodLeaning Ladder Bookshelf OrnamentIt is also essential that you should not think of this leaning ladder bookshelf is merely for an ornament for your home and such as you can pay for ones for your living room for placing your books or other belongings. These can be a fantastic idea mainly in case there are a lot of you residing in just the one house seeing as you can put a number of books on this kind of shelving. For those who have never find ladder shelves before, then just visualize an A-shaped step ladder with a platform going along all pairs of rungs.

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