Maple Shelves for Books

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Project by blackdogwoodshop posted 03-20-2008 04:04 AM 1791 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished these shelves up last weekend. These match the set that I made two years ago for my son. He had outgrown the other set and needed a place to keep his books. This set is made from Maple like the others, but these shelves are taller and narrower.

Overall, the shelves are 52” tall, 28” wide, and 10” deep. I based the dimensions on the various sizes of books he currently has, the space available in his room, and the shelf span needed to prevent sagging under the heavy load of books.

I used the Sagulator from the Fine Woodworking website to help make sure the shelves won’t sag under the heavy load of books. The Sagulator is an online calculator for calculating shelf sag. I took 12” stack of his largest books and weighed them (15 lbs.). I knew I would be using 1/2” Maple. Based on these inputs, the calculator helped me in determining the span for the center shelves. I also decided to make the bottom two shelves 1/16” thicker than the other shelves since they can hold taller books. According to the tool, this was not necessary, but it seemed safer. Also, I like the grounded look it gives the piece.

The joinery, the details, and the finish are all the same as the original set. The color and grain is a good match to the original set.

-- Daniel, Southern Indiana -- "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." --

5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4797 days

#1 posted 03-20-2008 04:18 AM

Hi Daniel,

These are nice shelves and I like the color and finish you put on them. These were sorely needed I am sure.

I am not sure how to break this to you though but it looks like you need more shelves. :)

Oh well, another shop project.

Keep the posts coming.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4964 days

#2 posted 03-20-2008 04:23 AM

Great looking shelves. That’s a VERY bright blue you got there!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View blackdogwoodshop's profile


72 posts in 4704 days

#3 posted 03-20-2008 04:26 AM

Scott, I don’t ever seem to have enough shelves. I’m sure I’ll be building more soon!

-- Daniel, Southern Indiana -- "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." --

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5041 days

#4 posted 03-20-2008 06:09 AM

Good looking shelves. They came out nice.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4850 days

#5 posted 03-20-2008 11:06 AM

Great job on the shelves. Thanks for the reminder on the sagulator. I had seen it but forgot about it.

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