Beginning Woodworking: Building a Simple Bookcase

Are you thinking of making or building a bookcase for your home? Well, actually it is not very difficult if you have all the material and know the steps for making this thing. Here we will tell you how to make a wooden bookcase in a few simple steps.

  1. Get the dimensions – First of all choose the place where you will set the bookcase and get the dimensions accordingly. Also Birch veneer plywood is ideal for building bookcases
  2. Measure and cut plywood frame – With your wood and dimensions in hand, you are ready to cut the top, sides, and interior shelves out of three fourth inches of birch plywood. Since it comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets, it is easier for a table saw to rip down the lumber length you require.
  3. Cut Plywood to Length- Use a miter saw to cut the top, side panels and interior shelves to the right length. The miter saw will make a cleaner, more controlled cut than the table saw, and is a better choice for smaller pieces of lumber.
  4. Mark the sides for the shelves – The interior shelves need to be rabbet cut into the two side panels of the frame by using a router. Rabbeting the shelves will make the unit much stronger and allow the shelves to support more weight. To make sure you router these the rabbet grooves at the same position in both side panels, lay them side by side on a table and screw a piece of scrap wood across both ends of the panels,. This will ensure that your lines are straight and even. Then, draw a 3/4” strip across both side panels where you want the first shelf and all places where you want to put in the shelf in the unit. It is best to space the shelves 16 inches apart.
  5. Cut the joints – After marking the grooves on the shelves, router them out, which will create the rabbit joints. To do this, clamp a level or straight edge along the shelf lines.
  6. Assemble the unit – Start by affixing the top to the two side panels using wood glue and nails. Then, install the shelves by putting glue in the rabbet joints and sliding the shelves into the joints, one by one. Next add finish nails through the outside of the unit to hold the shelves in place.
  7. Complete the face – Now cover the rough plywood edges with nice finished piece of 1-1/4″ poplar. Cut it of the same length as the exterior panels using a miter saw. The angles should be joined at 45-degree angle cuts for a smooth, tailored look. Use wood glue and nails to attach the finish framing to the bookcase
  8. Finish it – Give 24 hours for the wood glue to fully dry, and then sand it smooth and fill the nail holes with putty. Use a cloth to wipe off any sawdust created by sanding, and then paint the unit to give it the right finish.

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