Tagged: Learn how to build a bookcase

Apr 15

Learn How To Build A Bookcase

How To Build A Bookcase (courtesy of Howcast.com)

If you can read, you can build a bookcase! These instructions are for a 30-inch high, 28-inch wide, 11¼ inch deep bookcase. You will need:

Planed Pine – cut to these specifications:

2 pieces – 1 x 12 x 28½”

2 pieces – 1 x 12 x 28”

2 pieces – 1 x 12 x 26½”

Wood glue

2 bar clamps

Scrap wood

Damp rag

Drill and drill bits

8 – 1½” wood screws

8 – 1½” L-brackets

16 – ½” wood screws

Measuring tape




Wood stain, brush and clean rags

220 grit sandpaper

Clear, polyurethane finish

Optional: screwdriver

Step 1 – Using a generous layer of wood glue, affix each of the 28½” pieces to both ends of the 28” pieces, so the planks form a rectangle. Use the bar clamps to hold the pieces in place. Put pieces of scrap wood between the clamp’s grips and the wood, to avoid damaging the bookcase.

Step 2 – Mark the 4 corners of the top and bottom planks, about an inch in from the back and face of the frame, and 3/8” from the sides. Using a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the diameter of your 1½” wood screws. Drill 8 holes on the marks.

Step 3 – Screw the wood screws into the holes, using your drill screwdriver attachment or a manual screwdriver. Wipe away excess glue with a damp rag, and let the glue dry overnight.

Step 4 – Decide on shelf placement. Take the clamps off and stand the bookcase upright. Measure and mark where the shelves should go on the bookcase. Starting with the left side, make a straight pencil line exactly where you want the first shelf to go. Repeat on the other side of the bookcase. Measure your tallest book to decide where to place your shelves.

Step 5 – Start with the top shelf. Mark a spot on the inside left side of the bookcase, 2 inches in from the front of the bookcase and 2 in inches from the back, directly below the line you’ve marked in pencil. This is where 2 of the L-brackets will go. Repeat on the right side of the bookcase.

Step 6 – Hold an L bracket upside down and mark where to drill. Securely install the L- brackets with the 1/2” screws. Repeat on the other side. Then, guide the top shelf onto the L-brackets. Use the level to make sure the L-brackets are aligned on either side of the shelf.

Step 7 – Add another set of L-brackets for the other shelf. Then, guide the bottom shelf onto the L-brackets. Glue and screw the shelves into place for added stability.

Step 8 – Apply the wood stain with a brush, and allow it to penetrate for several minutes. Remove the excess with a clean rag. Let it dry for at least 6 hours, and apply a second coat. When that dries, apply a coat of polyurethane. Allow to dry for 12 hours.

Step 9 – Lightly sand the bookshelf. Then, apply a second coat of clear finish and let it dry.

Step 10 – Choose a spot against a wall for your shelf, add your books, and step back and admire your handiwork!

Did you know? The Eagle Scouts offer a woodwork merit badge!


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