Building a bookcase

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-13-07, 12:08 PM
king06's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Building a bookcase

Hi,

I would like to try building a bookcase for the very first time. I have never done much woodworking, but would like to start and need to learn a few things.

My question is this:

What is the best/easiest way to connect the shelves to the ends of the bookcase? I really don't want to just screw them in from the end. I would like to make it look nicer than that. I have only limited tools.

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-13-07, 12:27 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 25,868
Received 645 Votes on 597 Posts
Rather than thinking you need to attach each shelf to the sides, why not consider using shelf pins? That way your shelves could be adjusted to suit your needs.

If you have limited tools and can't create a dado joint, and don't like the shelf pin idea, you could attach 3/4 x 3/4 cleats to the sides of the unit and lay the shelves on top of the cleat, nailing down into the cleat to fix the shelf. Shelves would be faced with 1x2 to hide the cleat and give the front of the shelf strength.
 
  #3  
Old 01-13-07, 05:26 PM
king06's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I do have dado blades for my table saw (which I've never used). I was thinking about trying to use those, but I don't really know what to do. Any advice?
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-07, 06:02 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 25,868
Received 645 Votes on 597 Posts
If you are making the unit out of wood that is 3/4 thick or plywood is 3/4 thick, and you know exactly where you want the shelves, you'd make dados that are about 1/4" deep to accept the shelves. Then when you assemble, you'd glue the shelf into the dado and install some finish nails through the outside of the unit that would secure the shelf into the dado.

As you set up the dado blades on the table saw, you'd test them on some scraps to make sure you will be making an exact fit for your wood or plywood.
 
  #5  
Old 01-14-07, 05:21 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Attaching shelves

I have built half a dozen bookcases, and found that the simplest way for me is to use corner braces; I usually use ones that are 1 1/2" long on each side. Mark a line where you want the shelves on the inside of each side (remember that with braces, this line is at the bottom of the shelf, so plot it out on paper with board thickness so you get the spacing right), position two braces equally spaced with the bend at the line, mark for holes, drill, and screw the braces to the sides. Then one by one, attach the shelves and top. Check to make sure that the front of the shelves align evenly with the front of the sides so they look good. Mark and drill holes and screw the braces to the bottom of the shelves. This makes shelves that can be disassembled later for moving, etc. To put a back on the shelves, I use that 1/4" thick 2x4' MDF fiberboard, drill holes for finish nails (sink them in so they won't mark white walls). Good luck, after a couple bookcases you'll feel like an expert and all your friends will want you to build custom shelves for them!
 
  #6  
Old 01-18-07, 07:05 PM
king06's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bjsa View Post
I have built half a dozen bookcases, and found that the simplest way for me is to use corner braces; I usually use ones that are 1 1/2" long on each side. Mark a line where you want the shelves on the inside of each side (remember that with braces, this line is at the bottom of the shelf, so plot it out on paper with board thickness so you get the spacing right), position two braces equally spaced with the bend at the line, mark for holes, drill, and screw the braces to the sides. Then one by one, attach the shelves and top. Check to make sure that the front of the shelves align evenly with the front of the sides so they look good. Mark and drill holes and screw the braces to the bottom of the shelves. This makes shelves that can be disassembled later for moving, etc. To put a back on the shelves, I use that 1/4" thick 2x4' MDF fiberboard, drill holes for finish nails (sink them in so they won't mark white walls). Good luck, after a couple bookcases you'll feel like an expert and all your friends will want you to build custom shelves for them!

Thanks for your reply. I was thinking about trying to cut dados, but I don't really know how to do that, so I may try your idea.
Are the corner braces something you would buy? Like at a hardware? Are they metal or is this something you would make out of firring strips?

One other question: When you attach the sides to the top and the bottom, I'm assuming you run screws into the top and bottom from the sides. Or is there a better way? How do you hide the screws and screw marks?

Also, will attaching the shelves in this manner make the bookcase sturdy enough? Do I need to brace it somehow?

Thanks for your help.
 
  #7  
Old 01-18-07, 07:53 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 25,868
Received 645 Votes on 597 Posts
Screws can be slightly countersunk and covered with filler. You could also select a finish screw that has a small head- it's more like a large finish nail with threads, and leaves a much smaller hole to fill.

As far as bracing it, if you cut a panel (1/4" oak or pine plywood, or similar thin sheet good) the same size as the entire back- or even part of it, you then tack the back panel to the back of the cabinet (including the shelves), and that will square everything up and keep it from wobbling. Even a small triangle of thin plywood on each back corner would help, acting like a corner brace.

IMO, corner braces aren't needed, provided you put a back on the unit, but like I mentioned earlier, you could attach 3/4 x 3/4 cleats to the sides of the unit and lay the shelves on top of the cleat for added shelf support.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: