Here are the basics of building a
six-foot, DIY bookshelf and some embellishments you can add to make it a
bit more stylish. It's best to start by pre-cutting all the lumber you'll need
for your project. We'll provide the exact dimensions, as well as a tools and
materials list at the end of the video. Begin by taking the two 6-foot boards
you cut to serve as the side panels, and lay them side by side. Check that they're
flush at both the top and bottom. Make marks on each side panel at three and a
quarter, fourteen and three eighths, 28 and thirteen sixteenths, forty three and
three sixteenths, and fifty seven and five-eighths.
These lines mark the
locations for the shelves. Next, move on to the five pre-cut shelves. These will
be of equal length. The longer sixth board will serve as the top frame of the
bookcase. You'll need to cut a pocket at each of the four corners using a pocket
hole jig and a clamp. When drilling pocket holes, set the pocket hole depth
on the jig to match the thickness of the material you will be drilling through. In
this case, 3/4 of an inch.
Then, also adjust the depth collar on the fit to
3/4 of an inch. Use an allen wrench to loosen and
tighten the collar as needed. The setting should be measured from the shoulder of
the drill bit, not the tip. The shoulder is where the wider cutting edge of the
drill bit begins. It's best to use the outer edge of the jig as a spacer and to
drill the pockets using the hole farthest from the edge of the shelf.
If you drill pockets too close to the corners, you may split the wood. When done,
set the shelves aside. Now begin assembling the bookshelf by attaching
the shelves to one of the two side panels. Start with the top frame of the
bookshelf. Apply a bead of wood glue along the edge of the top frame. Check
that the edges are flush and attach it with a brad gun. You can use a hammer and
nails, but using a nail gun will speed the job and recess the nails.
Now move on to the bottom shelf.
Apply glue to the edge and, with the pocket
holes facing downwards, place it on the lowest mark you made earlier as guides
for the shelves. Check that the edges are flush with the edges of the side panels
and drive one-and-a-quarter-inch screws into the pocket holes. Repeat this
process for the rest of the shelves, lining up the bottom of each shelf with
the guidelines. Once all the shelves are attached to the one side panel, apply a
bead of glue to the unattached edge of each shelf. Place the second side panel
into position. Apply glue to the top edge and use the brad nailer to attach the
top frame. Adjust each shelf as needed and position a clamp so the shelf
doesn't shift while driving in the pocket screws. Drill pocket holes into
the sides of the toe kick. Use the rubber mallet to tap the toe kick into place./
This toe kick can be centered between the side panels to give the bottom shelf
added stability, or it can be recessed three inches from the front of the
bottom shelf for a more finished appearance.
Attach with one-and-a-quarter-inch pocket screws. With the basic frame of the bookshelf complete, move on to the
face frames. Attach the pre-cut one-by-twos to the frame using glue and clamps,
and then drive in nails. These nails should be centered on the edge of the
side panels, not the center of the face frame. The face frame will overlap the
side panel three-quarters of an inch. It should be flush with the outer edges of
the top bottom and sides of the bookshelf. The two side boards should be
sandwiched between the top and bottom one-by-twos. To give your bookshelf a
more formal look, trim the top with molding. The front, left, and right molding
pieces can be joined using 45-degree miter cuts.
Attach the molding using glue and nails. The joints don't need to fit perfectly.
Any small gaps can be corrected with wood filler. Also, attach molding to the
edges of each shelf. If you plan to stain your bookshelf, choose wood molding. MDF
molding won't hold stain properly; however, MDF is fine if you plan to paint
To conceal any visible pocket holes and screws, apply glue to
each pocket hole plug and insert them into the holes, After the glue dries and
the project is complete, any excess plug above the surface will be sanded off.
Fill all nail holes with wood filler and allow it to dry. Sand the entire
bookshelf with 220-grit sandpaper, and you're ready to paint or stain. Position
the pre-cut underlayment on the back of the bookshelf, checking that it's flush
with all the edges. It's best to apply whatever finish you choose to the back
panel before attaching it to the bookshelf. The panel is then attached to
the frame with nails. To add some flair to your bookshelf, you can paint the back
panel a complementary or contrasting color. It's a great way to tie the piece
in with the rest of your decor or try adding wallpaper to the back panel. Here are all the materials you'll need to
build your DIY bookshelf. Here is a cut list for the lumber needed
to complete this project. And lastly, you'll need the following
tools for the job.
For more detailed information about this
and many other projects check out the DIY projects and ideas section of
homedepot.com or talk to one of our store associates.
To find out more about these plans for building a DIY bookshelf, check out our
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