Building a Basic Bookcase

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book case

Building a basic bookcase is a great DIY weekend project, that doesn’t require a lot of woodworking skills.

A bookcase is basically a large box with three sides. This can be built to match existing furniture, stained, painted, or left in the raw wood. The bookcase could be built-in many style including, rustic, contemporary, and modern this can be achieved in the final touches and color of the bookcase.

Tools that are need would be a saw, router, hammer, finish nails, glue, and final finish.

Figure out where your case will be used and how tall and wide, that you want to build it to fit.

Purchase the needed lumber; if you use wood you can buy a twelve inch board and use this will give you good depth for the shelves. Twelve inch boards are 11 ¼” wide and this makes a good depth for the shelves. Plywood will work but you have to finish the edge of it with another thin board or some veneer to hide the layers.

Buy a ¼” piece of plywood for the back of your case this will make your case very rigid and strong when glued and attached properly.

Start your layout by figuring out where you want your shelves located. Use a router and groove the side boards by 3/8″; this will give a groove to glue your shelves into. To make your grooves use a straight board and clamp it to the side boards the proper distance to run your router across the sides to cut these grooves.

The top board can be grooved into the sides also to add strength to the unit. If you decide to go with a wide bookcase you will want to add a board to the front of the shelves on the underneath, this will help them from sagging under the weight of the books.

After all pieces are cut test fit them and after all parts fit properly it is time to assemble the bookcase. Start with one side and glue the shelves and the top and bottom board into place, and then glue the other side into place. Install the back ¼’ plywood making sure your case is square, glue and nail this into place putting a nail or two into each shelf, this will add a lot of strength to the case.

Finish your case by paining or staining and at this point you could add some flair to the sides if that was your plans by using some wooden appliqués.

Load your books and enjoy your new bookcase and be proud to tell everyone “I built that myself”.

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