Reply by JBrow

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Posted on looking for pointers on my bookshelf design

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1368 posts in 1802 days

#1 posted 01-19-2018 03:41 AM


In addition to pocket screws (which I have not used) and mortise and tenon joinery, lap joinery could be considered for assembling the end frame’s top and bottom rails. The top front rail that supports the top could be attached to the legs with either pocket screws or a lap joint. I assume the center and bottom front rails are also part of the bookcase frame and therefore could be similarly attached.

An option for installing the x-braces would be to apply a thin piece of oak (3/4” x ¾” or ½” x ¾”, or even ¼” x ¾”) to the ends of the x-brace, top and bottom. The connectors could then be glued or pin-nailed to the bottom edge of the top end rail and to the top edge of the bottom rail. The x-brace ends would offer end grain as a glue surface so reinforcing the x-brace to connector joint with a mechanical fastener would make this joint stronger. The x-brace could also be joined to the connectors with a lap joint and mechanical fasteners would be unnecessary (shown in the sketch).

If the shelves are supported all along the length of the shelves at the back and front, most, if not all sagging would be mitigated. The center and bottom shelves could either set in a rabbet in the front rail (as shown by Bill-Steele) or set atop the center and bottom front rails.

A front to back 1-1/4” wide set on edge centered stretcher would offer added insurance against sagging. I would also be inclined to add cleats to the end frame bottom rails on which the ends of the bottom shelf would rest. While it may not be necessary, the center self let into a shallow dado in the legs and x-brace would add a little more support to the center shelf.

You mentioned an angle bracket and a slot for attaching the bookcase top to the frame. I assume you had tabletop fasteners in mind.

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