Sunday, October 24, 2010

Built in bookcases pt. 1

I've been working on built-in bookcases for my daughter's bedroom.
The bookcases will be on both sides of the window, with a desk spanning the length underneath.

It's taking a while to construct because for just about every step that I take with the bookcases, I have to figure out how/if it will affect the desk.
Here are a few pics of the progress to this point:

                      Bottom section of the bookcase... they are 30"wide X 16"deep and made with 3/4" mdf.   At these measurements mdf will bow, if not right away then eventually, so I had to add in the supports in the center.   The bottom sections are deeper than the  tops so they will match up with the depth of the desk:

 The top sections ... they are 30"wide X 10"deep ... also made with 3/4" mdf.  Now these shelves probably should have center supports but I didn't like how the bottoms looked so I'm waiting on that.  I won't wait too long, but I'm looking for something other than just chunks of wood:

Once I had them all built, then it was time to fill in the nail holes:

Prime 'em up:

 All 4 sections are upstairs in the bedroom and of course now it's time to fix and smooth over what little problems I didn't anticipate ... that's for a later post.

Edited in:
   The wood blocks below each shelf were put there to support the trim that will be put on.  I am using a very thin trim, it's only about 1/8" thick and it will hang down lower than the shelf itself to help cover up the side brackets holding up the shelves.

   Here is a little closer of a view to try to show how I secured the center supports:

 On the very top of the unit you can see the pencil line where I marked the center of the support below it.  I did the same thing with the very bottom of the unit and also on the middle shelf (in the picture the upper center support is placed over the pencil line on the shelf but you can see the end of the line sticking out a little bit.)  I added the bottom center support first and used the nail gun to shoot through the bottom of the unit up through the edge of the support, and did the same down through the middle shelf... using the pencil lines as my guide.  For the upper support I toe-nailed through the front and back base edge of the support, and down through the top of the unit... again using the pencil line as my guide.
If you look close in the picture, you can see the toe-nail at the base of the edge of the upper support.


  1. Ruthie, I'm so glad you linked up. I love seeing some "Sawdust" projects. I'm totally jealous of your big workbench! I'd love to know how you secured your center supports since there are 2 on each piece and what are those little blocks of wood? You don't want a face frame to help support the 30" span? Very curious, always learning. Sandra

  2. Hi Sandra! Thanks for commenting, I love talking projects!
    I'm going to edit in another picture that is a little closer view, to answer your questions.