4 Ways to Make a Bookshelf

If books are piling up on your desk, crammed into your living room, or have to be tucked away in your plastic milk box, it's time you got a bookshelf. Make your own bookshelf with ease. We provide the following steps to create a small bookshelf, but you can also adjust the size to create a shelf that is even more suited to your storage needs.

Step

Method 1 of 4: Preparation

Step 1. Design and measure

You can create a bookcase that fits into any space in your home, or one that is standard sized so you can place it in a variety of locations.

• Measure the space you will use to place the bookcase. Determine the height and width of the shelf. Standard bookcase sizes are usually 30.4 to 40.6 cm in depth; Of course, you can adapt it to your needs.
• Determine whether your bookshelf will have an open or closed back. If you want an open back, your books can be propped up or against the wall behind them.
• Decide if you are going to use a book that is thin, thick, or the size of a coffee table. For the sake of versatility, this project will use a shelf that can be adjusted so that it can fit books of various sizes.
• A standard bookshelf has a variety of shelves, usually 2, 3, 4, and 5, but you can make as many shelves as you want for your project.

The wood you use will have an important impact on appearance as well as price and durability.

• You can use solid wood planks to make a bookcase, but they are quite expensive. Oak wood for a 2.4 meter high bookcase can cost millions of rupiah. A more economical option is to use plywood with a hardwood lacquer.
• Choose 7, 6/10, 1 cm thick plywood for the frame and bookshelf; You will need 0.635 cm thick plywood for the back of the cabinet.
• A plywood board is 1.2 m wide, but bear in mind that a saw blade can cut as much as 0.31 cm. Calculate how many 2.4 m long boards you will get from 1 sheet and also calculate how many boards you need. For this project, you will only need 1 board.
• Visit a lumberyard for lacquered plywood. If you want a specialty wood such as mahogany, teak, walnut or cherry wood, you may need to place an order in advance.
• Birch wood is the best wood to use if you plan to paint your bookshelf, and maple is suitable for a wide variety of coatings. For special orders, you are advised to do a final coating with a clear substance so that the beauty of the wood can be clearly seen.

Method 2 of 4: Cutting

Step 1. Use the correct saw

Use a table saw or circular saw to cut your boards. Cutting plywood can be very difficult and dangerous, so it's important that you prepare yourself to make the right cuts.

• For circular saws, use a carbide-shaped blade tip designed for plywood. For a table saw, prepare a special plywood blade that has 80 teeth per inch, and is designed to make cross cuts (miter saws) or tear (table saws).
• When using a circular saw, make sure the good part of your plywood is facing down; for a table saw, the good side should be facing up.
• Push the wood through the saw regularly. This ensures that you will get a neater cut.
• Ask a friend for help. One of the challenges when working with plywood is if the plywood is 1.2 x 2.4 m, making it difficult for you to handle it alone. Use an easel or roller table to help you.

Step 2. Cut to your sides

Start cutting your long board to the width you want. Remember that the default sizes are 30, 48 cm or 40, 64 cm; for this project, the depth we need is 30, 48 cm.

• Cut 1,905 cm thick birch plywood into strips 31.75 cm wide.

If you're using a circular saw, make sure you use a guide to get a straight edge

• To make both sides of the bookshelf, cut the board into 2 pieces with a length of 1.06 m each.

You can adjust these measurements if you want a taller or shorter bookcase

Step 3. Cut the bottoms of your cabinets and shelves

Keep in mind and include in your calculations that the width of the saw blade is 3.1 mm.

• Tear 1.9 cm thick plywood into 30.1 cm wide sheets to make a bookshelf.
• Tear off the second piece 30.7 cm wide to make the top and bottom of the bookshelf.
• Cut another 2 pieces 77.4 cm long to make the top, bottom and 2 shelves.

Step 4. Cut the recess joint

A recess is a groove that is cut into a lump of wood. In this case, creating a niche joint will help the top of the bookcase remain square and secure on both sides.

• Prepare a saw to cut about 9.5 mm. Cut into strips by cutting straight across the shelf in 3.2 mm increments until the strip width matches the thickness of the sides of the plywood.

• You can also use a successor with a ball bearing to help you cut.

Step 5. Drill to make customized holes along the bookshelf

Since books vary in size and you may need to make changes, it's best if you make the shelves adjustable so you can arrange and redesign the shelves to your liking.

