How to Build a Fixed-shelf Bookcase

Cutting and Preparing the Parts Step 1

Glue and clamp two 1x8x32-inch clear pine boards to form the top shelf (A). Remove the glue squeeze-out from the joint lines. Set aside to dry.

Step 2

Measure and mark cut lines on 1x12 pine boards for sides (B) at 30 inches and for the bottom shelf (C) and middle shelf (D) at 28-1/2 inches. Sand all sharp edges.

Step 3

With a circular saw and a layout square as a guide, crosscut the sides, bottom, and shelf to the specified lengths.

Step 4

Using the setup in Step 3, mark and crosscut toe-kick rails (E) to length from 1x4 pine stock.

Step 5

With a circular saw, crosscut the apron rails (G) and top mounting cleats (H) to length from 1x2 pine.

Step 6

Use a tablesaw (or straightedge and a circular saw) to rip the top shelf (A) to 13-1/4 inches. Sand all edges.

Options to Consider: Add Handles to the Sides

Want a nifty portable unit? Build this bookcase with handles in the sides and you can easily move it anywhere. For this option, extend the sides to 34 inches tall and replace the top shelf (A) with another middle shelf (D).

The handhold cutouts are easy to create. To make the cutouts at the bottom of the sides, follow similar steps. Mark the cutouts along the bottom edge, 1-1/2 inches in from the sides.

You can rout a slight roundover on the insides of all the cutouts, as shown in Step 4. Sand the roundovers if you don't have a router.

Add Handles to the Sides: Step 1

For handles, draw two 1-1/2-inch-diameter circles. Join them with straight lines to form an oval.

Add Handles to the Sides: Step 2

Drill the holes with a 1-1/2-inch spade bit. (When the bit's pilot point breaks through the back, flip the board and finish the hole.)

Add Handles to the Sides: Step 3

Complete the cutouts with a jigsaw.

Add Handles to the Sides: Step 4

Rout the inside of the cutout with a 1/8-inch roundover bit.

Continued on page 3:  Assembling the Pieces


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