Create a storage masterpiece in minutes!
Built-in bookshelves can make a huge difference in a room. They can make it look so much cosier, and they also provide plenty of storage space, which in case of bedrooms and living rooms comes in really handy. From books to DVDs, built-in bookshelves help you keep things more organized, and the room tidier, while also making good use of the space available. If you were to take a look around your home you will surely find various areas and unused corners where you could build a built-in bookshelf. Let us go over how it can be done with some basic tools and using either plywood or cut to size MDF sheets.
Start off by identifying the area where you could incorporate a built-in bookshelf. Measure it so as to determine the size of the shelves you will be building, and how many you could include in that space. Once you have determined the measurements of the shelves, purchase the MDF or plywood sheets accordingly. You will be able to find various thicknesses, and since these shelves will be holding books, you need to take into account that there is going to be a considerable weight on them. So keep that in mind when buying the MDF or plywood sheets. Generally it is best to opt for plywood instead of MDF for such a project because plywood holds screws better.
Mark the measurements on the plywood and use a table saw to cut out the pieces. Rest the plywood sheet on a roller table or on sawhorses so as to facilitate the cutting process. If you do not have a table saw you could also use a circular saw, but make sure you manage to make straight cuts and then finish off with a handsaw.
At the ends of the top shelf you will need to cut rabbet joints. This is best done using a radial-arm saw. Make sure you cut at increments until the track is wide enough as the thickness of the plywood sheet. This is important to allow the top shelf to rest properly on the two sides and you will thus be able to achieve a more secure fit.
If you are going to have adjustable shelves, you can use a pegboard as a template to drill holes for them. To do this more quickly mark the center shelf’s location, and then draw reference lines across the holes that are on the pegboard so as to ensure that you do this evenly. You should drill slightly deeper than the length of the pegs, and adjust the ideal depth according to the thickness you are using.
Next attach the support blocks for the center shelf. To do this use glue as well as finish nails. When driving the nails into the wood make sure that their head is just above the surface area, and then use a nail set to drive the nail just below the surface. Afterwards drill and countersink the pilot holes for the top part and attach with glue and wood screws. Next apply wood glue to the support blocks of the center shelf and attach it. Repeat this process for the bottom shelf.
Now you can attach the bookshelf’s back panel. Fasten it with 1 inch brads starting from one corner. When you are done you can move on to the trim. Often 1inch by 2inch trim pieces to the bottom and side edges of a bookshelf are ideal. These can be attached with nails and glue. The top trim can be attached later. Any sharp edges should be rounded or smoothened at this point. This can be done using a router with a half inch roundover. If you are going to have edge molding, you can glue and nail it at this point. Be careful not to split the molding.
It is recommended to install a kick plate as it will help to hide off screw heads and the result will be neater. Drill and countersink the pilot holes for the kick plate and then cover up any screw heads with wood filler. Now you can prime and paint your bookshelf.
Once the paint has dried well, dry fit the bookshelf to see that it fits well and so as to prepare the area where it will be installed. You may need to remove any short sections and this can be done carefully using a hammer and a chisel. Next you can move on to attaching the bookshelf to the wall. Drill pilot holes through the back panel into the wall studs. Then, toenail the shelf to the wall by means of screws. It is best to have someone help you to do this process. Make sure you do not drill through the inside of the bookshelf. Finally you can attach the nailer to the top shelf and the trim. Cover any nail holes and touch up any areas for neatness, insert the pegs and place the adjustable shelves, and you are done!