Books! More Books!

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Project by Lukas posted 03-28-2014 07:00 PM 1609 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Both my wife and I love books (I admit, my wife is better at it) but the shelves we had we’re crappy, overflowing and falling apart. When she asked me for an additional book shelf for her birthday I decided to go overboard, as I like to do, and build her a “library”.

I spotted some “cabinet grade plywood” on sale at the orange home improvement store and decided that I could actually afford to build this. When I got there to pick it up however, they had only about half as many sheets left than I needed. One of the managers decided to let me have oak plywood instead for the same price. So I hauled a bunch of 3/4” cabinet grade oak plywood home for the price of discounted pine and got to work. Since this was supposed to be a birthday present, I had to keep her out of the shop. My son is five and his promise of not telling mommy goes like this: “Daddy is NOT building you a bookshelf!” So he was banned from the shop as well.

I build the carcasses and the base frames they rest on in my shop. The carcasses are 3/4” plywood with dadoes for the fixed shelves and tops, glued and nailed with small finishing nails. The backs are 1/4” plywood.
The base frames are made of 2×4 dimensional lumber and are supposed to be covered by base boards (yeah yeah, one day I’ll finish it).

The face frames were installed after the shelf was in place since the carcasses share stiles and the whole library is too big to move in one piece. I didn’t own a jointer or a planer back then so the face frame is made out of S4S 1×3 material.

The finish is supposed to mimic the espresso color of the other furniture in the room but it ended up being a little bit too light. Still looks good. I do regret however that I only stained it and didn’t put a clear coat on top of it. It would have protected the wood even better and made it smoother. Lesson learned.

Probably the hardest part was taking a picture of it. The room is too small to easily get a good overview and the lighting is cozy at best. Combine that with a iPhone 3GS camera, known for it’s outstanding quality and the missing flash and … well at least you can tell what it is.

This project was done in June 2012.

Edit: I borrowed a DSLR camera from a friend and shot a little bit better pictures so I replaced the initial ones in this post.


8 comments so far

View Northwest29's profile


1688 posts in 3096 days

#1 posted 03-28-2014 09:22 PM

Very nicely done – what a thoughtful guy you are. But I think I still see an empty wall in that room. (-:

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View AandCstyle's profile


3263 posts in 2863 days

#2 posted 03-28-2014 11:23 PM

It looks like you did a great job and undoubtedly scored enough brownie points to buy the new tools. Is that a window behind the blue curtain or didn’t you want the world to know that you have a Van Gogh hanging in your library? lol

-- Art

View Lukas's profile


30 posts in 2773 days

#3 posted 03-29-2014 12:07 AM

@Northwest29 Don’t give her ideas.
@AandCstyle Yes that is a window, and an ugly one as well. That and the fact that this is the bedroom… err I mean library… is why we usually keep the curtains closed.


View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3638 days

#4 posted 03-29-2014 04:40 AM

Very Nice and Well done! Thanks for Posting.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View clieb91's profile


3700 posts in 4541 days

#5 posted 03-29-2014 01:08 PM

Great gift. Look like it has turned out real nice, and been put to good use.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3472 days

#6 posted 03-29-2014 04:37 PM

That’s a great collection of books and you’ve certainly built a wonderful home for them.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Lukas's profile


30 posts in 2773 days

#7 posted 03-30-2014 02:38 AM

Thank you all. I updated the pictures today after I got my hands on a good camera for a weekend.


View realcowtown_eric's profile


623 posts in 2543 days

#8 posted 03-30-2014 04:06 AM

Whatzat.. empty shelves….

For me, normally it takes 3-4’ stacks of books on the floor before I add another bookshelf.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

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