How to Build a Ladder Bookcase

For use as a bookcase or as display shelves, this ladder bookcase is unique and handsome.

This handsome and unusual bookcase leans against a wall like a ladder. Each shelf is deeper than the one above, providing a place for books or items of all sizes.

While the bookcase has a beautiful handcrafted look, it is actually simple to construct. Consider building more than one bookcase; once you set up for each step, it takes little time to repeat the step. And this bookcase makes a terrific gift.

Material and finish
This bookcase is crafted of oak, which is readily available at home centers. You can use any hardwood you like, such as cherry, walnut, or ash. If you want to stain the bookcase, maple or poplar are two woods that take stain evenly. The bookcase is finished with wipe-on polyurethane that's easy to apply and allows the beauty of the wood to shine through.

Checklist

Time
An afternoon or evening to build plus an hour to finish

Tools
Hammer, nail set, bar clamps, tablesaw or circular saw with rip guide, power mitersaw or circular saw with crosscutting jig, electric drill/driver with stop, 1/8-inch bit and 1/2-inch spade bit, jigsaw, tape measure, compass, sander

Skills
Sawing, gluing, clamping

Prep
Prepare a work area

Exploded View
 
Continued on page 2:  Cutting the Parts

 

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