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Bookcase Plan - Built-In Bookcases
Bookcase Plan - Built-In Bookcases Transform a room into a library! Take advantage of unused wall space with this easy-to-build bookcase plan. For about $350, you can create an entire wall of shelves to hold hundreds of books and knick knacks.
closer look photo
Bookcase plan features simple butt joints and screws. Adjustable shelves rest on shelf pins that snap into metal standards. Easy-to-manage sections can be built in the shop—then moved to a room for installation. This project appeared in Workbench magazine No. 286.
What you getWHAT YOU GET
12 pages of step-by-step instructions
Full-color photos and exploded views
Shop tips & techniques
Materials list and cutting diagram
All for only $9.95
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Most bookcases and display shelves are placed in a room wherever they fit. In this bookcase plan, however, the bookcase is the room — or at least one wall of it. The nice thing about a project plan like this is that it takes advantage of an enormous amount of wall space that typically goes unused. Just look at all the books and knick-knacks on this shelf, yet nothing seems crowded or squeezed in.

A less obvious advantage of this bookcase plan is how incredibly simple it is to build and install. All of the casework is built using butt joints and screws. The shelves, all of which are adjustable, rest on shelf pins that snap into metal standards. To keep the size of the project manageable, the bookcase is built in sections that are tied together as they’re installed. The finishing touches are equally simple. A bit of crown molding, a touch of trim, and a coat of paint complete the picture.

Of course, this simple styling does more than just keep down the complexity and cost of the plan. It also ensures that the items these shelves hold — not the shelves themselves — are on display.

Modular Construction
To make it easy to adapt this bookcase plan to fit any room, it’s designed to be built and installed as a group of individual modules. There are three types ofcomponents: the bookcases (three wide units and a narrow one), bases to support the bookcases, and a door surround. Trim pieces tie all these elements together for an integrated look.

The bookcases are simply tall boxes made of 3/4" medium-density fiberboard (MDF). For this room, we designed this bookcase plan to include three 30"-wide cases and an 18"-wide unit. Assembled with butt joints and screws, the cases are set side by side and screwed together, creating a thick vertical line as a visual element between units. Adjustable shelves, also made of MDF, are edged with wide bands of hardwood to prevent sagging.

Door Surround
The door surround is an inverted U-shaped unit that straddles the door opening. Here again, the sides of the surround butt against the bookcases, carrying the vertical design element across the row of bookcases. A single fixed shelf adds rigidity.

Simple base units elevate the cases off the floor. Made of MDF and assembled with butt joints and screws, the bases are secured to the wall. The bookcases are fastened to the bases with nails.

Trim Details
It’s the hardwood trim that distinguishes this project, visually tying all the elements together. Made of economical poplar, the trim pieces are nailed in place as shown, then painted along with the bookcases.

Bookcase Plan - Built-In Bookcases