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Build a Bookcase

Project Overview

Build a Bookcase

Build a custom bookcase to match other décor elements and watch it mesh seamlessly with your room – whatever your style.

11 Steps

  1. Cut panels
  2. Cut top, bottom and shelves
  3. Cut shelf dados
  4. Shape base
  5. Cut crown and base
  1. Attach crown and base
  2. Assemble cabinet body
  3. Attach moulding
  4. Attach base
  5. Add support blocks
  6. Finishing
Show all steps »
Cut panels

Step 1

Cut panels

Determine the dimensions of your bookcase. Ours has 6 equally spaced openings of 13-5/16". Using a table saw, rip the two 1" x 12" x 8' laminated pine panels to 11" wide for the sides. Cut a 3/8" x 3/8" rabbet on one long edge to accept cabinet back.

Cut top, bottom and shelves

Step 2

Cut top, bottom and shelves

Using a compound mitre saw, cut the top, bottom and shelves to length. The top and bottom are cut to 36" and the interior shelves are 35-1/4" to accommodate dados in the sides.

Cut shelf dados

Step 3

Cut shelf dados

To cut the shelf dados, make a router jig from 3/4" MDF. Mark the sides at 5 equal spaces – or at positions of your choice. Rout 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep dados in the sides to accept the 5 interior shelves.

Shape base

Step 4

Shape base

Using a jig saw, cut a scroll design detail in the front panel of the poplar base. We first created a template for the scroll from scrap MDF baseboard then transferred the pattern to the poplar base.

Cut crown and base

Step 5

Cut crown and base

Using a compound mitre saw, cut/mitre the crown moulding to form the top and the baseboard to form the base. These will wrap the 36" top and bottom panels respectively.

Attach crown and base

Step 6

Attach crown and base

Glue and pin the crown and base to the top and bottom panels with carpenter's glue and 1-1/4" 18-gauge brad nails.

Assemble cabinet body

Step 7

Assemble cabinet body

Glue the 5 interior shelves into their corresponding dados in each side. Attach the top to the carcass with glue and 1-1/2" #8 screws. Square up and clamp the carcass to the work surface at this point, until the glue dries.

Attach moulding

Step 8

Attach moulding

Attach moulding to the front sides and front edge of shelves with 3/4" 18-gauge brad nails.

Attach base

Step 9

Attach base

Attach base to carcass using carpenter's glue and countersunk 1-1/2" #8 woodscrews.

Add support blocks

Step 10

Add support blocks

Cut support blocks from 1 x 4 pine. Glue and clamp the blocks into the corners of the base

Finishing

Step 11

Finishing

Stain and seal the cabinet before the back is installed. Stain the tongue and groove pine paneling for the back. Then complete the cabinet by attaching the paneling with carpenter's glue and 3/4" 18-gauge brad nails. You may have to rip the last strip of paneling to fit.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 4 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

Materials

  • 1 Quart Wood Stain
  • 1 Quart Sealer
  • Laminated Pine: 1" x 1" x 3" & 7 Pieces
  • Laminated Pine: 1" x 12" x 8" & 2 Pieces
  • Poplar Base Moulding 3/4" x 4-1/4" & 150
  • Crown Moulding
  • Small Beaded Trim Moulding For Shelf Edging
  • Symmetrical Beaded Trim Moulding For Side Edges 2 Pieces
  • Tongue & Groove Pine: 24 Sq. Ft.
  • Carpenter's Glue
  • 1-1/2" #8 Wood Screws

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