Building a Book Case - Layout and Measuring

The Carcass / Shell

* * * Have your assistant ready during this step. * * *

Begin the bookcase by cuffing the 4' x 8' plywood (GOOD SIDE UP) to size.

  1. Rip (a cut WITH THE GRAIN) plywood lengthwise into strips slightly less than 16" wide. By making your cuts 15 7/8" cuts instead of 16" cuts you can get three pieces from one 48" piece. Cut on the scrap side of the wood to allow for the width of the saw blade called a kerf (approximately 1/16"). For both accuracy and safety, keep eyes on the fence not the saw blade. The person "Catching" the wood as it comes from the saw should support the wood only. Do not pull the wood or the cut will not be even.
  2. Crosscut (a cut ACROSS THE GRAIN) plywood to length as specified in the plans. Making multiple cuts of identical size like those necessary for the shelves can be difficult. The technique demonstrated in the video tape using a miter gauge and the rip fence with a stop block as a measuring tool, is a real time saver when making multiple cuts.