Barrister Bookcase

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Project by PeteCollin posted 01-20-2022 05:49 PM 1009 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all,
I have been wanting a barrister style bookcase for my office. Forced air heat blows around a lot of dust at my place (despite having filters), so glass doors will keep dust off my books stored things.

I surfed around the internet and found a good set of plans at:

I changed the design a little to make it fit in the space. It became a stack of 5 with removable base and crown.
I had to figure out how to attach the shelves to the sides, because it’s a classic cross grain situation. I decided to have the sides sit in a half-dovetail joint, glued in front and nailed in the back. Each case has a tab in front that locks them together when stacked. Now that it’s in place, the tall, beefy setup seems pretty stable.

I have to wait for summer to put the finish on. Curing varnish in my dusty, wood-heated shop won’t do.

13 comments so far

View VanDesignWoodworkin's profile


1039 posts in 258 days

#1 posted 01-20-2022 07:18 PM

Looks great… I love barrister book shelves!

-- "What do you mean, 'Give me some wild cherry gall?' What do you think, this stuff grows on trees or something?"

View 987Ron's profile


3810 posts in 776 days

#2 posted 01-20-2022 08:20 PM

Nicely done. Joints are nice and tight.

-- Ron

View Oldtool's profile


3511 posts in 3650 days

#3 posted 01-20-2022 08:56 PM

Impressive, beautiful craftsmanship. Nice addition to your office.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Redoak49's profile (online now)


5585 posts in 3448 days

#4 posted 01-20-2022 09:30 PM

Really nice…

View TDominy's profile


225 posts in 4001 days

#5 posted 01-20-2022 10:18 PM

I have been considering this build too. Did you use the slides for the doors, or something else?

-- By hammer in hand, all things do stand.

View PeteCollin's profile


92 posts in 2761 days

#6 posted 01-20-2022 10:36 PM

I have been considering this build too. Did you use the slides for the doors, or something else?

- TDominy

There is no need for store bought hardware. Dowels run in grooves, with dowels for stops top and bottom. I should have photographed that.

View mtnwild's profile


4861 posts in 4987 days

#7 posted 01-21-2022 12:34 AM

Love the barrister book cases.

Great project, well done.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View swirt's profile


7683 posts in 4431 days

#8 posted 01-21-2022 01:58 AM

Nice work. I have a set of these on my bucket list.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Peteybadboy's profile


4844 posts in 3409 days

#9 posted 01-21-2022 12:28 PM

You did a nice job. I always looked at those when antiquing.

-- Petey

View ohwoodeye's profile


2775 posts in 4613 days

#10 posted 01-21-2022 07:14 PM

Looks great. Offers lots of room to store the books you will never touch again :)
Dovetails turned out nicely.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View recycle1943's profile


7005 posts in 3081 days

#11 posted 01-21-2022 07:17 PM

nice job – I don’t have the talent for that type of build so I traded some labor for a “pie safe” 20 years ago.
They didn’t know what it was and even when I told them, they didn’t care.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View gsimon's profile


1338 posts in 3573 days

#12 posted 01-22-2022 01:46 AM

great work!

-- Greg Simon

View SMEAC's profile


23 posts in 725 days

#13 posted 01-29-2022 02:41 AM

Looks great! I have two stacks in my study and my youngest daughter just asked for a stack last week

-- S/F, Shannon *** “Smooth is fast, Fast is Smooth..”.

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