• Clamp a peg board (this will be your mold for punching holes) in place so that the first hole will be 10.16cm from the top and 10.16cm down from the center of the bookshelf.

If you don't have a peg board, make a 1.9 cm thick pine mold and cut it to the length of the bookshelf. Use a drill with a 1.6cm-thick shovel to make a number of holes of the same size in the sample board

• Use a drill that is the same diameter as the rack peg to support the pegs and gradually make a 5 cm diameter hole about 5 cm from the side edge.

Method 3 of 4: Installation

Step 1. Connect the top and sides

Apply glue along the grooves of the recess and attach the top. Add screws to strengthen the top.

If you want, you can add some joists to support the middle and bottom of the shelf; the beams will support the frame without excessive weight. If you decide to add these blocks, be aware that the center of your shelf will not move; and you can't customize it.

• Glue a 2, 5 or 5 cm thick block in the center or bottom of the shelf and fix it by nailing it to completion.

Guide the nails until the head is directly above the wood surface, then, regularly drive them under the wood surface

• Drill and punch holes in the top of the bookcase, then fix it with glue and 2 wood screws.

Step 3. Put the middle and bottom shelves in place

When the top shelf is strong, attach the bottom shelf.

• Use wood glue on the beams for the bottom shelf and set the shelf into position.
• Drill and punch holes in the sides of the bookshelf and attach the bookshelf using 2 wood screws.
• If you decide to use blocks to support the middle shelf, attach them now as you installed the bottom shelf earlier.

Step 4. Attach the back cover

The back cover will give your bookcase a final look and keep the paint off the walls behind your bookshelf.

• Make sure your bookcase is square. Tighten all screws and if necessary place your bookshelf in a visible place.
• Measure and cut the back cover of the cabinet.
• Start in 1 place and use a 2.5 cm nail to secure the back cover of your bookshelf.

Step 5. Tidy up

Tidying up or shaping your bookshelf will give it an appropriate look. Once you've measured the cupboard that fits the corner of your home, decorate your bookcase to give it a personal look.

• Attach the decorations at a distance of 2, 5 or 5 cm from the side and bottom edges of the bookshelf using 5 cm nails and glue.

You may want to form a rectangle for your decoration; the final look is up to you

• Once the trim is in place, use a joint with a 1.27 cm diameter circle to smooth out any sharp edges.

• Glue and print the tips of the nails on the bookshelf so as not to deform.
• If you prefer a pleasing appearance, use a binding machine instead of a casting tool to cover the edges of the plywood.

• Lower the heat on the iron and use the iron on the edges of the lacquered birch board from the sides of the plywood, shelf, top and bottom to do the binding.
• Then press the varnish board firmly to the plywood using a j-roller. Cut the varnish board to the length of the plywood with a utility knife.
• Use a lacquer trimmer to trim off the excess edges and sand the edges with a 120-grit sandpaper so that they are flush with the plywood.

Method 4 of 4: Final Touches

Correct sanding is very important to produce the final appearance of all surface layers and affects the success of the coating process. The finish will look dark and uneven if the surface is not sanded properly.

• For better results, use a 150 grit sandpaper to remove traces of work and uneven surfaces.
• Use a hand block and/or sandpaper pad to cover the entire surface evenly. Sand the entire surface, don't just sand a few spots that look uneven, sand the entire bookcase.

Step 2. Paint or coat the unit

This final touch is useful for providing a protective layer for your new bookcase – either by applying paint or a translucent coating.

• Use primer and outer paint. The primer helps the wood to absorb the exterior paint evenly for a uniform finish. Apply primer first and let it dry. Gently sand and remove dust using cheesecloth or a soft cotton cloth, then apply a coat of paint. After the first coat of paint dries, sand again, remove the dust and apply a final coat.

Choose a white primer if you're going to paint it a light color; if painting with a dark color, use a gray base paint. You can also have your base paint colored to match the color of the paint already used

• Do a neat final layering. If you have chosen an unusual wood for your bookcase, use a polyurethane substance to enhance its appearance. Apply the first coat and let it dry before you sand it down with gravel sandpaper. Remove dust using a light or soft cotton cloth, or cotton cloth, and apply a second coat. Do it again and let it dry before sanding it. Then, apply a third or final coat to finish.