How to Repair Sagging Wood Bookshelves
Repairing sagging wood bookshelves is not only important for aesthetics, but also a matter safety. Sagging wood can eventually snap and splinter if too much weight is placed on them for a long enough time. There are a couple of solutions to remedy this solution.
Relieving the Weight
This is the simplest of all the options, but also the least effective. Simply remove some of the weight and, if possible, flip the shelf over. Flipping the shelf will help bow it back into shape, and removing the weight will keep it from sagging again. However, more times then not, the weight will return to shelf and the sagging will occur again.
Add a Bracket
Adding a bracket that screws in the wall and holds the self up is an easy solutions and these brackets come in a variety of designs. A bracket will usually also fasten to the shelf. If possible, flip the shelf over to help return it to shape. Place a bracket in the center of the shelf, level with the end supports, and fasten the shelf to the bracket.
Add a Lip
Fastening a lip across the front, bottom edge of the shelf helps add support to the shelf. A lip can be as simple as a 1-inch strip of similar lumber fastened with its grain running perpendicular to the shelf. Think of the lip as a floor joist and the shelf as flooring. The lip spans the weight of the shelf across the length, but against the grain of the board, unlike the shelf.