How to Build an Adjustable-shelf Bookcase

Make and Install the Top Step 1

Cut the plywood top (K) to size. Position it on the bookcase carcase, clamp, and fasten it in place with #8x1-1/4-inch flathead wood screws in counterbored holes from the inside. Drill carefully; use the correct length screws and don't go through the top.

Step 2

Rip and crosscut the top front edging (L) and the top side edges (M). Measure and miter-cut both ends of the front edging to length, then glue and clamp it to the front edge of the top.

Step 3

With the front edging in place, double-check the mitered lengths for the side edges. Miter-cut one end of each and dry-fit to the top. Glue and clamp the side edges in place.

Consider the Options: Trim with Cove Molding

The design options for this bookcase include a top made of edge-joined solid oak. Round top edges with a router and roundover bit, then add 3/4-inch oak cove molding beneath it.

Top Edge Options

You can give the bookcase top a more finished look without adding edge molding. Rout its top and bottom with a 1/8-inch roundover bit (top photo). Rout the piece on a router table before it's attached or by working with a handheld router after it is attached to the case.

Another option is to add a profiled molding to the top edge.

Continued on page 6:  Complete the Basic Assembly


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