Shaker Adjustable Bookshelf in Reclaimed White Pine

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Project by AgentTwitch posted 05-12-2012 04:38 PM 8099 views 22 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished this bookshelf for a friend who is completing his masters degree in theology. Over the course of the past few years he has collected lots of books! I found some white pine that was removed from a church steeple during a renovation. After lots of sanding, there are still some pitch pockets, nail holes, water stains and some of that blue staining pine can get. He didnt want me to hide any of the pine’s defects (and I even added my own by dropping pipe clamps on it and scratching some other surfaces while moving a tool out of the way…completely on purpose, of course…:-/

The bookshelf is about 55” tall, 34” wide and 13” deep. It has adjustable wooden standards that allow you to adjust the shelves every 3”. It is made entirely of eastern white pine, the back is ship-lapped with cock bead detail.

It is naturally finished with BLO, satin poly and rubbed out with #0000 steel wool. I hope that its final location in his house will have plenty of light to make it turn that wonderful orange that EWP turns with age/light.

Lots of lessons learned on this. Took entirely too long to build. Looking forward to the next project.

-- Regards, Norm

12 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4053 days

#1 posted 05-12-2012 06:50 PM

Great looking cabinet. Your friend should be happy with it.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View syeret's profile


99 posts in 4372 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 12:02 AM

Nice looking bookcase and it is even more appealing as it is made from reclaimed wood.

If you have, I would love to get plans for that bookcase.

View ChuckV's profile


3370 posts in 4583 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 12:31 AM

Great job. I really like the looks of that piece.

I built a couple of pie safes that have a similar shelf system. It looks like you used a drill press to make the openings for the shelf supports. I used a table saw to produce V-shaped notches. How did you make sure that the holes were level with each other in all four pieces? Did you drill through two double-wide boards at once and then rip the two boards down the center to create the four pieces with semi-circles?

Congratulations on building the bookcase!

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View John's profile


341 posts in 4854 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 12:44 AM

great looking piece, nice proportions and lines! the shelf supports are so much nicer than the typical barrage of 1/4” holes

-- John - Central PA -

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4552 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 01:54 AM

Chuckv: thanks! You got it. That is how it was done.. I looked at the v notch method first, but the pine is brittle, this seemed a little stronger.

JC: thanks!

-- Regards, Norm

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3268 days

#6 posted 05-13-2012 01:08 PM

Recycled wood is a favorite topic for me, so good work from that account alone. But the adjustable shelf idea is fantastic, I’m certainly going to use that on my next bookcase project.

-- Visit my blog at

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4247 days

#7 posted 05-13-2012 02:22 PM

Nice shelf, I remember seeing that shelf adjustment system on one of Norms old projects. Nice build!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4612 days

#8 posted 05-13-2012 04:03 PM

Beautiful bookcase, and I really like you shelf system, much better than the regular pin and hole setup

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4552 days

#9 posted 05-14-2012 12:52 PM

syeret: I am afraid my plans are written on some scrap paper and some random pieces of lumber. I will try to collect the scribbles and doodles and make some sense of them incase I am to build another one.

I was highly influenced by Jeff Miller and another bookcase that can be seen here:

-- Regards, Norm

View syeret's profile


99 posts in 4372 days

#10 posted 05-14-2012 06:55 PM

Thanks for the link Norm, in case you will create a plan I’ll be glad to see it.

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4090 days

#11 posted 05-19-2012 02:03 PM

Love it, so beautiful!

-- ~Julie~

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3561 days

#12 posted 05-19-2012 03:35 PM

What a nice build. A classic that will stand the test of time.

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