Bookcase joinery


Old 12-15-08, 04:39 PM
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Bookcase joinery

Hi all Ė

Iím making a built-in bookcase in my office, roughly 11í wide by 7í tall. It will consist of 4 base cabinet modules with shelves above. The entire thing will be in an alcove so you will not see the sides of any units. My question:

Whatís the appropriate method of joinery for the base carcasses and the shelving units? If these were free standing (and you could see the sides) I would use plate joinery or dados to attach the horizontal members to the side pieces. However, you canít see the sides. Would it be strong enough to just screw them together? Iím using ĺ ply or MDF for sides/top/bottom with a ľ birch ply back. Iím not talking about the attachment of the shelves [Iím using a pin system for that] but the top and bottom of the base cabs and the ďceilingĒ of the shelving unit. For installation, they will be ganged together and screwed to the studs. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 12-15-08, 05:29 PM
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Dadoes or biscuits to assist alignment and screws would be my choice. The biscuits would be quicker and easier than the dadoes of course.
Old 12-16-08, 09:50 AM
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Built in bookcase


Regardless of whether my case sides will show I always use 3/8" - 1/2 dados with 3/4 birch or maple plywood.

You will still need to square and transport these cases.
Old 12-17-08, 08:28 AM
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thanks for input

yeah, i hadn't considered the difficulty of squaring them without the more substantial joinery. i was contemplating assembling them up on third floor rather than in the "cabinet shop" [my basement] but i reckon i can still do that w/ the biscuits. thanks much.
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