Bookcase around window

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Forum topic by Ntaskani posted 01-16-2017 09:11 AM 1074 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2002 days

01-16-2017 09:11 AM

I’m planning a project that would put bookcase around the periphery of a window (see photo). I’m trying to figure out how to secure the bridge on top of the window. I’d like the book case to have same depth all around the window (about 11.5 inch depth). Nothing heavy will be put on the bridge (no books, maybe just photos or just decorative items), but I would still like to have enough strength just in case.

The width of window is 78”, and the distance between window and ceiling is 12 inches.

Also will be putting crown molding on top all the way across bookcase.

Any help in how I can secure the bridge would be appreciated.

Thank you.

4 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3876 days

#1 posted 01-16-2017 01:58 PM

Well i’m assuming you just wanting a flat shelf? If so, I’d use ply trimmed in hardwood crown and attach a 1” strip to the window header and use that lip to attach the rear to and attach to the side book cases and be done.

If you want a full height top (to ceiling), then I’d do a box with dividers and put it on top of the to side book cases at the top and finish with crown. In other words, 2 side book cases and 1 top small book case that spans the first two.

If it were me, I’d add a window bench seat and encororporate storage into it and tie it all to gether. As to adding the crown I’d check out Charles Neil’s way off attaching trim that prevents you from having to hide contact methods i.e. nails etc. If Painting then don’t matter nail away.

Many ways to skin that cat. Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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17 posts in 2002 days

#2 posted 01-16-2017 09:06 PM

Thank you for the reply.

I would like to have a full height top to the ceiling, but the problem is that to build a box that would span the entire length of the wall, it would have be a 12 foot box ! My shop itself is 13 feet wide! ha ha.

Just wondering if there is a way of avoiding building such a wide box….thoughts?


View jdmaher's profile


468 posts in 3388 days

#3 posted 01-17-2017 01:20 AM

Well, you’ll have two cases, on the two sides of the window, right? Those could be floor-to-ceiling. Maybe a window seat box beneath the window. So the only issue is the box OVER-the-window (what you call a “bridge”), which would be 78” wide by 12” high, right?

The over-the-window box should probably have two vertical sides and two internal vertical dividers (as supports; I’d dovetail the ends into the top and bottom boards). All the boxes should have a back, in a dado, nailed and maybe glued. You could either use a thick back or add cross-braces horizontally. Screw through those cross braces to studs in the wall.

That’s probably enough, but if you want to be extra certain on the over-the-window box, ALSO screw through the top into ceiling joists. With that, your “bridge” could support just about anything (reasonable).

As someone already said, I’d use plywood for the box carcasses and hardwood for the face frame and moldings. Plenty strong.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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17 posts in 2002 days

#4 posted 01-17-2017 02:38 AM

Thank you. That’s why I come here…what a great resource!

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