How to Build an Adjustable-shelf Bookcase

This adjustable-shelf bookcase includes double-wall construction with concealed edges and flush sides.

This bookcase has two adjustable shelves. Its double-wall construction adds strength to the unit while concealing the plywood edges and creates flush sides that allow you to slide books out without catching them on the face frame. You can easily make it taller, and its subassembly construction goes so quickly that you may want to build two of them at the same time to flank a window or fireplace.

Other materials
Red oak plywood is the material of choice here, but you can save money by using melamine-coated fiberboard and concealing the edges with veneer tape. Painted birch plywood is another practical option, and it's stronger than fiberboard. Built as shown, the bookcase makes an impressive addition to your home.


About 8 hours to build, plus finishing time

Tape measure, try square, framing square, electric drill/driver, bits, countersink bit, table saw, circular saw, bar clamps, router, router bits, hammer, nail set, needle-nose pliers, sander

Measuring, sawing

Assemble materials and tools, prepare large work area

Exploded View
Materials Needed
Continued on page 2:  Drill Shelf-Pin Holes


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