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Build Your Own Bookcase Wall – Recreate the mid-19th century, Greek Revival era of American architectural history with this floor to ceiling hardwood bookcase.
The traditional Greek Revival styling of our library is reminiscent of traditional bookcases built over a century ago. Booklets look fancy but are easy to make. There is no complicated connection like mortise-and-tenon, or even doweling, so if you hang a new door or cut a room with a new molding, you have the skills to handle this method of building a shelf project.
Build Your Own Bookcase Wall
We sized the bookcases to fit in a standard room with an 8-ft. ceiling and about 8 ft. of wall space, something like a bedroom that you might want to convert to a library or home office. It can also be increased by increasing the dimensions (the correct proportions; see Fig. B).
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We designed this project to work even if your room is out of kilter. The moldings are placed after the main dimensions are installed to cover any gaps from uneven floors or walls. At the end of this article, in “Additional Information,” you will find a list of tools and materials you will need to complete this project. Although this project is not difficult, it will still take you about 40 hours to build.
A bookcase or shelf is the most important item of home storage. In this collection, you will find 33 project plans and learn construction tips to expand your bag or storage shelf.
As you can see, the middle section of our bookcase is 6 inches wider than the two outer sections. This creates a focal point, and the two side panels provide symmetry. However, this particular design may not work in your room. To check, carefully measure the length and width of the walls of your chosen space. Consider the height, width and any restrictions unique to your room. Know the locations of all sockets, switches and outlets. They may want you to modify our design. Keep in mind, you can move the dimensions (Fig. B) closer together or add another dimension or two to fit the long wall.
As we mentioned above, when planning, take into account the location of your electrical appliances and heating devices. They can tell you when you set the parameters. Your only conclusion is that the ladder support rod should not be more than 36 in between the brackets. Use a level to check for irregularities such as a sloping floor or uneven walls. If your walls and floor aren’t exactly straight or level, you’ll be able to scribe measurements on the back and bottom, then cut with your scribe to get a perfect fit (see How to scribe to make it perfect for more on scribing).
Custom Bookshelves Nyc
If you choose to include a ladder in your design, be aware that it may take several weeks to be released. This should not delay you – you can start with the project and install the ladder when it arrives.
Our bookcases were built on a wooden floor. If you have carpet, you’ll need to reupholster the carpet and pad and reattach them later around the base of the bookcase. And yes, the ladder will roll on the carpeting again.
With the exception of rolling ladders, maple fluted casing and plinth blocks, all items are available for wooden posts and well-furnished homes (see “Shopping List” in Additional Information, below). We made four vertical dimensions and shelves from birch-veneer plywood rounded around 2x4s. The only hitch is getting straight and stiff 2x4s. It doesn’t have to have any bow, but it can have a small angle or crown. And since the 2x4s will be completely hidden, some hard edges are welcome. Even if your 2x4s feel hard to the touch, let them dry indoors for at least a week. Too much moisture causes problems because the wood dries out when it dries.
We used birch-veneer plywood and maple trim for our project because it matched the existing maple wood. Whatever wood you choose, make sure it has a “plain-sawn” veneer, which has a straight, slightly grainy texture. Plain-sawn hardwood plywood is available at woodworking stores and cabinet dealers, but it can be specially designed for woodworking and home improvement projects.
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You don’t need a fancy shop to cut plywood and build dimensions for this method of building a shelf project. A set of sawhorses under a sheet of 3/4-in. plywood will work fine. The first order of business is to rip (cut to length) eight pieces of plywood 13-3/4 in. You will need to tear eight identical pieces (see Fig. B) for the measurements and one for the top (C). You can use a table saw, but we prefer to use a circular saw and a homemade design, made of two pieces of plywood. For more on creating rip and crosscut guides, see Two Essential Saw Cutting Guides.
After tearing the pieces, you will need to cross the heads to length. Take the 3/4-in. plywood with a sharp utility knife at a length of 1 in. shorter than the floor-to-ceiling measurement on the first level. This extra inch of space is needed to slide the bookcase up (C) into place later. Crosscut along the edge of the drawn line to get a splinter-free cut.
After cutting the plywood to size, you will need to drill a 1/4-in. dia. holes in the inner sides of the shelf support hardware. These holes should be clear from one dimension to the next so that your shelves don’t move. The best way to do this is to make a drilling jig.
To make your own drilling jig, buy a 1-1/4 in. wide x 1/8-in. thick x 6-ft. long piece of mild steel from your local hardware store. Mark each 2 in from one side to the other. Next mark the center 3/4 in from the edge. To keep your bit from moving around while drilling, use a medium punch to punch out the metal on your part. Using a 1/4-in. high-speed metal twist bit, drill all the holes. Remove sharp burrs with 100-grit sandpaper.
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To complete your jig, drive four 1/16-in. the holes are equal in length so that you can attach it to the plywood sides. TIP: Mark the jig with a little paint so that the top is visible at a glance. If not, you can easily polish it off and get a shelf-hole pattern lifted!
At 84 in from the bottom, mark each piece of plywood (A, A1) for drilling. A2 pieces are not punched. Align the top hole of the jig with your marker. Fix the edge of the jig to the back of the plywood. Nail the jig to the workpiece with a 3/4 in. long, 17-gauge nails.
The jig requires four 1/16-in. holes along its minimum 3/4-in. nails that attach to the plywood (see Fig. B). Once the jig is secured to the plywood piece, drive a 1/4-in. holes 1/2 in. deep inside each of the jig holes in the plywood. Draw the next front holes, placed about 2-3/4 in. from the front edge as shown in picture B.
For clean, deep holes, use a 1/4-in. brad point bit in your drill. Use a stop collar at least to ensure a 1/2-in. down, and dig into each hole of the jig.
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NOTE: Pieces A and A1 are mirror images of each other, so double check to make sure you drill them correctly.
The casings and moldings used in this project are all found in woodwork and home environments, although a few may be special. For a larger, printable version of Figure A, see Supplementary Information, below.
This cutaway diagram shows the construction details of a floor to ceiling bookcase. For a larger, printable version of image B, see Additional Information, below. For length and size, see “Cutting List” in Additional Information.
Now you are ready to glue the pieces of plywood (A, A1, A2) and 2x4s (B) that make up each level. To make sure you glue the right sides (A, A1, A2) together, study picture B. Cut the 2x4s to the same length as the plywood. Glue the 2x4s between the plywood pieces (A and A1) “sandwich style” to create two central vertical dimensions. Again, glue together A2 and A1 for the far left dimension and A and A2 for the far left dimension.
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Spread glue (about a 1/4-in. bead in a squiggly pattern) on all sides of the 2x4s and place it on the plywood. Back the 2×4 (B) about 1/2 in from the back. If your wall is uneven, this makes it easier to write on the wall later. TIP: To keep the pieces from falling off when you hang them, drive a finish nail through the plywood into the 2×4 to hold it in place. Place this nail on the bottom of the surface and fill the hole later.
After applying the gluing, hang it for 2 hours or when the glue runs out
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