So, in my last blog post I mentioned the great bookcase my dad built me, and that in building the 2.0 version, I took some pictures, and will now proceed to explain in detail how he did it. It's simple enough that I think I could manage to build one on my own, now that I've seen him do it (twice!) and helped to build this time. Building your own bookcase doesn't have to be incredibly complicated, and it's probably easier than you think!
- Support beams, 1X4 inches and desired height of bookcase. We got them 6ft tall. We bought 5, but if you wanted to put more support beams on the back, you could easily do more. Make sure to select boards that are relatively free from compromising defects, and as straight as possible.
|5 support beams, 2 for each side, and one for the center back.|
- Shelf boards, 1X12, and desired length of bookcase. I wanted the bookcase to be 3 ft wide, so we got three 6ft boards and Daddy sawed them in half. Again, check for straight boards, and avoid serious defects.
|Shelf boards already sawed in half.|
- L-brackets to attach each shelf to the support beams. This requires math: number of shelves times the number of support beams. We needed 30. (Forgot to take pictures of the hardware, sorry...)
- Screws to attach L-brackets. Our brackets each took two screws, so we needed 60 screws, and we got the 1 inch wood screws in the size recommended on the packaging for our brackets.
- Saw (optional)
First step, do any sawing that may be needed:
Our shelf boards weren't exactly 6ft, so first Daddy made them precise, and then he sawed them in half.
The next step is to decide how you want your shelves spaced. On the original bookcase, I asked for 12 inches between each shelf. Daddy made the lowest shelf as close to the floor as possible, allowing for the L-bracket. After 10+ years of vacuuming around that bookcase, I decided it would be better if it was high enough off the floor to fit a vacuum wand underneath easily, so 2.0 the lowest shelf is 2 1/2 inches off the floor. Since the bookcases are right next to each other, we kept all the other shelves at the original places so they would match.
Once you've decided your spacing, it's time to measure and mark on your support beams where your L-brackets will be anchored. Mark the spots, drill holes (be sure not to drill all the way through the wood!) and screw in the brackets.
|All the L-brackets attached to the support beams!|
|Attaching the bottom shelf with beams supported by cinder blocks and books.|
Ta-da! Cheers and excitement abound, the bookcase is completed! I estimate it took about 4-5 hours total, shopping and all the work included, and it cost somewhere around $82 for materials. For a real wood bookcase, built exactly the way you want, that is a great deal! And version number one of this book case (with 4-foot long shelves) is proof that it holds up well to loads of books and years of service.
|Completed bookcase built in the living room.|
|Just installed, ready to go!|
If you have any questions, or decide to build one yourself, let me know in the comments!
Hopefully an "after" post will be coming soon, once I've completed my organizing!