How to Build a Corner Bookshelf How to Build a Corner Bookshelf

What You'll Need
Approximately 3 sheets of 3/4 plywood (Species Optional)
5 feet of crown molding (Motif Optional)
1 -8 foot length of hardwood, 3/4 inches thick by 6 inches wide
Two Blum, face-mount, overlay-style cup hinges
One dozen shelf-support pins
Adjustable circular saw
Jig saw or handsaw
Pin nailing gun
Pin nails
Self-centering bit
Drilling jig
Electric drill

The most important thing in knowing how to build a corner bookshelf is how to figure out the angles of the existing walls, and how to cut these angles to insure a good fit for the finished product. The rest is all simple cabinetry and much easier to do. In fact, the instructions that follow can produce a finished corner bookshelf in one day. This project takes advantage of a corner space that would normally not be used.

Step 1 - Corner Construction

Begin by using a piece of scrap wood, approximately 5 inches wide, as a template to measure the distance and angle between the walls of a corner. The template should be approximately 40 to 45 inches long, with two angles cut into each end. Put this template down on the floor and push it into the corner until the ends meet the wall. The angled cuts may have to be trimmed to accommodate the angles of the walls. Mark a line ¾ of an inch from the template edge. This will allow for the thickness of the face frame.

Butt one end of the tape measure against one wall and measure to the line of the template. This will give the measurement of one of the cabinet’s sides. Take a measurement from the opposite wall, minus ¾ of an inch for the thickness of the plywood side, to the end of the template. This will give the measurement of the opposite cabinet wall. Cut plywood accordingly to make the two walls of a corner bookshelf with each end having the appropriate angle suggested by the template.

Step 2 - Face Frame Construction

To speed up the construction of this corner cabinet, cut out the openings of the face frame from a single piece of plywood by using a combination of the adjustable circular and jig saws. This will eliminate gluing and screwing joints. Remember to cut the sides of the face frame to fit the angles of the two cabinet walls. Attach the face frame to the ends of the walls with glue and pin nails.

Step 3 - Adding Cabinet Shelves and a Door

Use a self-centering bit and portable drill to drill holes for the shelf support pins. Use either a jig to space the holes or measure equal distances between each hole. Shelf-support pins are ideal for this project as they can be moved randomly to accommodate shelving needs. Use Blum edge-mount cup hinges to attach a door at the bottom of the cabinet. The door can be built or ordered locally from most home improvement centers.

Step  4 - Decorative Moldings and Finishes

A variety of moldings and decorative finishes can be added to spruce up this corner bookshelf. It can also be stained, varnished or painted to augment the room’s décor.

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