I am almost fully moved into my new office. I recently built a new desk and it is awesomely functional, but it doesn’t accommodate a lot of other larger equipment like network storage devises, routers, my audio mixing panels, and books. It was always my plan to build a bookcase under the huge window in the office and it’s finally time to tackle it!
I started this build in Fusion 360 to model out specific dimensions and to help make sure that I don’t mess up sizes or forget dado cuts. This is a very basic design and modeling may not have been necessary, but it was a way to ensure that I accounted for the special sizes of the audio racks and to determine how much plywood I would need so I didn’t have to make multiple trips to the store.
I broke down a sheet of 3/4 inch birch plywood cutting all of the pieces to the same size without moving the table saw fence (or measuring carefully when using a circular saw) to ensure that each piece was the exact same depth. I used my dado stack to cut slots in the top, bottom, and sides to connect the casework. A bookcase this long needs to have vertical supports to prevent sagging and to add partitions for your stuff. I also added a toe plate under the bottom to help support the shelf from underneath. I drilled pocket holes on the upper edge to attach the top to the sides. To hide the exposed layers in the plywood, I glued on some strips of pine to act as edge banding and to add a thicker look.
I wanted the shelves to be adjustable vertically so I could rearrange items of different heights. I used a shelf pinning jig to drill holes at the right intervals so that the floating shelves would sit flat no matter where I placed them. I had to pay particular attention when drilling the holes for the front and the back of the bookcase. I sat the jig on the bottom shelf and drill the front side holes moving upward, when I flipped the bookcase over to do the backs, I almost sat the jig on the top side of the bookcase. This would have ruined the whole project because the holes wouldn’t be on the same plane, so BE SURE you are starting the holes from the same plane, top or bottom, as long as they are consistent. I added some more pine strips to the shelf fronts to cover the plywood layers.
It was always my intention to paint this bookcase, but after looking at the beautiful grain on this piece of birch plywood, I decided to add some simple polycrylic to prove that even plywood can be showcased. The audio equipment fit in perfectly and I loaded the bookcase up with routers, hard drives, collectibles, and of course, books.
I’m really happy with the finally result. This quick and inexpensive bookcase is now a beautiful and functional piece of office furniture. If you’d like to make a bookcase of your own, use the link below to get a copy of the plans.
(purchasing via these affiliate links supports ILTMS)
- SawStop cabinet saw
- 8″ Dado stack
- Skil circular saw
- Dewalt 20v drill driver combo
- Orbital Sander
- Pancake compressor/nail gun combo
- Kreg Rip Cut (circular saw guide)
- Kreg R3 pocket hole jig kit
- Kreg Shelf Pinning Jig
- Shop Fox Hanging Air Filter
- 2HP Dust Collector
- 1 Micron bag
- Speed square
- 90˚ corner clamp (4 pack)
Finishes & adhesives I like: