How To Build Wooden Bookshelves

Have you ever wanted somewhere to keep your reading materials but did not have the budget to acquire it? Do you have some carpentry tools and some wood you could make use of? Well if you do, then you can make a nice bookcase by yourself.  At times it pays to be creative and to have the skill to make something. You are able to customise things to suit your purposes. 

There are different kinds of bookshelves. Some bookcases are mounted on the wall, some are placed in a corner and some are considered as a fixture and form part of the furniture. Corner bookcases may be placed in a corner to make a cozy reading area. Some are mounted on the wall and are known as a 'built in' bookcase. While still some are made for a double purpose, such as a bookcase that is also a step ladder. A ladder bookcase is adjustable and can be folded just like a typical ladder.  Here are the steps for building a simple wall-mounted bookshelf.

Before proceeding to make a bookshelf here are some precautionary measures you have to keep in mind.

  1. Be sure that you are well informed on how to use the power tools you are about to use. Always read the manual that goes with each tool.
  2. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from wood splinters.
  3. Make sure that the working area is safe and that children are not allowed within that area.

Given the space, tools and materials, you are ready to make your own customized bookshelf. Here are the basic steps in making a bookshelf.

1. Make a check list of the tools you will need:

  • Circular saw, radial arm saw
  • Workbench or sawhorses
  • Drill or drill press
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Sander (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Hammer

2. Measure the space available for the bookshelf or where you would like to put it.

3. Make a shopping list of the materials you will use:

  • Wood for the frame
  • Wood for the vertical and horizontal partitions
  • Woodscrews
  • Plywood for the back of the bookshelf
  • Supporting pins
  • Wire brads to mount the back
  • Wood putty
  • Paint or varnish

4. Design first a box-like structure for the frame of the bookshelf. Be sure that it will fit the space well.

5. Cut the wood for the frame and mount it on the plywood backing.

6. Prepare the vertical and horizontal partitions you would like to put in the bookshelf.

7. Drill holes in the horizontal partitions and mount in the frame box.

8. Drill holes in the vertical partitions for shelves to make mounting easier in the frame box and horizontal partitions.

9. Mount the vertical sections into the frame box and horizontal partitions.

10. Put putty in joints to give the bookshelf a smooth finish.

11. Paint or varnish depending on the finish you would like to have.

Now you're all done. As a last precautionary measure, check that the bookshelf is securely mounted on the wall to avoid it from falling, and then take a look at the beautiful work of art you have made.


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